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Golden State into fifth straight NBA Finals

The Golden State Warriors are through to their fifth straight NBA Finals after a 119-117 overtime win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Stephen Curry and Draymond Green combined to claim the game-clinching score in Portland. The pair produced triple-double performances as the defending champions ensured they swept the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals series 4-0.

They will face either the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors in the Finals. Golden State joins the Boston Celtics – who made 10 straight NBA Finals between 1957-66, winning nine of them – as the only team ever to reach at least five consecutive NBA Finals after winning their 11th consecutive playoff series. “I hope it doesn’t go unnoticed,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

“Five straight Finals hasn’t been done since the ‘60s, hasn’t been done for a reason. It’s very, very difficult.” Curry finished with 37 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, while Green chipped in with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists as the Warriors eased past Portland. Their triple-doubles (double-digit total in three of the following categories: points, total rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks) were the first posted by teammates in an NBA playoff game as the Warriors again fought back from a half-time deficit, as they did in games two and three.

Portland led 69-65 at half-time and 95-78 late in the third quarter. The Warriors’ victory means it is the first time a team has erased 15-point deficits in three consecutive playoff wins. Meyers Leonard scored a career-high 30 points for Portland, although Curry’s lay-up drew the Warriors level at 104-104 with four minutes 34 seconds remaining.

The game was tied at 111-111 at the end of regulation time before Curry spotted Green open for a three-pointer to give the Warriors a 119-115 lead with just 39.6 seconds remaining in overtime.

Damian Lillard, who had 28 points, got Portland within two with 32.8 seconds left but then had a shot blocked before misfiring a desperate three-point attempt at the death. Stephen and younger brother Seth made history in the series, becoming the first brothers to face off in an NBA Conference Final. (BBC Sport)

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