The Golden State Warriors are the Owners of a Surprising NBA Finals Record

Unless you’re 10 years old, the Golden State Warriors aren’t the team that comes to mind when you think of NBA Finals appearances. Before this year, the Warriors have been to the championship round 11 times, including twice as the San Francisco Warriors and three times as the Philadelphia Warriors. Five of those Golden State Warriors appearances came between 2015 and 2019.

The Boston Celtics, Golden State’s opponent in the 2022 NBA Finals, are making their 22nd appearance in the NBA Finals. The Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers have been there 32 times.

While the Celtics and Lakers are no strangers to the championship round, it’s the Warriors who own a surprising NBA Finals record.

The Golden State Warriors are the only team with multiple sweeps in the NBA Finals

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors celebrates with the Larry O’Brien Trophy after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 8, 2018, in Cleveland, Ohio. | Justin K. Aller/Getty Images.

In the history of the league, there have only been nine sweeps in the NBA Finals. Eight different franchises have pulled off 4-0 wins in the championship series. Only the Warriors have done it twice.

Back in 1975, the Warriors, under head coach Al Attles, swept the Washington Bullets. Led by Rick Barry, the Warriors made quick work of the Bullets, although it wasn’t easy.

Two of Golden State’s wins were by one point. Barry was the difference, averaging 29.5 points in the series. He put up 36 points in a 92-91 Game 2 victory and added 38 the next game when Golden State won 109-101 for its biggest margin of victory in the series.

In the 2018 NBA Finals, the Warriors pulled off their second sweep. This time, it came at the hands of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Unlike the series against the Bullets, this one wasn’t even close.

Despite 51 points from James in the series opener, the Warriors still managed to cruise 124-114. Golden State had a balanced attack with 29 points from Stephen Curry, 26 from Kevin Durant, and 24 from Klay Thompson.

It was much of the same for the rest of the series. The closest the Cavs came was in Game 3 when James scored 33 points in a 110-102 loss. Durant outshined King James with 43 points.

The Warriors closed out the series by crushing the Cavs 108-85 in Game 4.

The Warriors unlikely to earn their third sweep

The Warriors enter the 2022 NBA Finals as a slight favorite against the Celtics. The series begins Thursday, and it’s not likely Golden State will get another sweep. The Celtics have been red-hot since mid-January. Boston hasn’t suffered consecutive losses since March 28 and March 30. In that March 28 game at the Toronto Raptors, the Celtics played without four starters.

Here is a list of the seven other sweeps that have taken place in the NBA Finals

  • 1959: Boston Celtics over the Minneapolis Lakers
  • 1971: Milwaukee Bucks over the Baltimore Bullets
  • 1983: Philadelphia 76ers over the Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1989: Detroit Pistons over the Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1995: Houston Rockets over the Orlando Magic
  • 2002: Los Angeles Lakers over the New Jersey Nets
  • 2007: San Antonio Spurs over the Cleveland Cavaliers

The Warriors and Celtics are meeting for the first time in the postseason since 1964. During that meeting, the Celtics, under head coach Red Auerbach, knocked off the San Francisco Warriors 4-1. The teams played twice during the regular season this year, each winning on the other’s home court.

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