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Finally, the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder provided a game that more completely explains why there should be two more of them. Not because of the identity of the victor, mind you. The Warriors extended the Western Conference Final with a sweatbox-quality 120-111 win over the Thunder in Game 5, forcing a trip back to the Midwest. No, we speak of more of its quality, and the way it more accurately reflected the strengths, weaknesses, quirks and hidden face cards of these two teams. CSN Bay Area
Kevin Durant was brilliant. Stephen Curry was healed. Russell Westbrook was deliciously erratic and indomitable in the best Iversonian tradition. Andrew Bogut rose from the morgue to play perhaps his best important game since those in the Denver series two years ago, and Stephen Adams struggled as a result. There was give and take, yin and yang, hoi and polloi and a wonderful sense of balance between two teams that would do this mostly sub-mediocre postseason an enormous solid by having the NBA declare it a best of 13-series. CSN Bay Area
The Thunder, though, didn't crumble. Trailing by 13 with eight minutes left, OKC began to chip away. Ibaka made the first of two huge fourth-quarter 3s with 7:01 left, a wing 3 set up by great ball movement. The Warriors quickly stretched it back to the 13, but Ibaka then nailed the second of those big 3s, again off crisp offense to slice it to 103-93 with 5:26 left. Two Durant free throws and a deep transition 3, assisted off an extra pass from Ibaka in transition, made it a five-point game. Oklahoman
KD, already with 40 points on the night, rose with a chance to slice it to three with 35 seconds left. But he missed it long. “Hell, yeah, I want it back,” Durant said. “But I'm living with that. I'm living with that. I can't think about it. Just move past it. I had a great look. Russell made an unbelievable play, put me in position to knock down the open shot…I wish I could have hit that one.” Oklahoman
Bogut, frankly, served as the messenger for all the rest of it. His 15-point, 14-rebound, three-foul, 29-minute performance changed the entire game dynamic. He negated the force of Adams, he helped the Warriors fight the Thunder even in rebounds and induced them to shoot a paltry 40.5 percent (15-of-37) inside the paint that they had owned so tight-fistedly in the previous games of this series. CSN Bay Area
And most of all, it’s going to take someone other than DeRozan or Lowry making shots. No one has taken control and had one of those out-of-his-mind games that can help steal a win. “They’re picking their poison. They understand what they’re doing,” coach Dwane Casey said of Cleveland’s willingness to leave someone open to double team Lowry or DeRozan. “Again, if we make one more pass, or attack and make one more pass, we could possibly get that shot. But again, we’ve got to be disciplined to look for that. But again, the guys wide open, nobody near you, those are the shots we’ve got to make and knock them down.” Toronto Star
The Knicks finally may make [Jeff] Hornacek’s hiring official Friday — with a press conference slated next week. Johnson, the former explosive point guard who is on this year’s Hall-of-Fame ballot, shared the backcourt in Phoenix with Hornacek from 1987-92 and the men have remained close. Johnson cites Hornacek’s two appearances in the NBA Finals with Utah against Phil Jackson’s Bulls as experiences that will help him tackle the Big Apple. NY Post
“Jeff is someone who understands what it means to play on the biggest stage in New York but won’t be fazed by the bright lights and the pressure of the biggest media market,” [Kevin] Johnson told The Post. “There is nothing bigger than the NBA Finals against Michael Jordan, and Jeff played a key role in those series twice. That experience is invaluable for this job.” NY Post
Last month, Sacramento interviewed Hornacek for its head job. Johnson may or may not have played a role in Hornacek being brought in, but he said he always has known his ex-teammate would make a great coach. NY Post
Stephen Curry has knocked down another honor. The dead-eye point guard who led the Golden State Warriors to a record 73 wins in the regular season was named to the All-NBA first team Thursday. The league's MVP was the only player named on all 129 ballots in voting by a panel of writers and broadcasters. Curry was joined on the first team by Cleveland's LeBron James, Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers' DeAndre Jordan. AP/Charlotte Observer
As the Western Conference Finals are taking place in Oakland, the Sixers are looking for new talent of their own in California. This week, members of the Sixers' front office are attending pre-draft workouts organized through multiple agencies, including BDA Sports Management, CAA Sports, Landmark Sports Agency, Octagon and Wasserman Media Group. CSN Philly
Former Michigan State power forward Deyonta Davis and former Kansas power forward Cheick Diallo were among Thursday’s headliners. Both are projected to go in the first round. Former Villanova center Daniel Ochefu was one the draft prospects to work out in front of the Sixers and other NBA squads. Philadelphia Inquirer
A person familiar with the situation says Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris was detained at Philadelphia International Airport and then released. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because Morris was not charged. The person did not specify why Morris was detained. AP/Detroit Free Press
Khloe Kardashian is once again seeking to end her marriage to former NBA player Lamar Odom. Court records in Los Angeles show Kardashian filed for divorce Thursday, citing irreconcilable differences. AP/ESPN LA
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