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NBA season over for Adams' Thunder

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/04/2017

Steven Adams © Sue Ogrocki/AP Images Steven Adams Kiwi centre Steven Adams has completed his fourth and most impressive season yet in the NBA.

Adams' Oklahoma City Thunder lost game five of their Western Conference to the Houston Rockets 105-99, clinching the best-of-seven series for the home side, 4-1.

It ended a disappointing campaign for the Thunder, who reached the Western Conference finals a year ago but haven't been the same threat this season without departed star forward Kevin Durant.

The Thunder qualified sixth for the play-offs and weren't favoured to topple the third-ranked Rockets.

Adams played 39 minutes on Tuesday, scoring seven points and pulling down nine rebounds, the latter statistic eclipsed by only one player in the game, team-mate Russell Westbrook.

As has been the case all season, brilliant point guard Westbrook dominated most statistics for the Thunder, scoring 47 points, but it wasn't enough to upset the more team-oriented Rockets.

Guard James Harden topped the scoring for Houston, who become the third team to qualify for conference semi-finals after the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers and last year's runners-up, the Golden State Warriors.

Adams, 23, enjoyed his most productive season so far, particularly offensively.

Playing 80 of 82 regular season games, he averaged 30 minutes per game, compared to 25 minutes in each of the previous two seasons.

His 11.3 average points lifted his career average to 7.5 per game.

His rebounds (7.7 per game), assists (1.1) and steals (1.1) were up on previous seasons but he was less effective with blocks (1.0) and gave away significantly more turnovers (1.8), reflecting his increased attacking role.

This season was the last of Adams' rookie contract.

In 2017-18, he will begin a four-year $US100 million ($NZ144 million) contract extension.

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