2018 NBA Finals

2018 NBA Finals
2018 NBA Finals logo.svg
TeamCoachWins
Golden State WarriorsSteve Kerr4
Cleveland CavaliersTyronn Lue0
DatesMay 31 – June 8
MVPKevin Durant
(Golden State Warriors)
TelevisionU.S.:
English: ABC
Spanish: ESPN Deportes
Canada: TSN (Games 1 and 3) Sportsnet (Games 2 and 4)
AnnouncersABC:
ESPN Deportes:
Radio networkESPN Radio (National)
Cleveland Cavaliers Radio Network (Cleveland)
Golden State Warriors Radio Network (Golden State)
AnnouncersMarc Kestecher and Hubie Brown (ESPN Radio)
John Michael and Jim Chones (Cleveland)
Tim Roye, Jim Barnett and Tom Tolbert (Golden State)
Referees
Game 1:Ken Mauer, Tony Brothers, Ed Malloy
Game 2:Mike Callahan, David Guthrie, Derrick Stafford
Game 3:Marc Davis, John Goble, Zach Zarba
Game 4:Scott Foster, James Capers, Jason Phillips
Eastern FinalsCavaliers defeated Celtics, 4–3
Western FinalsWarriors defeated Rockets, 4–3
NBA Finals

The 2018 NBA Finals was the championship series of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 2017–18 season and conclusion of the season's playoffs. In this best-of-seven playoff, the defending NBA champion and Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors swept the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers 4 games to 0. This Finals was the first time in any of North America's four major professional sports leagues that the same two teams met for the championship four years in a row. This was also the first time that a team was swept in the NBA Finals since 2007, in which the Cavaliers were also the losing team. LeBron James, in his eighth consecutive NBA Finals appearance, suffered the second Finals sweeps of his career, having also played in the 2007 NBA Finals. Kevin Durant was named NBA Finals MVP for the second straight year. After his third appearance in the Finals, Durant became the only player to shoot over 50/40/90 for an NBA Finals career under the non-shortened 3-point line.

The Warriors had home-court advantage in the series since they had a better regular season record of 58–24, compared to the Cavaliers 50–32. Entering the Finals matchup, the Warriors were also noted by various sports media outlets as one of the biggest NBA Finals favorites in recent history. This was the first time since 2012 that the Finals did not feature either of the top seeds in each conference. The 2018 Finals began on May 31 and ended on June 8. The series was sponsored by the Internet television service YouTube TV and officially known as the 2018 NBA Finals presented by YouTube TV.

Background

Cleveland Cavaliers

This was the Cleveland Cavaliers' fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals, and fifth appearance overall. This is also the eighth consecutive NBA Finals appearance for LeBron James.

Prior to the 2017–18 season, point guard Kyrie Irving demanded to be traded away from the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers agreed to his request, trading Irving to the Boston Celtics in exchange for point guard Isaiah Thomas, small forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Žižić, the first round pick from the Brooklyn Nets in the 2018 NBA Draft and the Miami Heat's 2020 second round pick. Miami's second round pick was added as compensation after Isaiah Thomas failed his physical. Other major changes included shooting guard Dwyane Wade signing with the Cavaliers, thus reuniting with James from their time together on the Big Three-era Miami Heat, and the signing of point guard Derrick Rose to a one-year contract.

On February 8, 2018 – just before the NBA trade deadline – the Cavaliers radically changed their roster in a little more than an hour, acquiring George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson, and Larry Nance Jr. in exchange for Thomas, Rose, Crowder, Wade, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, and their own 2018 first-round pick. Multiple writers argued at the time that the trades made the Cavaliers significantly better.

The Cavaliers finished the 2017–18 regular season with a 50–32 record, securing the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference. In the playoffs, the Cavaliers defeated the Indiana Pacers in seven games in the first round, swept the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference semifinals, and defeated the Boston Celtics in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Golden State Warriors

This was the Golden State Warriors' fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals. During the 2017–18 offseason, the Warriors resigned their core players, including Stephen Curry to a five-year contract worth $201 million, and Kevin Durant to a two-year, $53 million contract. Golden State also resigned Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Zaza Pachulia, and David West. A major free agent acquired during the offseason was guard Nick Young.

The Warriors finished the 2017–18 regular season with a 58–24 record, winning the Pacific Division and securing the 2nd seed in the Western Conference. In the playoffs, Golden State defeated the San Antonio Spurs in five games in the first round, eliminated the New Orleans Pelicans in five games in the Western Conference semifinals, and defeated the Houston Rockets in seven games in the Western Conference Finals.

The Warriors entered the series as heavy favorites.

Road to the Finals

Cleveland Cavaliers (Eastern Conference champion)Golden State Warriors (Western Conference champion)
Eastern Conference
#TeamWLPCTGBGP
1cToronto Raptors *5923.72082
2xBoston Celtics5527.6714.082
3xPhiladelphia 76ers5230.6347.082
4yCleveland Cavaliers *5032.6109.082
5xIndiana Pacers4834.58511.082
6yMiami Heat *4438.53715.082
7xMilwaukee Bucks4438.53715.082
8xWashington Wizards4339.52416.082
9Detroit Pistons3943.47620.082
10Charlotte Hornets3646.43923.082
11New York Knicks2953.35430.082
12Brooklyn Nets2854.34131.082
13Chicago Bulls2755.32932.082
14Orlando Magic2557.30534.082
15Atlanta Hawks2458.29335.082
4th seed in the East, 6th best league record
Regular season
Western Conference
#TeamWLPCTGBGP
1zHouston Rockets *6517.79382
2yGolden State Warriors *5824.7077.082
3yPortland Trail Blazers *4933.59816.082
4xOklahoma City Thunder4834.58517.082
5xUtah Jazz4834.58517.082
6xNew Orleans Pelicans4834.58517.082
7xSan Antonio Spurs4735.57318.082
8xMinnesota Timberwolves4735.57318.082
9Denver Nuggets4636.56119.082
10Los Angeles Clippers4240.51223.082
11Los Angeles Lakers3547.42730.082
12Sacramento Kings2755.32938.082
13Dallas Mavericks2458.29341.082
14Memphis Grizzlies2260.26843.082
15Phoenix Suns2161.25644.082
2nd seed in the West, 3rd best league record
Defeated the 5th seeded Indiana Pacers, 4–3First roundDefeated the 7th seeded San Antonio Spurs, 4–1
Defeated the 1st seeded Toronto Raptors, 4–0Conference SemifinalsDefeated the 6th seeded New Orleans Pelicans, 4–1
Defeated the 2nd seeded Boston Celtics, 4–3Conference FinalsDefeated the 1st seeded Houston Rockets, 4–3

Regular season series

The Warriors won the regular season series 2–0.

Series summary

GameDateHome TeamResultRoad Team
Game 1Thursday, May 31Golden State Warriors124–114 (OT) (1–0)Cleveland Cavaliers
Game 2Sunday, June 3Golden State Warriors122–103 (2–0)Cleveland Cavaliers
Game 3Wednesday, June 6Cleveland Cavaliers102–110 (0–3)Golden State Warriors
Game 4Friday, June 8Cleveland Cavaliers85–108 (0–4)Golden State Warriors

NBA Finals Series

All times are in Eastern Daylight Time (UTC−4)

Game 1

May 31
9:00 pm
Cleveland Cavaliers 114, Golden State Warriors 124 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 30–29, 26–27, 22–28, 29–23, Overtime: 7–17
Pts: LeBron James 51
Rebs: Kevin Love 13
Asts: LeBron James 8
Pts: Stephen Curry 29
Rebs: Draymond Green 11
Asts: Green, Curry 9 each
Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
Attendance: 19,596
Referees: Ken Mauer, Tony Brothers, Ed Malloy

Klay Thompson of the Warriors suffered a leg injury in the first quarter, but returned to the game in the second quarter. With the score tied at 107 in the last five seconds of regulation, J. R. Smith of the Cavaliers dribbled the ball towards half court rather than taking a final shot. Tyronn Lue, Cleveland's coach, later said that Smith thought the Cavaliers were ahead, though Smith denied not knowing the correct score, and claimed he assumed his team would take a time-out. Cleveland was not able to score in the final seconds and the game went to overtime. In overtime, the Warriors outscored the Cavaliers 17–7 to win the game. Tristan Thompson was ejected following a flagrant foul with 2.6 seconds remaining in overtime.

Cleveland's LeBron James scored 51 points in Game 1, the sixth-highest point total for an NBA Finals game and the most in a loss. After Game 1, James punched a whiteboard in the Cavaliers lockerroom due to frustration, suffering a bone contusion in his hand that he kept private for the remainder of the series.

Game 2

June 3
8:00 pm
Cleveland Cavaliers 103, Golden State Warriors 122
Scoring by quarter: 28–32, 18–27, 34–31, 23–32
Pts: LeBron James 29
Rebs: Kevin Love 10
Asts: LeBron James 13
Pts: Stephen Curry 33
Rebs: Kevin Durant 9
Asts: Stephen Curry 8
Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
Attendance: 19,596
Referees: Mike Callahan, David Guthrie, Derrick Stafford

The Warriors employed more double teams against James in Game 2, limiting him to 29 points. Cleveland had a 41% field goal percentage, including 9-for-27 (33.3%) on three-point field goals. Meanwhile, Golden State's Stephen Curry set an NBA Finals record in Game 2 with nine three-point field goals. He scored 33 points, while the Warriors got 26 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists from Kevin Durant, and 20 points from Klay Thompson. Smith struggled for Cleveland, shooting 2-for-9 (22.2%) with both baskets coming in the first quarter. The Warriors won 122–103 over the Cavaliers.

Game 3

June 6
9:00 pm
Golden State Warriors 110, Cleveland Cavaliers 102
Scoring by quarter: 28–29, 24–29, 31–23, 27–21
Pts: Kevin Durant 43
Rebs: Kevin Durant 13
Asts: Draymond Green 9
Pts: LeBron James 33
Rebs: Kevin Love 13
Asts: LeBron James 11
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Attendance: 20,562
Referees: Marc Davis, John Goble, Zach Zarba

Andre Iguodala of the Warriors, who missed the previous six games, including the first two games of the NBA Finals, due to a left leg injury, returned in Game 3. He injured his right leg early in the game, not returning until after halftime. The Cavaliers started the game with a 14–4 advantage and led for the entire first half, at one point leading by 13. The Warriors trimmed Cleveland's lead to six by halftime. The Cavaliers enjoyed strong contributions from Rodney Hood, who scored 15 points, Smith, who scored 13 points, and Kevin Love, who had 20 points and 13 rebounds.

Durant scored a playoff career-high 43 points, while also contributing 13 rebounds and seven assists, in a 110–102 win over the Cavaliers, helping the Warriors take a 3–0 lead. Golden State withstood poor offensive performances from Curry and Klay Thompson, the Splash Brothers. Curry missed 13 out of his first 14 shot attempts in the game. The Cavaliers were 3-for-17 (17.6%) on three point shots in the second half, and Durant scored a three-pointer late in the game that ended Cleveland's chances of a comeback. With the 110–102 victory, the Warriors took a 3–0 series lead.

Game 4

June 8
9:00 pm
Golden State Warriors 108, Cleveland Cavaliers 85
Scoring by quarter: 34–25, 27–27, 25–13, 22–20
Pts: Stephen Curry 37
Rebs: Kevin Durant 12
Asts: Kevin Durant 10
Pts: LeBron James 23
Rebs: Kevin Love 9
Asts: LeBron James 8
Golden State wins series, 4–0
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Attendance: 20,562
Referees: Scott Foster, James Capers, Jason Phillips

The Warriors led the game nearly from start to finish. Golden State led 13–3 at the start of the game. Though the Cavaliers took the lead, 39–38, in the second quarter, the Warriors led 61–52 at halftime. The Warriors expanded their lead in the third quarter and entered the last period of play with a 86–65 advantage.

With Golden State leading 102–77 with 4:03 remaining, James came out of the game. Curry scored 37 points and made seven three-pointers, while Durant recorded a triple-double with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. The Warriors won 108–85 to sweep the series. Durant was named Finals MVP for the second straight year.

The Warriors' victory parade took place on June 12 in Downtown Oakland.

Rosters

Cleveland Cavaliers

2017–18 Cleveland Cavaliers roster
PlayersCoaches
Pos.No.NameHeightWeightDOB (YYYY-MM-DD)From
G81Calderón, José6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)200 lb (91 kg)1981–09–28Spain
G8Clarkson, Jordan6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)194 lb (88 kg)1992–06–07Missouri
F32Green, Jeff6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)235 lb (107 kg)1986–08–28Georgetown
G3Hill, George6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)188 lb (85 kg)1986–05–04IUPUI
G/F10Holland, John (TW)6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)205 lb (93 kg)1988–11–06Boston University
G/F1Hood, Rodney6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)206 lb (93 kg)1992–10–20Duke
G/F23James, LeBron (C)6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)250 lb (113 kg)1984–12–30St. Vincent–St. Mary HS (OH)
G/F26Korver, Kyle6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)212 lb (96 kg)1981–03–17Creighton
F/C0Love, Kevin (C)6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)251 lb (114 kg)1988–09–07UCLA
F22Nance Jr., Larry6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)230 lb (104 kg)1993–01–01Wyoming
G/F16Osman, Cedi6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)215 lb (98 kg)1995–04–08Turkey
C21Perkins, Kendrick6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)270 lb (122 kg)1984–11–10Clifton J. Ozen HS (TX)
G15Perrantes, London (TW)6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)190 lb (86 kg)1994–10–03Virginia
G/F5Smith, J. R.6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)225 lb (102 kg)1985–09–09Saint Benedict's Prep (NJ)
F/C13Thompson, Tristan6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)238 lb (108 kg)1991–03–13Texas
F9White, Okaro6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)215 lb (98 kg)1992–08–13Florida State
F/C41Žižić, Ante6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)250 lb (113 kg)1997–01–04Croatia
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • (GL) On assignment to G League affiliate
  • (TW) Two-way affiliate player
  • Injured Injured

Roster ��� Transactions
Last transaction: April 11, 2018

Golden State Warriors

2017–18 Golden State Warriors roster
PlayersCoaches
Pos.No.NameHeightWeightDOB (YYYY-MM-DD)From
F/C2Bell, Jordan6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)224 lb (102 kg)1995–01–07Oregon
F25Boucher, Chris (TW)6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)200 lb (91 kg)1993–01–11Oregon
G4Cook, Quinn6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)179 lb (81 kg)1993–03–23Duke
G30Curry, Stephen (C)6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)190 lb (86 kg)1988–03–14Davidson
F35Durant, Kevin6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)240 lb (109 kg)1988–09–29Texas
F23Green, Draymond6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)230 lb (104 kg)1990–03–04Michigan State
G/F9Iguodala, Andre6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)215 lb (98 kg)1984–01–28Arizona
C15Jones, Damian7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)245 lb (111 kg)1995–06–30Vanderbilt
G34Livingston, Shaun6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)192 lb (87 kg)1985–09–11Peoria Central HS (IL)
F/C5Looney, Kevon6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)220 lb (100 kg)1996–02–06UCLA
G0McCaw, Patrick6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)185 lb (84 kg)1995–10–25UNLV
C1McGee, JaVale7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)270 lb (122 kg)1988–01–19Nevada
C27Pachulia, Zaza6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)270 lb (122 kg)1984–02–10Georgia
G11Thompson, Klay6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)215 lb (98 kg)1990–02–08Washington State
F3West, David6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)250 lb (113 kg)1980–08–29Xavier
G/F6Young, Nick6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)210 lb (95 kg)1985–06–01Southern California
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • (GL) On assignment to G League affiliate
  • (TW) Two-way affiliate player
  • Injured Injured

RosterTransactions
Last transaction: April 10, 2018

Player statistics

Legend
  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG% Field-goal percentage 3P% 3-point field-goal percentage FT% Free-throw percentage
 RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
 BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game
Golden State Warriors
PlayerGPGSMPGFG%3FG%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
Kevin Durant4441.3.526.409.96310.87.50.82.328.8
Stephen Curry4440.6.402.4151.0006.06.81.50.827.5
Klay Thompson4437.0.480.429.8003.81.00.50.316.0
Draymond Green4441.4.517.214.8006.08.52.01.59.3
JaVale McGee4313.8.800.000.0002.30.00.01.38.0
Shaun Livingston4016.2.867.0001.0002.81.50.30.07.5
Jordan Bell4013.5.714.000.5003.31.00.30.55.8
Andre Iguodala2022.3.583.5001.0002.00.51.51.09.5
Kevon Looney419.7.714.000.0001.50.30.30.02.5
Zaza Pachulia203.1.333.0001.0001.50.00.00.54.0
David West407.0.6001.000.0001.31.00.00.81.8
Quinn Cook201.8.333.000.0000.00.00.00.01.0
Nick Young409.5.154.100.0000.50.00.00.01.3
Patrick McCaw402.7.000.0001.0000.30.00.30.00.5
Cleveland Cavaliers
PlayerGPGSMPGFG%3FG%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
LeBron James4444.7.527.333.8428.510.01.31.034.0
Kevin Love4433.2.406.321.93811.31.81.00.319.0
J. R. Smith4432.5.317.360.6003.31.31.30.09.5
George Hill4429.2.323.438.5002.32.30.80.37.5
Tristan Thompson4423.4.520.000.3335.30.00.00.86.8
Rodney Hood4014.1.444.200.6673.80.80.50.56.8
Larry Nance Jr.4017.1.500.000.4177.01.50.50.55.8
Jeff Green4024.4.286.2141.0001.32.00.30.35.3
Jordan Clarkson2012.6.231.000.0002.00.51.00.53.0
Kyle Korver4016.2.063.091.6001.80.80.00.31.5
Ante Žižić301.71.000.000.0000.30.00.00.02.0
José Calderón302.5.500.000.0001.00.70.30.01.3
Cedi Osman302.8.400.000.0000.30.00.00.01.3

Sponsorship

For the first time, the NBA sold a presenting sponsorship to the Finals; the internet television service YouTube TV became the first-ever presenting sponsor of the Finals. YouTube TV had previously been the presenting sponsor for the 2017 World Series, the first time that Major League Baseball's championship series had a title sponsor as well. As part of a multi-year partnership deal, YouTube TV also broadcast the NBA Finals.

Broadcast

In the United States, the NBA Finals aired on ABC with Mike Breen as play-by-play commentator, and Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy serving as color commentators. ESPN Radio aired it as well and had Marc Kestecher and Hubie Brown as commentators. ESPN Deportes provided exclusive Spanish-language coverage of The Finals, with a commentary team of Álvaro Martín and Carlos Morales.

Television ratings

GameRatings
(households)
American audience
(in millions)
Ref
110.017.4
210.318.5
310.417.9
411.216.5
Avg12.217.6

See also

External links

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "2018 NBA Finals", which is released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.