Golden State Warriors clinch third straight finals appearance

Bryon Pointer,

The Golden State Warriors annihilated the San Antonio Spurs Monday in the fourth and final game of the Western Conference finals, and are now the only team in playoff history to go into the NBA finals at 12-0.

Stephen Curry, with an astounding 36 points in the final game, led the Warriors to another clean sweep. MVP finalist Kawhi Leonard remained sidelined due to his tweaked ankle, so the Spurs were no match.

From the beginning of the series, it seemed farfetched that the Warriors would sweep the Spurs. The team barely prevailed in game one with a score of 113-111, and the Spurs controlled the tempo for the majority of the game. That was until Leonard tweaked his ankle again. After Leonard checked himself out of the game, Curry and the Warriors exposed the weaknesses in the Spur’s defense and made a monster comeback from a 25-point deficit to winning the game by 2, putting the Warriors at 1-0 in the series and 9-0 in playoff record.

In Game 2, Gregg Popovich made the conscious decision to sit out Leonard, as his ankle was still not up to par. A source told ESPN’s Michael C. Wright after Leonard was ruled out for Game 3 the Spurs “will always prioritize a player’s long-term health over single games,” even when the playoffs are involved.The Warriors capitalized on the situation, placing the western conference finals at a 2-0 record. The Warriors dismantled the Spurs with a final score of 136-100.

Game 3 ended much the same as game 2: Kevin Durant and Splash brother Curry continued to bombard the Spurs with another victory. The score concluded at 120-108 in game 3.

The pressure is high as the Warriors prepare themselves for another finals appearance. Fans are witnessing history in the making, as the Warriors chase another championship to solidify their place in basketball history. This will be the Warriors’ third finals appearance in three seasons.

The Cavs lead the series 3-1 against the Boston Celtics. Assuming the Cavaliers (12-1) prevail in the Eastern Conference Finals tonight, the rivalry between the Warriors and the Cavaliers will go down as one of the best in history: Magic Johnson vs Larry Bird in the Lakers vs Celtics finals in 1959, Michael Jordan and the Bulls vs the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons from 1988 to 1991, and NBA MVP Kobe Bryant vs the big three Celtics Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen in 2008 and 2010.

Last year in the NBA finals, the Warriors gave up a 3-0 lead and lost in Game 7 against Lebron James and the Cavaliers. Lebron performed miraculously in last year’s finals, and he’s performing phenomenally now. His aggressive approach to the game, assertiveness on the floor, and killer instinct has ascended him as a player.

The Warriors cannot afford to get comfortable or complacent. They must capitalize on their wave of wins and come out strong. The real battle has yet to come: The King vs. the Baby Face Killer. The Warriors will have to be cool, calm, and collective throughout the Championship series. It will have to be a perfect mix of Warrior basketball and playoff basketball. A bout of reduced turnovers, constructive possessions, and keen decision making.

Now we get to witness another epic showdown between an unstoppable force and an unmovable object.