PORTLAND, OR—Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals was a classic shootout, as the Golden State Warriors swept the Portland Trailblazers in overtime, 119-117, at the Moda Center on Monday, May 20. The Warriors became the first team since the Boston Celtics of the 1950s and 1960s to reach the NBA Finals five consecutive years.
The OT classic witnessed Golden State overcome a 17-point deficit, both Stephen Curry and Draymond Green recorded triple doubles, while the Warriors role players such as Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McCkinnie rose to the occasion, grabbing crucial rebounds and making key shots down the stretch.
“Five straight Finals hasn’t been done since Bill Russell’s Celtics, and it hasn’t been done for a reason,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters in his postgame press conference. “It’s really, really difficult, so I just can’t say enough about the competitive desire of the group of players that we have and the culture that they’ve built together, playing together regardless of injury.”
Trailblazer stars Damien Lillard and C.J. McCollum were brilliant in the heartbreaking loss. Lillard scored 28 points, McCollum added 25 points; it was the backcourt duos best game of the series. In the end, it wasnt enough to save their season.
Despite Portland shooting 61 percent from the field, scoring 69 points in the first half and a career high 25 points from Meyers Leonard, the Trailblazers have been swept from the NBA playoffs for the third straight year.
The Blazers went cold midway through the fourth, culminating with Green’s 21-footer giving Golden State its first lead since the seven-minute mark of the second quarter, 108-106, with 3:30 left in regulation. Golden State played with a sense of urgency, quite unusual for a team up 3-0 in the playoffs.
Lillard answered with a three pointer, making the score 111-108. Klay Thompson hit the game tying three, sending this wild contest into overtime.
The teams traded baskets in overtime, until the Warriors strung a second straight bucket together when Green drained a wide-open three-pointer which made it possible by the attention paid to Curry. That gave Golden State a 119-115 lead in the final minute. Lillard tried valiantly to erase the deficit, trimming it in half with a layup and driving for a game-tying attempt that Thompson blocked out of bounds with three seconds left. Thompson again gave chase on Lillard’s final miss.
The Warriors will get a well deserved break before meeting the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals, either the Milwaukee Bucks or the Toronto Raptors. DUB Nation is just four wins away from a threepeat, and their fourth NBA Title in five years.
Curry had a game high 37 points, draining one three-point dagger after another. Draymond Green has been sensational recently (18 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists).
Remember these Warriors are missing Kevin Durant (Calf strain), DeMarcus Cousins (Torn Quad) and Andre Iguodala (Calf strain). This victory in particular, stands as a testament to the Golden State Warriors character. Their reign and NBA dynasty shows no signs of slowing down, regardless of the obstacles and challenges along the way.