The 2018 NBA Championship Series — Cavaliers and Warriors


By Ron Griffitts

Contributing columnist

In summer 2018, the Cleveland Cavaliers 50-32 coached by Tyronn Lue with general manager Koby Altman met the Golden State Warriors 58-24 coached by Steve Kerr with general manager Bob Myers for the fourth consecutive year in the NBA finals.

The Cavaliers got past the Indiana Pacers 4-3, the Toronto Raptors 4-0 and the Boston Celtics in very close series, 4-3 to earn the right to play in the finals.

They were led by LeBron James (27.5 ppg, 9.1 apg, 8.6 rpg), Kevin Love (17.6 ppg, 9.3 rpg), Dwayne Wade (11.2 ppg), Jeff Green (12.8 ppg) and Larry Nance, Jr. (7 rpg) but one of their biggest stars Kyrie Irving had requested to be traded in mid-season and the Cavaliers without him were not as offensively oriented.

The Warriors defeated the San Antonio Spurs 4-1, the New Orleans Pelicans 4-1, and the Houston Rockets 4-3 to get to the finals and were led by Kevin Durant (26.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 7.3 apg), Stephen Curry (26.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 6.1 apg), Klay Thompson (20.0 ppg) and Dremond Green (11.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 7.3 apg).

Game one was in Oracle Arena in Oakland, California and was a close game throughout. In a key play with just 36 seconds remaining in the game with the Warriors having the ball and the Cavs ahead 104-102, Durant was called for a charging foul as he drove on LeBron James which would have given the ball to the Cavaliers.

But, the referees conferred and reversed the call and called James for a foul. Durant made the two free throws to tie the game which went into overtime where the Warriors won 124-114.

LeBron James was so frustrated that he hit a wall with his hand, injuring it and was not as effective as a result for the rest of the series.

James led Cleveland with 51 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists while Kevin Love added 21 points and 13 rebounds. For Golden State Stephen Curry had 29 points and 9 assists, Kevin Durant and 26 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists and Klay Thompson added 24 points.

Game two was still in Oakland and the Warriors led for most of the game and pulled out a 122-103 win to go up 2-0 in the series.

Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 26 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists while Stephen Curry had 33 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists and Klay Thompson added 20 points.

LeBron led Cleveland with 29 points, 9 rebounds and 13 assists and Keven Love had 22 points and 10 rebounds.

For game three, the teams moved to Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The Cavs played better but Golden State was too strong and even though Steph Curry and Klay Thompson did not have good games, Kevin Durant stepped up with 43 points, including 6 three pointers and the Warriors took a 3-0 lead with a 110-102 victory.

LeBron led Cleveland with 33 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists and Kevin Love contributed 20 points and 13 points.

Game four was more of the same as in that game Stephen Curry stepped up with 37 points with the help of 7 three pointers and Golden State finished the sweep of the Cavaliers with a 108-85 win for their third title in four years.

Kevin Durant got his second consecutive finals’ MVP award and LeBron James, playing in his eighth consecutive final, played his last game as a Cleveland Cavalier with a 23 point, 7 rebound, and 8 assist performance.

Cleveland has not been back to the finals while Golden State was back the following year.

Both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson’s fathers played in the NBA as did Warrior head coach Steve Kerr who played on the Michael Jordan led Chicago Bulls title winning teams. As a player, he won three titles with the Bulls and two with the San Antonio Spurs as well as four more as a coach with the Warriors.

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