Stop me if you’ve heard this one: The Golden State Warriors will play the Cleveland Cavaliers in the best-of-seven NBA Finals.
For the fourth year in a row, the teams playing in the finals will be the same as the three previous years.
When the Cavaliers and Warriors met last year in the finals for the third consecutive time, it marked the first “threematch” in NBA Finals history. Do the math and this year’s series marks the first “fourmatch.”
The Cavaliers have been waiting since Sunday to find out which team they would play for the championship: Houston or Golden State. The Cavs beat the Boston Celtics 87-79 Sunday night to win the Eastern Conference finals.
In Houston Monday night, the Warriors got their act together and came back from a double-digit deficit to beat the Rockets 101-92 in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals.
NPR’s Tom Goldman reports that as great as the Warriors are, they are prone to stretches of basketball awfulness, and the first half was one of those stretches as they fell behind 11 points.
In the third quarter, point guard Stephen Curry scored 14 of the Warriors 33 points as they turned an 11-point deficit into a seven point lead entering the final quarter.
The Warriors had a little help from the Rockets who couldn’t buy a 3-point basket. They missed 27 straight 3-point attempts.
After the game, The Associated Press reports: Stephen Curry said someone asked him if it’s still special to get to the finals when it’s the fourth time in a row.
“Yes,” he said because it’s really hard.”
Hard it is. In 2015, after 69 seasons, the Warriors won their first NBA championship beating Cleveland. The Cavaliers turned it around the following season and won their first championship in 2016 beating the Warriors. In 2017, Golden State reclaimed the title.
Finals action starts later this week when the Warriors host Game 1 on Thursday and Game 2 on Sunday.