Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors have made 50-year history qualifying for their fifth consecutive NBA Finals series, earning praise from coach Steve Kerr.
Not since the Boston Celtics reached 10 NBA Finals Series in a row from 1957 to 1966 has a side progressed to the decider five times in a row.
The Warriors booked their spot in the NBA Finals after sweeping Portland Trailblazers 4-0 in the Western Conference Finals, completing the job with a 119-117 overtime win on Monday night.
Golden State achieved the win having trailed by 17 points in the third quarter and without injured trio Kevin Durant, DaMarcus Cousins and Andre Iguodala.
The trio will all get valuable tie to recover ahead of game one on Thursday 30 May against either Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors.
Kerr hailed his star-studded side’s resilience to progress to another NBA Finals amid injuries.
“I hope it doesn’t go unnoticed or underrated,” Kerr said.
“Five straight finals hasn’t been done since the 60s, since Bill Russell’s Celtics. It hasn’t been done for a reason: It’s really, really difficult.
“I just can’t say enough about the competitive desire of the group of players that we have here and the culture that they have built together.
“Playing together regardless of injury. Being without Kevin these last five games has put us in a really tough spot and our guys stepped up in a big way.
“A couple years back, we were without Steph for over a two-year period, I think he missed like 12 playoff games we won nine of them. So the group has a fibre to them; where guys go down, they find a way to come together and compete and win.
“I think the experience of winning titles helps you in these moments and it helps you continue to move forward and come away with victories like tonight.”
Curry posted 37 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists while Draymond Green added 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. Klay Thompson also contributed 17 points and blanketed Damian Lillard’s last-gasp shot.
Speaking about Curry and Green, Kerr added: “They are fun to watch. They are kind of made for each other from a basketball standpoint.
“They have been doing this for a long time, so they have got a real feel for each other.”
Milwaukee currently leads the Raptors 2-1 in the Eastern Conference finals ahead of game four on Tuesday 21 May in Toronto.