16 Apr 2015

OKC bow out of NBA playoffs

4:27 pm on 16 April 2015

Rotorua basketballer Steven Adams' shot at a second straight NBA finals series is over, after his Oklahoma City Thunder were knocked out of the playoffs race by the New Orleans Pelicans.

Adams and the Thunder won their final regular season game today, beating the bottom-placed Minnesota Timberwolves 138-113 on the road - but because the Pelicans also won their home game against the third-placed San Antonio Spurs, the New Orleans side take the Western Conference's final playoffs spot.

The Thunder needed the Pelicans to lose if the Oklahoma club were to make the post-season, after Oklahoma lost the series to them, but the 108-103 upset in New Orleans eliminated Adams' side.

Steven Adams in action for OKC

Steven Adams in action for OKC Photo: PHOTOSPORT

He had a relatively quiet night in what turned out to be his final game of his second season, scoring seven points and grabbing four rebounds, while his centre rival Enes Kanter got yet another double-double, with 25 points and 15 rebounds.

The Thunder's All Star guard Russell Westbrook top-scored once more with 37 points.

The Oklahoma outfit have been plagued by injuries all season, with last year's MVP Kevin Durant eventually ruled out for the season - but coach Scott Brooks says he couldn't be prouder of the side.

"They fought every game, never made an excuse in a season that we could have easily made excuses," Brooks says.

Westbrook says he's still very proud of his team. "We showed maturity and did a great job finishing season out strong."

The Thunder and the Pelicans finished dead level on games won and lost with 45 wins and 37 losses.