What makes this recent series win more remarkable is that the Warriors trailed the Trail Blazers for 101 minutes in the Western Conference Finals, more than they led (83).
Stephen Curry played like an MVP in the series, averaging 36.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists on 47.1 percent shooting and 42.5 percent from beyond the arc. Curry led the way on Monday’s 119-117 overtime win with a triple-double of 37 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists while making 7 of 16 3-point attempts.
Curry became just the fifth player in NBA history to score 30 points in every game of a four-game sweep, Draymond Green had a great all-around performance once again with another triple-double (18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists) and Klay Thompson added 17 points despite shooting just 7-for-21 from the field.
The Trail Blazers earned the respect of the Warriors, as evidenced by the post-game hugs and handshakes. Portland head coach Terry Stotts said: “We were very competitive in this series. Even though it was a sweep, we played very competitively.”
Stotts is right, the Trail Blazers had their chances, the had a 17-point lead in Game 2 before losing by three points on the road, they blew an 18-point lead before crumbling in the second half of Game 3 and they led by 17 points last night before losing by two points in overtime. They were also competitive in Game 1, trailing by just six points through the third quarter before losing 116-94.
Golden State now has a chance to win their fourth NBA Championship in five years. They won the title in the 2014-15, 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons and in 2015-16 they set a league-record with 73 wins in the regular season before losing to the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
If the Warriors go all the way this season they will tie the following teams with three straight championships:
Minneapolis Lakers: 1952-54
Chicago Bulls: 1991-93
Chicago Bulls: 1996-98
Los Angeles Lakers: 2000-02
The Warriors will face the winner of the Bucks vs. Raptors Eastern Conference Finals and regardless of who they play, the NBA Finals will start on Thursday, May 30.
Jazz Sports has the Bucks as -585 favorites to win the Eastern Conference Finals and face the Warriors next. Milwaukee leads Toronto 2-1 and there’s still a lot of basketball left in that series but if they advance then the NBA Finals would be a clash of No. 1 seeds. BetOnline currently favors the Warriors to win the NBA Championship at -220, followed by the Bucks at +175 and the Raptors at +2000.