OAKLAND (AP) — The Golden State Warriors’ rare unbeaten start this postseason doesn’t necessarily mean they’re on their way to a title.
Golden State is just the fifth NBA team to win its first 10 playoff games in a given postseason. Only two of the four teams that previously achieved the feat went on to win the title.
The Warriors aren’t getting caught up in talk about where they might rank in history if they continue this run. They say they’re focusing on continuing to get better and the next game against the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals.
“We feel like we like our chances against anybody, no matter (who) is on the court,” Warriors forward Kevin Durant said Tuesday night after a 136-100 victory over the Spurs, who played without injured All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard. “That’s the confidence we have. But we’ve got to be ready Game 3. We know they’re probably going to be full strength in Game 3 and ready to play us.
Here’s a look at the other four teams that had the best starts in playoff history.
1989 – LOS ANGELES LAKERS (11-0)
The Lakers followed up a 57-25 regular season by carrying an unbeaten postseason record into the Finals as they sought their third straight title. But after sweeping Portland, Seattle and Phoenix to win the Western Conference title, the Lakers were swept by the Detroit Pistons in the Finals. The Lakers’ title hopes suffered a devastating blow when Magic Johnson injured his hamstring in Game 2 of the Finals. Johnson started Game 3 but played only five minutes before missing the rest of the series.
2001 – LOS ANGELES LAKERS (11-0)
The Lakers dropped only one game the entire postseason on their way to winning a second straight championship. The Lakers would win a third straight crown the following year. Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant led a Lakers team that swept Portland, Sacramento and San Antonio in the Western Conference playoffs. After losing 107-101 at home to Philadelphia in the first game of the NBA Finals, the Lakers beat the 76ers four straight times to clinch the title.
2012 – SAN ANTONIO SPURS (10-0)
After sweeping Utah and the Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio took a 2-0 lead over Oklahoma City in the Western Conference finals. But the Spurs wouldn’t win another game as the Thunder beat San Antonio four straight times to claim the Western Conference title. Oklahoma City went on to lose in five games to Miami in the NBA Finals.
2016 – CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (10-0)
The Cavaliers swept Detroit and Atlanta in the first two rounds of the postseason and took a quick 2-0 lead over Toronto in the Eastern Conference finals before losing five of its next eight playoff games. Cleveland won a six-game series with Toronto but fell behind Golden State 3-1 in the NBA Finals before LeBron James and Kyrie Irving rallied the Cavaliers to the title . Cleveland also has swept its first two playoff opponents this year as it enters the Eastern Conference finals with Boston , marking the first time a team has stated out 8-0 in two straight postseasons.