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Green pays tribute to Adams

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 31/05/2016

Draymond Green has paid tribute to Kiwi centre Steven Adams after the Golden State Warriors downed Oklahoma City Thunder 96-88 in their Western Conference play-offs decider.

The pair clashed repeatedly throughout the best-of-seven series, with the Warriors forward landing two low blows on Adams in the second and third games.

Green escaped suspension after kicking Adams in the groin during the Thunder's game three win, his lash-out upgraded to a flagrant 2 foul and a $US25,000 ($NZ37,000) fine.

It was the second time Green's knee had found Adams's groin, after a similar incident in game two four days earlier.

On Tuesday, Adams once again tangled with Green, the pair falling in a heap with Green on the bottom as they both battled for a rebound.

The referees reviewed the tape, but couldn't apportion blame and called a double foul.

Green afterwards paid tribute to Adams's competitiveness.

"I love what he brings to the table," said Green, who took 22-year-old Adams aside after the game to offer words of encouragement.

"I respect a guy who continues to fight.

"We had our instances and nothing was on purpose, but he battled and I battled.

"I told him I have mad respect and I love the way he battles.

"Since he came into the league he has been playing the same way. You have to respect a guy like that."

The Warriors wrapped up their series win despite going 1-3 down after Oklahoma took out game four 118-94.

But the Warriors won game five 120-111 in Oakland, then took game six 108-101 in Oklahoma on the back of an uncannily accurate performance from the three-point line.

In game seven, the defending champions took half the game to find their range from beyond the paint, but that was all that was needed.

Steph Curry's game-high 36 included seven from 12 three-pointers, while Klay Thompson - who sunk 11 from 18 in game six - returned six from 11 in his 21-point tally.

Kevin Durant top-scored for the Thunder with 27, with back-up from Russell Westbrook (19) and Serge Ibaka (16).

Adams played 25min 36sec for nine points and nine rebounds.

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