The Golden State Warriors are rewriting NBA history by going where only the Boston Celtics have been before.
The Warriors topped the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night at Moda Center in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals to complete their series sweep and clinch a place in the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive season.
Golden State becomes the first team since the legendary Boston Celtics of the 1950s and 1960s to reach five consecutive NBA Finals. However the Warriors will have to sustain their success much longer if they are to match those Celtics, who competed in the NBA’s championship series every season between 1957 and 1966.
Warriors forward Draymond Green addressed his team’s Finals streak after the Warriors’ Game 4 win over the Trail Blazers.
“It’s special,” Green told ESPN. “The first since Boston? Yeah, that’s special. We’ve been through a lot. It just wasn’t all peaches to get here. We’ve had our mountains to climb, but for this group to stick together and do the unthinkable, it’s special. Nonetheless, our goal was never to make five straight Finals, it’s to win. So, our work ain’t done yet.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr also stressed the historical significance of his team’s achievement.
“I hope it doesn’t go unnoticed or underrated,” Kerr told ESPN. “You know, five straight Finals hasn’t been done since the ’60s, since Bill Russell’s Celtics. Hasn’t been done for a reason: It’s really, really difficult.
The Warriors are just the sixth team in the history of the four major North American sports to reach the championship in five consecutive seasons. The New York Islanders were the last team to join the exclusive club, having accomplished the feat between 1979 and 1984.
The Warriors are the two-time defending NBA champions and will play for their fourth title in five seasons, starting May 30 with Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Either the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors will face the Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals. Milwaukee leads Toronto in the Eastern Conference finals 2-1, with Game 4 set for Tuesday night.