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Golden State Warriors

This Date in NBA History (May 30): Warriors win Game 7, complete 3-1 comeback vs. Thunder in 2016 Western Conference Finals

Curry and Durant in 2016
(NBA Getty Images)

On May 30th in 2016, the Golden State Warriors won Game 7 96-88 at the Oracle Arena and completed the improbable comeback from a 3-1 series deficit in their Conference Finals series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

After winning an NBA record 73 games in the regular season, the Warriors made more history with this win.

They joined a short list of teams and became only the 10th in NBA history to win a playoff series despite being 3-1 down. The win marked the first time the Warriors had advanced to consecutive NBA Finals in franchise history.

Reigning unanimous league MVP Stephen Curry led the way, scoring a game-high 36 points (13-24 FGs) and dishing out eight assists but just like Game 6, the Warriors had to fight back from an early double-digit lead in this game as well.

The Thunder led for nearly all of the first half, including by their largest margin of 13 at the 7:02 mark of the second quarter. However, the second half was a different story.

The Warriors turned it on in the third quarter, outscoring their opponents 29-12 in the period. At the midway point of the third quarter, the lead changed and the Warriors never looked back.

"You appreciate how tough it is to get back here," Curry said after the win. "You've got to be appreciative of this accomplishment, and look forward to getting four more wins."

For the Thunder, Kevin Durant was the top scorer with 27 points (10-19 FGs) but the Thunder stood no chance with the momentum the Warriors were riding in the second half. In the Finals, the Warriors were set for a rematch with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"We survived by the skin of our teeth," coach Steve Kerr said. "We were able to pull it out, and we're moving on."

In the 2016 NBA Finals, however, the Warriors ended up on the wrong side of history as they would surrender a 3-1 series deficit - the first time this had happened in a championship series.

Another notable event from May 29th

  • In 1976, Phoenix Suns' rookie center Alvan Adams leads his team to a 105-98 Game 3 win with a double-double of 33 points and 14 rebounds. This was the first win in an NBA Finals series in Suns' franchise history, however, they went on to lose the 1976 Finals in six games.

Notable playoff eliminations on May 29th

  • In 2014, the Miami Heat blewout the Indiana Pacers 117-92 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Thus, booking their fourth consecutive NBA Finals appearances - becoming just the fourth franchise ever to do so and the first since the Boston Celtics (1984-87).
  • In 2009, the Orlando Magic were crowned the Eastern Conference Champions after they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-90 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. This was the franchise's second Conference Championship and the first since 1995.
  • In 2008, the Boston Celtics defeated the Detroit Pistons 89-81 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals to make their first NBA Finals appearance since 1987. For the Pistons, who had made their sixth straight Conference Finals appearance, this was the third straight year they were eliminated at this stage of the playoffs.
  • In 2007, the San Antonio Spurs advanced to their third NBA Finals in five years as they beat the Utah Jazz 109-84 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.
  • In 1991, the Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 91-90 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals to advance to their ninth NBA Finals in a 12-year span (1980-91).
  • In 1987, the Boston Celtics progressed to their fourth straight NBA Finals with a 117-114 Game 7 win against the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals.

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