2018 NBA Finals
|Dates||May 31 – June 8|
(Golden State Warriors)
Spanish: ESPN Deportes
Canada: TSN (Games 1 and 3) Sportsnet (Games 2 and 4)
ESPN Radio (National)|
Cleveland Cavaliers Radio Network (Cleveland)
Golden State Warriors Radio Network (Golden State)
Marc Kestecher and Hubie Brown (ESPN Radio)|
John Michael and Jim Chones (Cleveland)
Tim Roye, Jim Barnett and Tom Tolbert (Golden State)
|Eastern Finals||Cavaliers defeated Celtics, 4–3|
|Western Finals||Warriors defeated Rockets, 4–3|
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.
- 1 Background
- 2 Series summary
- 3 NBA Finals Series
- 4 Rosters
- 5 Player statistics
- 6 Sponsorship
- 7 Broadcast
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
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)|
|Defeated the 5th seeded Indiana Pacers, 4–3||First round||Defeated the 7th seeded San Antonio Spurs, 4–1|
|Defeated the 1st seeded Toronto Raptors, 4–0||Conference Semifinals||Defeated the 6th seeded New Orleans Pelicans, 4–1|
|Defeated the 2nd seeded Boston Celtics, 4–3||Conference Finals||Defeated the 1st seeded Houston Rockets, 4–3|
Regular season series
The Warriors won the regular season series 2–0.
December 25, 2017
|Cleveland Cavaliers 92, Golden State Warriors 99|
January 15, 2018
|Golden State Warriors 118, Cleveland Cavaliers 108|
|Game||Date||Home Team||Result||Road Team|
|Game 1||Thursday, May 31||Golden State Warriors||124–114 (OT) (1–0)||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Game 2||Sunday, June 3||Golden State Warriors||122–103 (2–0)||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Game 3||Wednesday, June 6||Cleveland Cavaliers||102–110 (0–3)||Golden State Warriors|
|Game 4||Friday, June 8||Cleveland Cavaliers||85–108 (0–4)||Golden State Warriors|
NBA Finals Series
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.
|May 31||Cleveland Cavaliers||114–124 (OT)||Golden State Warriors||Oracle Arena, Oakland, California|
|9:00 pm||Scoring by quarter: 30–29, 26–27, 22–28, 29–23 , Overtime: 7–17|
|ABC||Pts: LeBron James 51
Rebs: Kevin Love 13
Asts: LeBron James 8
|Boxscore||Pts: Stephen Curry 29
Rebs: Draymond Green 11
Asts: Green, Curry 9 each
Referees: Ken Mauer, Tony Brothers, Ed Malloy
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.
|June 3||Cleveland Cavaliers||103–122||Golden State Warriors||Oracle Arena, Oakland, California|
|8:00 pm||Scoring by quarter: 28–32, 18–27, 34–31, 23–32|
|ABC||Pts: LeBron James 29
Rebs: Kevin Love 10
Asts: LeBron James 13
|Boxscore||Pts: Stephen Curry 33
Rebs: Kevin Durant 9
Asts: Stephen Curry 8
Referees: Mike Callahan, David Guthrie, Derrick Stafford
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.
|June 6||Golden State Warriors||110–102||Cleveland Cavaliers||Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio|
|9:00 pm||Scoring by quarter: 28–29, 24–29, 31–23, 27–21|
|ABC||Pts: Kevin Durant 43
Rebs: Kevin Durant 13
Asts: Draymond Green 9
|Boxscore||Pts: LeBron James 33
Rebs: Kevin Love 13
Asts: LeBron James 11
Referees: Marc Davis, John Goble, Zach Zarba
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.
|June 8||Golden State Warriors||108–85
(Series: Golden State wins series, 4–0)
|Cleveland Cavaliers||Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio|
|9:00 pm||Scoring by quarter: 34–25, 27–27, 25–13, 22–20|
|ABC||Pts: Stephen Curry 37
Rebs: Kevin Durant 12
Asts: Kevin Durant 10
|Boxscore||Pts: LeBron James 23
Rebs: Kevin Love 9
Asts: LeBron James 8
Referees: Scott Foster, James Capers, Jason Phillips
|2017–18 Cleveland Cavaliers roster|
Golden State Warriors
|2017–18 Golden State Warriors roster|
|GP||Games 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
- Cleveland Cavaliers
|J. R. Smith||4||4||32.5||.317||.360||.600||3.3||1.3||1.3||0.0||9.5|
|Larry Nance Jr.||4||0||17.1||.500||.000||.417||7.0||1.5||0.5||0.5||5.8|
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.
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.
- Stein, Marc (May 28, 2018). "Warriors Dispatch Rockets, Setting Up Fourth Finals Against Cavs". The New York Times. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
- "Player Game Finder". Retrieved 14 June 2018.
- "2018 NBA Finals Odds: Warriors-Cavs IV". Sports Illustrated. May 30, 2018. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
- Purdum, David (May 29, 2018). "Warriors open over Cavs in Vegas as largest Finals favorites in 16 seasons". ESPN. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
- D'Andrea, Christian (May 29, 2018). "The Cleveland Cavaliers are historic NBA Finals betting underdogs". SB Nation. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
- "NBA, YouTube TV announce first-ever partnership for 2018 Finals". USA Today. March 26, 2018. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
- Zillgitt, Jeff. "'He gives you a chance': Don't take LeBron James' incredible NBA Finals streak for granted". USA Today.
- Ellentuck, Matt (August 30, 2017). "Kyrie Irving trade finalized with Celtics adding 2020 2nd-round pick". SB Nation. Archived from the original on June 9, 2018.
- "Cavaliers Sign Dwyane Wade". NBA.com/cavaliers. September 27, 2017. Archived from the original on June 9, 2018.
- Haynes, Chris (July 25, 2017). "Derrick Rose signs 1-year, $2.1 million contract with Cavaliers". ESPN. Archived from the original on June 8, 2018.
- Ellentuck, Matt (February 8, 2018). "The Cavaliers traded nearly half their team just before the trade deadline". SB Nation. Archived from the original on June 9, 2018.
- Petersen, Matt (February 8, 2018). "Cleveland Cavaliers undergo series of reported trade makeovers". National Basketball Association. Archived from the original on June 9, 2018.
- Bontemps, Tim (February 8, 2018). "The Cavaliers won the trade deadline, and have emerged as a legit NBA finals contender again". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
- Vardon, Joe (February 8, 2018). "Win now and keep LeBron James? NBA source says Cavaliers' trades a 'win-win'". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
- Schuhmann, John (February 9, 2018). "Numbers notebook: Cleveland Cavaliers upgrade at the trade deadline". National Basketball Association. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- "2017–18 Cleveland Cavaliers Schedule and Results". Basketball Reference. Retrieved May 27, 2018.
- "NBA Finals: Get set for Warriors-Cavaliers, Version 4.0". The Mercury News. May 31, 2018. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- Marshall, Marissa. "Warriors keep stars, lose role players". The Pioneer. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- "Warriors sign free agent guard Nick Young". NBA.com/warriors. July 7, 2017. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
- "2017–18 Golden State Warriors Schedule and Results". Basketball Reference. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
- Bonesteel, Matt (May 29, 2018). "LeBron James, underdog: NBA's top star once again faces long odds in NBA Finals". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
- "Warriors withstand James' 51 points to win NBA Finals Game 1". CBS News. Associated Press. June 3, 2018. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- Golliver, Ben (June 1, 2018). "Anatomy of a Blunder: Inside J.R. Smith's Devastating Game 1 Mistake". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
- Walker, Mollie (May 30, 2018). "New footage shows LeBron James' bench reaction to J.R. Smith's blunder". New York Post. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
- "If LeBron James scored 51 points with one eye in Game 1, what's he need for Game 2 against the Warriors?". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
- "LeBron James injured hand punching whiteboard following Game 1 loss". USA Today. May 16, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- Ward, Colin (June 4, 2018). "NBA Finals 2018: LeBron James shows he's human in Game 2, and that's just not good enough for these Cavs". CBSSports.com. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- Amick, Sam. "Steph Curry's historic NBA Finals Game 2 a window to Warriors before Kevin Durant". USA Today. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
- "Curry dazzles from deep, Warriors take 2–0 NBA Finals lead". ESPN. June 3, 2018. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
- "Cavs' J.R. Smith struggles in Game 2 after Game 1 blunder". Associated Press. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- "Warriors clear Andre Iguodala to play in Game 3 of finals". Associated Press. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- "2018 NBA Finals injury updates: Warriors' Andre Iguodala will play in Game 4 vs. Cavs". CBSSports.com. April 16, 2018. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- Cacciola, Scott (June 6, 2018). "Kevin Durant Pulls Warriors Closer to Another N.B.A. Title". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
- "Cavaliers let chances slip away _ again _ in NBA Finals". Associated Press. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- "Kevin Durant's Playoff Career-High 43 Points Leads Warriors to Game 3 Win, 3–0 Series Lead [Video]". Yahoo!. April 5, 2016. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
- "Durant has 43, Warriors take 3–0 NBA Finals lead over Cavs". ESPN. June 6, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
- "Kevin Durant's Game 3 masterpiece leaves Warriors one win shy of NBA title | NBA". Sporting News. May 16, 2018. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
- Owens, Jason. "Warriors beat Cavs into submission, secure 3rd NBA championship in 4 years". Yahoo. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- Cacciola, Scott; Hoffman, Benjamin; Stein, Marc (June 8, 2018). "Warriors, in Full Dynasty Mode, Sweep Cavaliers in N.B.A. Finals". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
- Bontemps, Tim (June 9, 2018). "Warriors sweep LeBron James, Cavaliers to claim second straight NBA championship". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
- Letourneau, Connor (June 9, 2018). "Sweep! Warriors finish off Cavs for back-to-back championships". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Dowd, Katie (June 8, 2018). "Warriors NBA title parade set for Tuesday in Oakland". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- "Oakland again celebrates NBA champion Golden State Warriors". NBA.com. 12 June 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
- "NBA, YouTube TV Announce Partnership To Air 2018 Finals". Sports Illustrated. March 26, 2018. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
- Carafdo, Ben. "2018 NBA Finals Exclusively on ABC: Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers in Historic Fourth-Consecutive Championship Series". ESPN MediaZone. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
- Paulsen. "Four is Enough: Finals Game 1 Behind Previous Cavs-Warriors Openers". Sports Media Watch. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
- Paulsen. "Interest in Cavs-Warriors Strong, But Slipping". Sports Media Watch. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
- Paulsen (June 7, 2018). "NBA Finals Strong, But Down Again, in Game 3". Sports Media Watch. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
- Paulsen (June 9, 2018). "NBA Finals Ends With Lowest Overnight of Warriors-Cavs Era". Sports Media Watch. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- Paulsen. "NBA Finals Ends With Lows, Particularly in Young Demos". Sports Media Watch. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- O'Connell, Michael (June 9, 2018). "TV Ratings: NBA Finals Take a Hit With Blowout Conclusion". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 11, 2018.