The Golden State Warriors clinched a fifth straight trip to the N.B.A. finals by completing a four-game sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals. With their 119-117 overtime victory at the Moda Center, the Warriors also preserved their hopes of a third straight championship and their fourth in five seasons.
The only other team to reach five straight N.B.A. finals was the Boston Celtics, when they went to a record 10 in a row from 1957 to 1966 (and won nine titles, eight consecutively). The Los Angeles Lakers were the last team 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.”
Led by Stephen Curry, who finished with 37 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, Golden State had to mount a huge comeback to get past Portland in Game 4. The Blazers were ahead by as many as 17 points in the third quarter before the Warriors whittled away the deficit.
After Klay Thompson tied the game on a 3-pointer with less than 2 minutes left in regulation, the Warriors forced 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, then Green built on the lead with a 3-pointer. Portland still had a chance to go ahead in the final seconds, but Lillard’s drifting 3-pointer came up short as time expired.