The Portland Trail Blazers have been swept out of another NBA playoff series, although this time you have to give them credit for facing their demise in the Western Conference Finals rather than the first or second round.
And speaking of sweeps, how about Rodney Hood getting swept out of the playoffs three times in three years on three different teams, all at the hands of the Golden State Warriors?
Bonus points to Portland for blowing double-digit leads in all four games, including three in a row where they led by at least 15 and still lost.
Golden State made it official in overtime Tuesday night, winning 119-117 behind a pair of triple-doubles from Stephen Curry (37 points on 11-of-25 shooting and 7-of-16 from three, 13 rebounds, 11 assists) and Draymond Green (18 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists.) The whole series, a throwback to 2015 that brings to mind that old Dub Nation swagger, was punctuated by just two simple words:
Even against a team like the Trail Blazers, it was hard to see Golden State looking this good without Kevin Durant, but Curry just went out and set a record for most points in a four-game playoff sweep (146, edging out Shaquille O’Neal and his 145 in the 2002 Finals), Green got his groove back, and Kevon Looney (12 points, 14 rebounds, 5-of-7 shooting) got the national media’s attention.
And all of this despite Klay Thompson playing a garbage fire of a game (17 points, 7-of-21 shooting, for a textbook Bad Game.)
It’s not as though the best of the Blazers didn’t show up for Game 4. Damian Lillard had 28 points on 11-of-24 shooting and CJ McCollum had 26 on 10-of-22. Meyers Leonard (!) led the Blazers with 30 on 12-of-16 shooting and 5-of-8 from three while adding 12 rebounds.
Portland shot 48 percent from the field and 39 percent from long range, but they took only 10 free throws (making 7, against 15-of-19 from the Warriors), got mauled on the boards (56-38, including 15-7 on the offensive glass), and while they turned the ball over 12 times to the Dubs’ 15, they gave away 10 steals and only got 5.
You put all those factors together and any advantage gained from the good shooting evaporated to the tune of a two-point defeat.
The Warriors move on to their fifth straight NBA Finals, becoming the only team ever to do so that didn’t have Bill Russell on it—LeBron James took the Miami Heat to four straight Finals and the Cleveland Cavaliers to another four and is the only player who never had Russell as a teammate to make eight straight Finals (the Celtics made ten in a row from 1957 to 1966 and won eight straight starting in 1959), but Steph, Klay, Draymond, and Andre Iguodala have done it all in one place.
Oh, and those dueling triple-doubles from Steph and Dray? First time in the history of the playoffs that two players have recorded triple-doubles in the same game. And let the record show that they did it in regulation, so no sticking an asterisk on it because the game went to overtime.
That’s worth a runback on a highlight reel, you think?
The @warriors advance as @StephenCurry30 (37 PTS, 13 REB, 11 AST) and @Money23Green (18 PTS, 14 REB, 11 AST) become the first teammates in #NBAPlayoffs history to both record a triple-double in the same game! #DubNation #StrengthInNumbers pic.twitter.com/q0peWC8Jai
— NBA (@NBA) May 21, 2019
The world awaits the result of the Bucks-Raptors series. Game 4 is Tuesday night, and the big questions are will Milwaukee play like hot garbage like they did in Games 1 and 3, and in that instance, will they win anyway because the Raptors play even worse?
There may be as few as six Breakfast Specials left before October…or as many as 11. Whatever the total works out to, stay tuned and thanks for reading!