After eliminating the Rockets in Game 6 on Friday night to advance to the Western Conference finals, the Warriors now are one stage away from a fifth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals.
In each of the previous four occurrences, LeBron James awaited them on the other side. This year, however, that certainly won't be the case.
James and the Lakers missed the playoffs, so his individual streak of eight consecutive trips to the Finals is over. But he knows as well as anyone the kind of challenge the Warriors pose, having won a single championship to their three, and he shared as much following their scintillating close-out victory in Houston.
Steph Curry scored all 33 of his points in the second half of that victory, including 23 in the highest-scoring fourth quarter of his decorated career.
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One of James' closest former teammates -- a certain first-ballot Hall of Famer in his own right -- wasn't surprised by Curry's dominant display, and had a message for the haters.
James and Wade have six championships and four Finals MVPs between them, so they know of what they speak.
It was hard not to be impressed with Golden State's effort in eliminating the Rockets, and clearly James and Wade were included in that group.