Bears Insider

Steph and LeBron's impressive Finals streak ends with Lakers loss

Bears Insider
Steph Curry, LeBron James

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers were sent packing Thursday night, as Devin Booker poured in 47 points in the Phoenix Suns' 113-100 win to eliminate the defending champions from the playoffs.

With James headed for summer vacation and Steph Curry and the Warriors already having been eliminated from the NBA play-in tournament, it is officially a new day in the NBA.

For each of the past 11 seasons, the NBA Finals has featured one or both of Curry and James. That impressive streak now comes to an end with both the Warriors and Lakers sipping Mai Thais and looking to retool to get back into title contention next season.

But Curry and James' streak is part of another interesting nugget in NBA history. For each of the past 30 seasons, the NBA Finals have included either Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Curry or James.

This will be the first Finals since 1990 to not feature one of those all-time greats.

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The Lakers head into the offseason with injuries and a poor roster construction to blame for their early exit. Los Angeles opened the season 22-7 and looked like a juggernaut that would walk to another Finals appearance. But injuries to James and Davis zapped them of any possible late-season momentum, and with the two superstars hobbled -- Davis missed Game 5 and played just five minutes of Game 6 -- the Lakers were unable to overcome a lack of shooting and spacing.

As for the Warriors, the return of Klay Thompson will give them a much-needed boost, but president of basketball operations Bob Myers knows he needs to do more to put a real championship-caliber roster around Curry, Green and Thompson.


Curry, 33, is coming off a legendary season, but with Thompson injured and a new supporting cast around him, the Warriors were unable to make the playoffs, sending them hurtling toward a critical offseason.

Perhaps Curry or James will return to the grand stage next season, but it feels like a new day in the NBA.

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