Oklahoma City Thunder big man Steven Adams played a crucial role in his team's 108-102 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Monday, but he found himself embroiled in controversy after the contest.
Adams used a regrettable choice of words when describing Golden State's backcourt in a postgame interview with ESPN's Chris Broussard (via Kenny Ducey of Sports Illustrated):
Adams apologized for his verbal mistake, per Sam Amick of USA Today: "It was just a poor choice of words, mate. I wasn't thinking straight. I didn't know it was going to upset anyone, but I'm truly sorry. It was just a poor choice of words. I was just trying to express how difficult it was chasing those guys around."
Adams is from New Zealand, and Amick noted he came to the United States in 2012 to attend the University of Pittsburgh. Adams pointed to dialect differences as one reason for his choice of words, per Amick.
"It's just different, mate," he said. "Different words, different expressions and stuff like that. But they obviously can be taken differently, depending on which country you're in. I'm assimilating, mate, still trying to figure out the boundaries. But I definitely overstepped them tonight."
Oklahoma City's perimeter defense was a driving force in its road victory. The Warriors shot 11-of-30 (36.7 percent) from three-point range, and reigning two-time MVP Stephen Curry shot 9-of-22 from the field and had seven turnovers.
Klay Thompson was solid with 25 points, but Shaun Livingston struggled on his way to four points on 2-of-7 shooting.
Adams was one of four Thunder players to record a double-double. He tallied 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Russell Westbrook posted 27 points and 12 assists, Kevin Durant notched 26 points and 10 boards and Serge Ibaka added 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Game 2 is set for 9 p.m. ET Wednesday at Golden State's Oracle Arena.