PORTLAND, Ore. — Competitive sweep? It sounds like an oxymoron, but it provided a bit of consolation for the Portland Trail Blazers after the franchise’s longest playoff run in 19 years ended with a four-game dismissal by the dynastic Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.
“We were very competitive in this series, even though it was a sweep,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said after what he described as a “special season” ended with a 119-117 overtime loss in Monday’s Game 4.
The Trail Blazers actually led for more minutes in the series than the Warriors by a 101-83 margin. Portland’s problem, however, was that no lead was large enough against Golden State.
According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the Blazers became the only team over the past two decades to lose three games that they led by at least 15 points in the same playoff series. The Warriors rallied from a 17-point deficit in Game 2, from 18 down in Game 3 and from another 17-point deficit in Game 4.
“We had to fight and scrap,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after Golden State clinched its fifth consecutive NBA Finals appearance. “In the end, i