PORTLAND, Ore. — The Golden State Warriors have earned their fifth straight trip to the NBA Finals after beating the Portland Trail Blazers 119-117 in overtime of Game 4 of the Western Conference finals on Monday night.
This is the first time a team has made five straight Finals appearances since the Boston Celtics went 10 straight times, from 1957 to 1966.
The Warriors made it happen on Monday night by coming back from a double-digit second-half deficit for the third straight game, this time crawling all the way back from a 17-point hole.
Once again, it was star guard Stephen Curry who led the Warriors all the way back. The two-time MVP finished with a triple-double, racking up 37 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
It was the fifth straight postseason game that Curry scored at least 30 points, the longest such streak of his career. Curry is now just the sixth player in NBA history to score 35 or more points in each of the first four games of a series, joining Elgin Baylor, LeBron James (twice), Michael Jordan (twice), Bernard King and Jerry West, according to ESPN Stats and Information data.
Warriors forward Draymond Green continued his stellar postseason play on Monday, racking up his second straight triple-double with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, including a huge 3-pointer with 39.6 seconds left in overtime that helped seal the win.
Curry and Green became the first teammates in NBA postseason history to record a triple-double in the same game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Curry and Green made huge plays throughout the series with the Blazers, and they are the main reasons why the Warriors’ streak of dominance continued over the past week.
Stephen A. Smith says that the Warriors’ sweep of the Trail Blazers shows that the 2-time champions don’t need Kevin Durant to win.
The extra time to recover is even more important than usual for Golden State, given that the Warriors are dealing with several lingering injuries as they look to win their third straight NBA championship.
Kevin Durant hasn’t played since injuring his right calf in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets on May 8. The Warriors are optimistic Durant will be able to return for the Finals, but as Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has said several times over the past week, the organization has been vague about a potential return date because it is waiting to see how Durant continues to respond to treatment.
Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala missed Monday’s game because of a sore left calf after suffering the injury in Game 3 on Saturday. The Warriors don’t sound concerned the former Finals MVP will have to miss extended time, but they know he could use the extra rest, as well.
Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins, who tore his right quad in Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinals against the LA Clippers on April 15, remains the wild card for the Warriors. After initially being listed as “unlikely” to return this season following his injury, Cousins continues to put in work on the floor, and the Warriors have been pleased by his progress. He still has some hurdles to clear over the next week, but there is hope he also could return for the Finals at some point.