Thursday night’s 120-110 victory over Dallas propelled the Warriors into the NBA Finals for the sixth time in eight years. They became the first team in 24 years to achieve the feat, since Jordan and the Chicago Bulls (1991-98).
Or look at it this way: These Warriors and those Bulls are the only teams in the past 30 years to make the Finals six times in an eight-year span.
Travel deeper back in time and Golden State became the fourth franchise in NBA history to pull off the six-in-eight trick. The Boston Celtics (between 1955 and ’70) and Los Angeles Lakers (1962-73 and 1980-91) each did it several times, including Boston’s staggering run of 10 consecutive Finals trips (1957-66).
The Warriors added a fresh twist because they plunged into sporting oblivion after five consecutive berths in the championship series. They returned to the Finals only two years removed from having the NBA’s worst record (15-50), in the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season.
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Dig into league history and one long-ago comparison emerges: The Minneapolis Lakers lost in the 1959 Finals one year after posting a league-worst 19-53 record. Big distinction: There were only eight teams in the NBA then, and there are 30 now.
Head coach Steve Kerr understands the history better than most, in part because he played on the Bulls teams that reached the Finals (and won the title) in 1996, ’97 and ’98.
“I think the common…