The celebration — if you dare deem it such — that capped the biggest victory in Oklahoma City Thunder history was about as constrained as it could possibly be.
Because the job is not done.
The Thunder is advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time in the franchise’s Oklahoma City era after a 107-99 win over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday night.
Oklahoma City became just the 15th team in NBA history to come back to win a best-of seven series after trailing 2-0 and just the eighth team to come back and win the series after notching four straight victories.
But every accomplishment thus far will remain lodged in the backseat. The goal from the start for this year’s squad was to win an NBA championship.
“We didn’t want to just get to the Western Conference Finals, because no one remembers who was in the Finals in 2012,” said veteran center Nazr Mohammed. “Who’s going to care in a couple of years? You only remember who won. Guys really, really understand that. I think guys understand that it’s all about winning. It’s not about just making it and being happy.”
The Thunder now awaits the winner between Boston and Miami. With home-court advantage over both, the Thunder will host Games 1, 2 and, if necessary, 6 and 7.
Game 1 is Tuesday.
“Whoever we play, (it’s) two great teams,” said Kevin Durant, who scored a game-high 34 points with 14 rebounds and five assists. “We can’t rely 100 percent on our crowd. We’ve just got to come out there and start the game off with a lot of energy. It’s going to be a tough rough for us, and we’re looking forward to that opportunity. It’s a great feeling right now, but tomorrow we’ve just got to get over it and get ready to see who we play.”