The Golden State Warriors are back in the NBA Finals, seeking their second consecutive championship over the Cavaliers.
Here is a look at how the Warriors advanced through the Western Conference playoffs:
Down go the Rockets
The Warriors dispatched the Houston Rockets in five games in the first round. The Warriors won the first two games at home 104-78 and 115-106, dropped the third game 97-96 and then won the final two games 121-94 and 114-81.
Stephen Curry, the NBA Most Valuable Player in each of the past two seasons, scored 24 first-half points, a postseason career high for scoring in the first half, in Game 1 before leaving twice in the second half to have his right ankle re-taped. He missed Games 2 and 3 due to the ankle injury, returned in Game 4, but left that game after 19 minutes with a sprained right knee. He missed Game 5 with a sprained MCL in his right knee.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors in scoring in three of the wins with a high game of 34 points.
In Game 4, the Warriors made an NBA playoff-record 21 three-pointers in 40 attempts, a mark the Cavs topped on May 4 with 25 3-pointers en route to a 123-98 home victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Curry comes back
Curry returned to play in Games 4 and 5 of the semifinals and help the Warriors defeat the Portland Trail Blazers in five games. The Warriors won the first two games at home 118-106 and 110-99, lost the third game 120-108 and won the final two games 132-125 in overtime and 125-121 in regulation.
The Blazers, led by Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Al-Farouq Aminu, proved to be formidable opponents, but the Warriors were not to be denied from advancing with superior shooting from Thompson, Curry and Green.
Curry scored 17 points in overtime of Game 4 on May 9 at Portland, an NBA record for points scored in any overtime (regular season or postseason), and finished with 40 points and eight assists as a reserve, becoming the first player since Nick Van Exel in 2003 to score 40 points as a reserve in a playoff game.
Thompson led the Warriors in scoring in three of the wins with a high game of 37 points.
Thompson finished the series with 28 3-pointers (28-of-56), an NBA record for most 3-pointers made in a five-game series.
More Splash Brothers
The Warriors, 73-9 in the regular season, needed seven games to get past the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference finals. The Thunder held a 3-1 edge in the series, but Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and their teammates were unable to finish off the defending NBA champions, who became the 10th team to rally from a 3-1 deficit and win a postseason series.
Curry led Golden State to a 96-88 win in Game 7, scoring 36 points with eight assists, five rebounds and seven 3-pointers to finish with an NBA-record 32 in a seven-game series. Thompson added 21 points and six 3-pointers, two days after his NBA-record 11 3-pointers in 18 attempts and 41 points led the Warriors to a 108-101 win in Game 6 in Oklahoma City.
The teams split the first two games with the Thunder taking Game 1 108-102 and the Warriors winning Game 2 118-91. The Thunder won the next two games 133-105 and 118-94, but the Warriors were victorious in the final three 120-111, 108-101 and 96-88.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the #ABJVarsity high school blog at www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBeavenABJ.