The Golden State Warriors’ season has not been a straight line. They have adapted to wounds, off camera quarrels, weariness and even carelessness. Be that as it may, they are as yet a basketball superpower, and they are forcing their will this postseason with another lofty frolic past overmatched rivals.
On Monday night, the Warriors secured a fifth straight outing to the N.B.A. finals by finishing a four-game compass of the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals. With their 119-117 overtime triumph at the Moda Center, the Warriors likewise safeguarded their expectations of a third straight championship and their fourth in five seasons.
The only other group to achieve five straight N.B.A. finals was the Boston Celtics, when they went to a record 10 of in a row from 1957 to 1966 (and won nine titles, eight sequentially). The Los Angeles Lakers were the last group to three-peat as champions, from 2000 to 2002.
“I hope it doesn’t go unnoticed or underrated,” Warriors Coach Steve Kerr said. “Five straight finals hasn’t been done since the ’60s, since Bill Russell’s Celtics. And it hasn’t been done for a reason: It’s really, really difficult.”
Driven by Stephen Curry, who completed with 37 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, Golden State needed to mount a huge comeback to get past Portland in Game 4. The Blazers were ahead by upwards of 17 in the second from last quarter before the Warriors whittled away the deficit.
“We’re never out of the fight,” the Warriors’ Draymond Green said.
After Klay Thompson tied the game on a 3-pointer with under 2 minutes left in regulation, the Warriors constrained overtime when Portland’s Damian Lillard missed a running layup. In overtime, the Warriors’ Alfonzo McKinnie scored on a putback for a 116-115 lead, at that point Green based on the lead with a 3-pointer. Portland still got an opportunity to proceed in the final seconds, yet Lillard’s drifting 3-pointer came up short as time expired.
Green had his second straight triple-double, gathering 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. He helped make a little history, as well, as he and Curry turned into the first N.B.A. colleagues to have triple-doubles in the same postseason game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.