Golden State Warriors reach fifth straight NBA Finals
Stephen Curry and Draymond Green both posted triple-doubles to power the Golden State Warriors to a 119-117 overtime victory over the Portland Trail Blazers yesterday morning (Singapore time) and into a fifth straight NBA Finals.
The two-time defending NBA champions swept the Blazers in four games in the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals. The only other team to reach five straight NBA Finals were the Boston Celtics, who went on to a record 10 in a row from 1957 to 1966.
"I hope it doesn't go unnoticed or underrated - five straight finals hasn't been done since the 60s," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr.
"It hasn't been done for a reason. It's really, really difficult and so I just can't say enough about the competitive desire of the group of guys that we have here."
The Warriors will battle for the title starting on May 30 against either the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors, aiming to become the first team since the Los Angeles Lakers of 2000-2002 to three-peat as champions.
Curry and Green became the first teammates in league history to have triple-doubles in the same post-season game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Curry finished with 37 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, while Green had his second straight triple-double with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.
Fittingly, Curry and Green combined on the game-winning basket in overtime, Curry feeding Green for a three-pointer that pushed Golden State to a 119-115 lead with 39.6 seconds left in overtime.
TAKE THE SHOT
"Obviously, in that situation, we want Steph to have the ball, we want Steph or Klay (Thompson) to take the shot," Green said.
"But they were swarming them. So I was just talking to them, 'Watch out, watch out'.
"When he passed me the ball, I just let it go. When I shot it, it felt good."
The Trail Blazers had led 69-65 at half-time, and built the lead to 17 in the third quarter - the third straight game in which Portland led by as many as 17 only to come up short.
With veteran Andre Iguodala having joined superstar Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins on the injured list, the Warriors produced a total team effort to rally again.
Thompson scored 17 points, while reserve Kevon Looney added 12 points and 14 rebounds and Alfonzo McKinnie chipped in with 12 points.
Portland star Lillard, playing with painful separated ribs, finished with 28 points, while unheralded Meyers Leonard led the Trail Blazers with a career-high 30 points and 12 rebounds.
CJ McCollum added 26 for them. - AFP