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Listing the 3 most recent sweeps in the NBA Finals | NBA Playoffs 2022

The Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy on display during a banner unveiling ceremony.
The Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy on display during a banner unveiling ceremony.
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Victor R. Lopez M.

The Golden State Warriors are on the verge of reaching the NBA Finals for the sixth time in the last eight NBA seasons. The Dubs hold a 3-0 lead over the Dallas Mavericks and are looking to sweep Luka Doncic's squad on the road, but that will not be an easy task.

We've seen only one sweep in the 2022 NBA Playoffs so far. It happened in the Eastern Conference's first round when the Boston Celtics dismantled Kevin Durant's Brooklyn Nets.

Many of the last few games of the 2022 NBA Playoffs have been decided by blowouts. However, this postseason has been really competitive until the conference finals.

Not many expected the Warriors to have the chance to sweep Doncic and his Mavs. Many probably still believe that will not happen, given the competitiveness of the Jason Kidd-led team.

3 most recent sweeps in the NBA Finals

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The most recent sweep seen in the conference finals came in 2019. The Golden State Warriors swept Damian Lillard's Portland Trail Blazers to advance to the finals.

In this article, we will take a look at sweeps in the finals and list the three most recent instances of such a result in the championship round.

Without further ado, let us take a look.

The list will start with the most recent sweep in the NBA Finals.


2018 NBA Finals

2018 NBA Finals - Game 4
2018 NBA Finals - Game 4

There have been nine sweeps in NBA Finals history, with the first one occurring in 1959. The Boston Celtics swept the Minneapolis Lakers to win their second title.

The most recent sweep in Finals history happened in 2018, when the Golden State Warriors swept LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers. The series was a one-sided affair after a close Game 1.

It was certainly expected that the Warriors would defeat Cleveland in the fourth consecutive championship series between the two. The Warriors were improving year by year, while Cleveland was declining year by year.

Kevin Durant, who joined the team for the 2016-17 season, won the Finals MVP award for the second consecutive season. He averaged 28.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game.


2007 NBA Finals

Game 4: San Antonio Spurs vs. Cleveland Cavaliers.
Game 4: San Antonio Spurs vs. Cleveland Cavaliers.

A LeBron James-led team was swept in the finals for the second time in 2018. The first instance came in 2007, when a 22-year-old James led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals. Unfortunately, they ran into the more experienced and more talented San Antonio Spurs.

James led the Cavs beautifully in the 2007 postseason, but he was never going to defeat the Spurs by himself. They also defended him very well. James averaged 22.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game while making 35.6% of his field goals.

It was the Spurs' fourth title since 1999 and Tim Duncan's fourth as well. It was also the third championship for Tony Parker and Manu Ginóbili, with Parker winning Finals MVP honors.


2002 NBA Finals

Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant.
Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant.

The first sweep of the Finals in the 21st century came in 2002, when the Shaquille O'Neal-Kobe Bryant LA Lakers dismantled the New Jersey Nets.

The title was the LA Lakers' third in a row, while O'Neal won his third consecutive Finals MVP trophy. O'Neal averaged 36.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and made 59.5% of his field goals.

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Kobe Bryant also averaged 26.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game, on 51/54/80 shooting splits.

The LA Lakers were highly dominant on offense, making 50.5% of their field goals and 47.5% of their three-point attempts in the series (they had 61 attempts from three in the entire series and made 29).


Edited by Adam Dickson
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