TheGolden State Warriors must come from behind to reach the NBA Finals after a 108-102 home defeat to Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
The defending champions appeared on course to seize the advantage at the half-way point after building up a 13-point lead, but the Thunder dominated in the final two quarters to claim the win.
Russell Westbrook led the Oklahoma charge with a double-double, as he top-scored with 27 points and provided 12 assists.
Kevin Durant managed a 26-point haul, as did Golden State’s two-time MVP Steph Curry.
Westbrook said: “It’s a game of two halves, man. My job was to stay in attack mode and find a way of getting my team-mates going.
“We’re a great team. We didn’t play our best game, but we came out with a win.”
Golden State may not be too concerned by a loss as they have been taken to five games by both Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers in the previous rounds, but they will be desperate to bounce back in Game 2.
The Warriors host the Thunder in Oakland again on Wednesday and defeat would leave their hopes of successfully defending the NBA crown in doubt, as Games 3 and 4 will take place in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma City are 4.33 to secure a win in Game 2 while Golden State are 1.18 to fight back and level the series.