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Adams steps up as OKC stun Warriors

NZN 17/05/2016

Steven Adams believes staying in the grind was the key to Oklahoma City's upset victory over the defending champion Golden State Warriors in game one of the NBA Western Conference finals.

The New Zealand centre was a significant contributor with a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds as the Thunder came from behind to win 108-102 in Oakland.

While the result against a team coming off a record-breaking 73-9 regular season and with league MVP Stephen Curry in their ranks might have surprised many, Adams wasn't among them.

"Not at all, man, we just come in and we know it's going to be a grind," he said.

"Whatever the outcome is, it's determined by how hard we come out and I felt we came out, asserted our aggressiveness and came out on top."

The Warriors, up 60-47 at half-time, led for most of the match.

But the Thunder made a move late in the third quarter and pulled level early in the fourth.

When Adams produced a hook shot for two, the visitors had opened out a 101-93 advantage with just under five minutes to go.

The Warriors closed to within one point but a couple of Adams free-throws pushed out the margin again.

Adams credited the comeback to sticking to the game plan and not being discouraged when the Warriors' shots were dropping in the first half.

"I felt like we made quite a few strides in our defence and how to guard these guys and that's all that really matters," he said.

"It's making sure their points are as low as possible."

Adams' haul followed his four double-doubles in the Thunder's six-game semi-final win over the San Antonio Spurs.

OKC guard Russell Westbrook topped all scorers with 27 points and also had 12 assists, seven steals and six rebounds.

Forward Kevin Durant finished with 26 points and 10 boards.

Curry led the Warriors' scoring with 26 points and also had 10 rebounds, while fellow guard Klay Thompson had 25 points, but the home side paid for missing two many shots at the business end.

Game two of the best-of-seven series is at the same venue on Thursday (NZT).

The series winners play either the Toronto Raptors or the Cleveland Cavaliers, whose Eastern Conference finals begin on Wednesday.

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