For the Thunder, Westbrook and Durant, who combined to make just 17 of 47 shots but alternately kept the Thunder alive with will and explosion. And Serge Ibaka, who had another monster game (18 points, 13 rebounds, four blocked shots).
The Warriors played without Igoudala, their defensive star, but Barnes superbly guarded Durant.
The Thunder played the second half without Kendrick Perkins, who suffered a dislocated finger. That's usually no big deal, except Gran Torino teamed with Ibaka to let the Warriors have little in the paint. Golden State took advantage of rookie center Steven Adams, who played in Perkins' stead.
“There's no question they're an exciting team and they're tough to guard,” Brooks said. “Whoever plays either team is going to have their hands full.”
The Warriors were in control, up five with three minutes left in regulation. The Thunder was in control, up four with two minutes left in overtime. The Warriors were in control when the ball was headed out of bounds and Thabo flew into the seats.
“Just one of those fun games to be a part of,” Jackson said. “It was a great atmosphere when we were there in Oracle (Arena). A heartbreaking loss. And then, I guess, a great game for us (here).
“The fans were great. They were joyous. They were enthused. They were hyped. I think we all were. Two storybook endings. It's been fun.”
And if these teams meet in the playoffs, the fun is just starting.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.