Originally written on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 6/7/12
Could there have been a more perfect way for the darling Oklahoma City Thunder—an energetic bunch of youngsters who for years were described as “waiting their turn”—to make their first trip to the NBA Finals? Since moving to Oklahoma City, the Thunder have simply climbed the Western Conference ladder step by step.  After missing the playoffs in 2009, they lost to the eventual champion Lakers in Round 1 in 2010 before falling to eventual champion Dallas in the Western Conference Finals in 2011.  In 2012, they dominated the NBA’s last two champs in the Mavericks and Lakers, and have now dealt the league’s top-seeded Spurs, once winners of 20 straight, four consecutive losses en route to the NBA Finals. Wednesday night marked the Thunder’s final exam, as Tony Parker and the rest of San Antonio’s offense erupted early and dropped Oklahoma City into an 18-point hole with a hostile Game 7 in San Antonio on the horizon.  But like every test they’ve faced this postseason, the Thunder pass...
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