The Golden State Warriors, led by NBA MVP Stephen Curry, try to stave off elimination in the NBA Western Conference Finals in Game 5 on Thursday, May 26, 2016, at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.
The Warriors, who won a record 73 regular-season games, find themselves shockingly on the brink, thanks to Russell Westbrook and the Thunder, who won Games 3 and 4 in blowouts.
Can the Warriors win at home and force a Game 6 in Oklahoma City?
Here’s what you need to know:
What: Game 5, Western Conference Finals (best of seven)
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, Calif.
When: Thursday, May 26, 2016
Tipoff: 9 p.m. Eastern
Line: Warriors -7.5
Steve Kerr gave his Golden State players a much-needed mental day off with time to rest their weary bodies, and he got back to work trying to figure out how to save the season against a powerful Thunder team that shows no signs of slowing down.
Back to the basics, back to doing the little things that got the Warriors this far.
After a record 73 wins in the regular season, the Warriors are on the brink as they go into Game 5 of the Western Conference finals Thursday night in Oakland trailing the Thunder 3-1 after a second straight lopsided loss in Oklahoma City.
No denying it’s a daunting task for the defending champs — especially given that MVP Stephen Curry is a far cry from being completely healthy.
“Well, it’s a sense of reality staring us in the face. We’re down 3-1,” Kerr said Wednesday. “Momentum can shift quickly in the playoffs. We’ve seen that the last couple years. Let’s take care of business at home, get some momentum back and we’ve got a chance.”
All season long, the Warriors have taken the best efforts from every opponent. The just haven’t shown the vulnerabilities that appeared the past two games in Oklahoma City, where Golden State lost back-to-back games for the first time during its record-setting season.
The flight home was hardly fun following Tuesday’s 118-94 defeat.
“It was not festive. It was quiet,” Kerr said.
(With postseason scoring averages)
Thunder: Westbrook (26.0), Roberson (5.3), Durant (27.7), Ibaka (11.6), Adams (10.4)
Warriors: Curry (24.5), Thompson (25.4), Barnes (9.4), Green (15.9), Bogut (4.5)
Monday, May 16: Oklahoma City 108, Golden State 102
Wednesday, May 18: Golden State 118, Oklahoma City 91
Sunday, May 22: Oklahoma City 133, Golden State 105
Tuesday, May 24: Oklahoma City 118, Golden State 94
Thursday, May 26: Oklahoma City at Golden State, 9 p.m.
x-Saturday, May 28: Golden State at Oklahoma City, 9 p.m.
x-Monday, May 30: Oklahoma City at Golden State, 9 p.m.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
Randy Miller may be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @RandyJMiller.
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