We’re going to Game 7!!
Chirs Paul was the hero for the Thunder scoring 28 points, 15 of which came in the fourth quarter. Danilo Gallinari added 25 points, including the final two free throws to ice the win.
Here are the key takeaways from the game:
1. Chris Paul takes over
Chris Paul got off to a slow start in Game 6, but he sprung to life with the game on the line, scoring 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter on 5-of-7 shooting and 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.
Paul buried back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game up late and then with the scores tied at 100-100 with 13.1 seconds to go, Paul was fouled by Robert Covington on a drive to the hoop, calmly burying two clutch free throws to put the Thunder up for good.
– OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) September 1, 2020
“When it comes to clutch time, fourth quarter, some people are built for it, some people shy away from it,” Paul said in his on-court interview post-game.
“You saw Dame [Lillard], all that stuff, some people built for it man and we’re just going to keep hooping.”
Chris Paul in the clutch this season (including playoffs):
171 PTS (leads NBA)
32 WINS (leads NBA)
14 LOSSES pic.twitter.com/UCLdhMSBrP
– StatMuse (@statmuse) September 1, 2020
The Thunder outscored the Rockets by 20 points with Paul on the floor in Game 6.
2. Turnovers plague Rockets
After averaging just 11 turnovers per game in the series, the Rockets turned the ball over 22 times in Game 6, with the final turnover sealing their fate.
Following Paul’s free throws, Westbrook powered his way into the lane, before trying to find Covington on the 3-point line, but fired the ball out of bounds.
Credit the Thunder’s defence down the stretch as they managed to get a stop on seven of their last eight possessions.
Westbrook accounted for 7 of the teams 22 turnovers, while Harden recorded 5 and Eric Gordon 4.
Russell Westbrook on Rockets’ turnover problems in Game 6 loss to Thunder: “That’s my fault, honestly. That’s easy. Last game I had zero and tonight I had seven. Simple as that.” pic.twitter.com/bd57AGv1vB
– Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) September 1, 2020
“I had five so we’ve both got to be better with the basketball,” Harden said post-game of his and Westbrook’s turnovers.
“Twelve turnovers between the two, if we cut those down in half we give ourselves a better chance to get shot opportunities. We all got to be better.”
The Rockets made just 1-of-7 shots in the final four minutes of the game, turning the ball over three times.
3. Crunchtime Thunder do it again!
No team has been better at pulling off comeback wins and eeking out clutch victories than the Thunder this season…and it’s paying dividends in the post-season.
The Thunder are now 33-15 in clutch games this season (within five points in the final five minutes).
With Game 7 on the horizon, this is exactly what their season of narrow wins and comebacks has been leading up to.
4. Lu Dort time!
The Canadian rookie has made a name for himself in this series for his commendable defence against James Harden, but today he was getting it done on the offensive end.
With the Rockets leading 75-69 late in the third quarter, Dort went on a personal 8-0 run, canning back-to-back triples to send the Thunder into the fourth quarter with a two-point lead.
– NBA (@NBA) September 1, 2020
5. Up Next?
The two teams will face off in less than 48 hours in a winner-take-all Game 7 on Wednesday, September 2 at 9:00 p.m. E.T. on TSN.
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.
Lightning not discouraged after missing first chance to lift Stanley Cup – Sportsnet.ca
EDMONTON — The job’s not finished.
The core of this Tampa Bay Lightning team has been chasing the Stanley Cup for years, so what’s another two days between friends, right?
That’s not to discredit the Dallas Stars or pronounce this Final over. It’s merely a reflection of the Lighting’s attitude after having the trophy put back in its case with a 3-2 double-overtime loss on Saturday night.
“We’ve got a plan,” said head coach Jon Cooper. “It’s gotten us this far and we fully believe it’ll get us through the end.”
“They get the goal and we don’t, so it’s not a big deal,” added forward Anthony Cirelli.
From the Stanley Cup Qualifiers to the Stanley Cup Final, livestream every game of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, blackout-free, on Sportsnet NOW.
The Lightning were on the verge of a very big deal after Mikhail Sergachev gave them a 2-1 lead before the third period was four minutes old. They nursed it into the second half of the period before Joe Pavelski found a loose puck at the edge of the crease and did what he’s been doing for years.
It wouldn’t have been a surprise to see them pull out oxygen tanks on the Dallas bench during the first overtime period. This was the difficult end of a back-to-back and the Stars were taking on water while leaning heavily on their top-four defencemen — seeing Tampa out-attempt them 25-7 and outshoot them 7-2.
“I thought we played a good enough game to win,” said Lightning forward Ondrej Palat. “I thought in overtime we really tilted the ice, we had a lot of possession, a lot of chances, we just didn’t score on them.
“So yeah, they’re a good team, they battled back.”
The Stars gave it a push in the second overtime and won it on Corey Perry’s goal-mouth scramble at 9:23. A John Klingberg point shot ricocheted off two Tampa players and stopped at the edge of the crease before Perry slid it around Andrei Vasilevskiy.
“They’re a good team at getting pucks to the net,” said Lightning defenceman Victor Hedman. “It’s one of those things, you block a shot and it just lays behind you. We’ve got to be a little bit harder to help Vasy, but yeah, they made a nice play.
“They went hard to the net and they got a puck there and they put it in. That’s the end of it, we’ll look over it and get better for next game.”
They had an excellent chance to break the NHL bubble and finally get their hands on the Cup, but the tape will reveal that this was not Tampa at its best.
The Lightning appeared to be a step off for much of the night and didn’t create the kind of high-danger chances on Khudobin it had while building a 3-1 series lead. They also got just one first-period power play — Khudobin was the only reason they didn’t cash in there — so the goals were tougher to come by.
This was the sort of style Dallas needed to play with its season on the line.
Tampa will find some comfort from the fact it hasn’t dropped consecutive games yet in these playoffs and it lost Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final under similar circumstances before closing out the New York Islanders in the sixth.
With a little rest, and a refreshed attitude, they’ll look to repeat that script on Monday night.
“We’ve felt this feeling before,” said Cooper. “We have felt this sting and then we’ve rebounded. But the big thing is to get some rest here.
“Just in the end you could see — I don’t know, if that game went any longer, I don’t know if there would have been any goals scored.
“I think both teams were pretty tired.”
They’ve been at this for nine weeks now.
For many of the Lightning, this is the 15th playoff series they’ve gone through since 2015 and it’s the closest they’ve been to lifting the Stanley Cup. They managed to keep their minds in small places with the trophy inside Rogers Place on Saturday night, but they couldn’t quite seal the deal.
“I thought we kept it cool,” said Hedman.
The heat will get turned up quickly if they don’t get the next one.
Kansas State rallies to stun No. 3 Oklahoma – TSN
NORMAN, Okla. — Skylar Thompson passed for 334 yards and ran for three touchdowns, and Kansas State rallied from 21 points down to beat No. 3 Oklahoma 38-35 on Saturday.
Freshman Deuce Vaughn caught four passes for 129 yards and ran for a touchdown for the Wildcats, who were coming off a season-opening loss to Arkansas State. It was Kansas State’s first-ever road win against a top-three team in the AP poll.
Oklahoma freshman Spencer Rattler passed for 387 yards and four touchdowns, but he threw three interceptions.
Kansas State upset Oklahoma 48-41 in Manhattan, Kansas, last year.
Kansas State said earlier in the week it was struggling to have enough players available at all position groups to play the game because of COVID-19.
In the opening moments of the second quarter, Rattler threw into traffic and found Drake Stoops for a 32-yard touchdown. It was the first career touchdown for the son of former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, and it gave the Sooners a 14-0 lead.
Thompson’s 39-yard touchdown pass to Chabastin Taylor in the second quarter cut Oklahoma’s lead to 14-7, but the Sooners answered with Marvin Mims’ 9-yard touchdown reception in the final minute of the first half.
Rattler’s 53-yard pass to Stoops led to Seth McGowan’s 5-yard touchdown run and a 35-14 late in the third quarter.
Two short rushing touchdowns by Thompson got the Wildcats back in the game. Kansas State’s Nick Allen blocked Reeves Mundschau’s punt, and the Wildcats took over at the Oklahoma 38. Vaughn’s 38-yard touchdown run on the Wildcats’ second offensive play and the extra point tied it at 35 with 8:17 to play.
Kansas State’s Blake Lynch hit a 50-yard field goal with 4:32 remaining. Kansas State’s Jahron McPherson intercepted Rattler in the final minute to help close out the win.
Kansas State: The Wildcats didn’t fold when they fell behind and the defense improved in the second half against Rattler.
Oklahoma: The defense fell apart much like it has many times in recent years.
Kansas State: Hosts Texas Tech on Saturday.
Oklahoma: Travels to Iowa State on Saturday. The Cyclones beat the Sooners three years ago and nearly upset them last year before falling 42-41.
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP
NBA Finals 2020: LeBron James' 10th trip to the Finals is a reminder of his all-time greatness – NBA CA
Yes, I’m aware that LeBron actually finished with a ridiculous 38 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists on 15-for-25 shooting – this isn’t a box score thing.
Allow me to clarify.
In his 17th NBA season, LeBron James is now set to make his 10th appearance in the NBA Finals.
If you take away the three years in which James-led teams failed to qualify for the postseason, you’re looking at him appearing in the Finals 10 out of a possible 14 times (71.4%). And after tonight, teams that feature James have only lost once in the conference finals, his lone loss coming against the Orlando Magic in 2009.
Yes, LeBron now holds a 10-1 record in the conference finals.
James has become just the fourth player in NBA history to make 10 or more Finals appearances, tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Boston Celtics legends Sam Jones (11) and Bill Russell (12) are the only two players that have played on the NBA Finals stage more.
Say what you want about Finals records but to be quite honest, you can only lose in the Finals if you make it to the Finals. Jerry West, the Logo, took seven losses in the Finals before capturing that elusive title on his eighth try, only to lose for an eighth time while in pursuit of a repeat. Winning titles is hard, and getting to the Finals – win or lose – is not the type of accomplishment to scoff at.
The standard to which James is often held speaks to his greatness. That he’s expected to lead teams to the Finals – in his 17th year, no less – is not normal.
Like, we-may-never-see-this-again abnormal.
We also know LeBron’s star has shined its brightest in the Finals. The last time he was there, he opened with a 51-point, eight-rebound, eight-assist performance in what I consider to be one of the greatest individual performances I have ever seen – regular season or postseason.
Now, after a one-year hiatus from the postseason, James is four wins away from title No. 4 with team No. 3.
It’s worth mentioning that Robert Horry and John Salley are the only players in league history that have won titles with three separate franchises. While Horry and Salley executed their respective roles to a T, LeBron is the first player to lead three separate teams to the finals, posting averages of 26.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists through the first three rounds, and also has a chance to become the first player to ever win a championship and Finals MVP with three different franchises.
With that being said, James and the 2020 Lakers still have four wins to earn before attaining basketball immortality. And in this league, nothing is guaranteed.
For now, appreciate the greatness of the accomplishment at hand. Unlike the fairly common sight of a player shooting 10-for-17 from the field, we may never see a player lead a team to the Finals in 10 of his 17 seasons ever again.
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.
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