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The NBA Finals series is culmination of the NBA season. It is the equivalent of a Grand Final series that decides the winner of the NBA season, played over seven games.
The Golden State Warriors won their third title in the past four years when they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-0 in 2018.
The results of the 2018 Finals series are below.
|Game||Winner||Loser||Margin (score)||Series score|
|Game 1||Golden State Warriors||Cleveland Cavaliers||10 (124-114)||Warriors 1-0|
|Game 2||Golden State Warriors||Cleveland Cavaliers||19 (122-103)||Warriors 2-0|
|Game 3||Golden State Warriors||Cleveland Cavaliers||8 (110-102)||Warriors 3-0|
|Game 4||Golden State Warriors||Cleveland Cavaliers||21 (108-85)||Warriors 4-0|
The regular season traditionally ends in mid-April, with the playoffs starting just days later. The NBA Finals, following the playoffs, traditionally commence in June.
To qualify for the NBA Finals teams must finish in the top eight places of their respective conference, and win their way through to become conference champion during what are called the playoffs.
Playoff matches are played as part of a best of seven game series whereby the top four teams in each conference play their lower ranked counterparts – 1 v 8, 2 v 7, 3 v 6, 4 v 5.
Teams progress forward when they have won four games against an opponent until they are knocked-out of contention or remain as the lone team standing in their conference.
The Finals sees the East and West conference winners competing for the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.
For much of the NBA’s nascent years the Finals were dominated by the Boston Celtics and Minneapolis Lakers (now Los Angeles Lakers). From 1947-56 the Lakers won an incredible five from six championships, not to be outdone in the years 1957-69 Bill Russell and the Celtics won 11 from 12. The Celtics have also had considerable success from the 1980s onward.
In the era spanning 1990 – 2000 the competition was dominated by Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, arguably one of the greatest basketball teams of all time. In the modern era, 2000-present, the Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs have dominated, with the LeBron James-led Miami Heat winning twice.
In total, the Celtics have won the most championships to date (17), with the Lakers second (16) and Bulls third (6). Winning a Larry O’Brien Trophy is considered so prestigious amongst players and fans alike that they will largely ignore individuals from discussions of greatness if they have not won a ring, or an NBA Finals most-valuable player (MVP) title.
After the Cavaliers won the title from 3-1 down in 2016, the Warriors were keen to bounce back when the sides met again in 2017, and they did.
The Warriors were dominant holding home court across the first two games with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant leading the way for them to record a couple of big wins. Draymond Green was dominant in the paint, and their bench out-played the Cavaliers in every way imaginable.
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving helped bring the Cavaliers back to 3-1, but in Oakland, the Warriors would wrap the championship up with a nine-point victory on home court.
The Warriors went back-to-back earlier last year when they took down Cleveland in a dominant 4-0 series sweep. It was their third title in four years.