Adams stars as Thunder make Western finals

BEN STRANG
Last updated 17:51 16/05/2014
Steven Adams
Getty Images
KIWIS REALLY CAN FLY: Steven Adams jumps highest to score for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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Steven Adams has had his best ever game for the Oklahoma City Thunder at the best possible time today, notching a playoff double-double to help lead his team into the NBA's Western Conference finals.

Adams scored 10 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in 40 minutes for the Thunder in their 104-98 Game Six win over the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Centre in LA.

He also had one block, one steal and committed three fouls. It was a massive performance for the Kiwi rookie, stepping up with Kendrick Perkins in foul trouble, and teaming with power forward Nick Collison inside the paint after starter Serge Ibaka went down injured.

NBA MVP Kevin Durant had 39 points and 16 boards for the Thunder to lead his team to the win, while Russell Westbrook had 19.

It was Collison's passing which got the Thunder offence moving, teeing up easy chances for Durant and Westbrook at the rim. The win sees the Thunder take on the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals, after they swept aside Portland in five games.

Adams was immense for the Thunder, coming into the game early when Perkins found himself in foul trouble.

He made an instant impact, pulling down several rebounds in the first quarter and showing a nice touch around the basket, adding four points.

Perkins' brief return in the second quarter saw him add to his foul trouble, meaning Adams saw extended time in the first half, finishing with six points and seven boards.

After the interval Adams was in the mix again, and stayed on the court for 20 straight minutes as the Thunder built an unassailable lead in the second half.

Adams brought up his second career double-double with a one-handed jam midway through the fourth quarter, after a sweet pass from Collison.

He had a game high +17 plus/minus during his time on the court, meaning the Thunder outscored the Clippers by that margin when he was on court.

The Thunder head to San Antonio on Tuesday (NZT) for Game One of their finals series.

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- Fairfax Media

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