Adversity seems to serve as fuel for the Golden State Warriors as they seek a third straight NBA title and so it proved again on Monday night as their latest checklist item – reaching yet another NBA Finals – was duly accomplished.
A 119-117 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in an overtime thriller at the Moda Center clinched a 4-0 sweep of this Western Conference finals series, and ensured the Warriors will play on into June for a fifth consecutive year.
It was tense and tight and required Golden State to resist a pair of potential game-winners from Damian Lillard, one in regulation and another as time expired in the extra period. But at the end of it all the outcome was exactly as expected. Having survived, even thrived, without their finest offensive player (Kevin Durant) throughout the Portland showdown, this night also saw them cope while missing their most proficient defender, left calf injury victim Andre Iguodala.
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“We just really understand what we’re capable of on both sides of the basketball,” Draymond Green said. “We’re never out of the fight. That’s just always our mindset.”
The Warriors swept their way to a fifth straight NBA Finals, getting triple-doubles from Stephen Curry and Green in a 119-117 overtime victory on Monday night.
The two-time defending champions overcame a double-digit deficit for the third straight game against the Blazers, back in the conference finals for the first time since 2000.
The Warriors will face the winner of the Eastern Conference finals between Toronto and Milwaukee. The Bucks lead that series 2-1 with Game 4 on Tuesday night in Canada.
“We’ve been here before. We’ve seen everything, every experience you can imagine. So we relied on that,” Curry said.
Playing without Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and DeMarcus Cousins, the Warriors became the first team to reach five straight finals since the Boston Celtics went to 10 in a row from 1957-66.
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