The Golden State Warriors no longer are perfect this postseason, falling just short of a sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
However, the Warriors set a record with 15 straight playoff wins and still could finish 16-1 for the most dominant postseason in NBA history — better than both the 2000-01 Lakers (15-1) and the 1982-83 76ers (12-1).
Here's a look at the eight most dominant playoff runs — the most consecutive wins during a single postseason — and how each team from previous years finished. Not every team that blazed its way to the Finals ended up being crowned champions.
15 - Golden State Warriors, 2017
A Warriors team that reached the Finals the previous two years added Kevin Durant, won a league-leading 67 games and then blazed through Portland, Utah and San Antonio in the playoffs. Granted, Golden State got a big break when Kawhi Leonard went down in Game 1 of the West finals, crippling an already short-handed Spurs team that was missing Tony Parker, and opening the door for the Warriors to rally from 23 down to win the game and eventually the series.
Golden State stood on the verge of the first perfect postseason in NBA history after winning the first three games of the Finals, but the Cavs staved off the sweep on their home court with a 137-point effort in Game 4.
12 – San Antonio Spurs, 1999
The Spurs' dynasty began in a lockout-shortened season of just 50 games. San Antonio, which had rejoined the elite ranks the previous season after drafting Tim Duncan, finished with a league-leading 37-13 record, dropped one first-round game to Minnesota, then ran off 12 straight wins. The Spurs swept Shaq's Lakers and the Trail Blazers, then lost just one game in the Finals against a Knicks team that had barely qualified for the eighth seed in the East.
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11 - Los Angeles Lakers, 2001
The Kobe-Shaq dynasty had begun with a championship in 2000, and the Lakers' road to a repeat involved winning 56 games and then sweeping the Blazers, Kings and top-seeded Spurs to reach the Finals. There they faced a rag-tag 76ers team that Allen Iverson and Larry Brown had squeezed 56 wins out of, plus two seven-round series victories in the playoffs.
The Magic-Kareem dynasty already had won back-to-back titles to give them five during the 1980s, and Pat Riley promised a three-peat (a phrase he coined). The Lakers won 57 games and swept the Blazers, Sonics and Suns to get a Finals rematch with the Pistons, who they'd beaten in seven games the year before. But while Isiah Thomas was bitten by the injury bug in that series, this time it was the Lakers whose backcourt was hurting, with NBA MVP Magic Johnson and Byron Scott both going down with hamstring injuries. The Bad Boys swept the Lakers — the only time an unbeaten playoff team was swept in the Finals — and Kareem retired after the season, the beginning of the end for the Lakers dynasty.
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10 – Cleveland Cavaliers, 2017
The Cavs seemingly could've been competing with the Warriors for a place in the history books, if not for that inexplicable Game 3 home loss to a Boston Celtics team that had been routed so far in the Eastern Conference finals and was missing its best player, Isaiah Thomas. Up to that point, LeBron James and the defending champion Cavaliers had been dominant, sweeping the Pacers and Raptors.
However, they were overmatched against the Warriors in the first three games of the Finals before fighting off a sweep in Game 4.
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10 - Cleveland Cavaliers, 2016
The good news for the Cavs is they did the same thing last year, winning their first 10, and that postseason ended well for them. The Cavs swept the Pistons and Hawks, then won two at home against the Raptors before dropping two in Toronto. They finished the East finals in six, then famously fell behind 3-1 against the Warriors in the Finals before rallying to deliver Cleveland its first championship.
Now they stand down 3-1 again as the Finals shift back to the Bay.
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10 - San Antonio Spurs, 2012
The Spurs faced LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the Finals for two straight seasons, and it would've been three if they hadn't blown a 2-0 series lead and lost four straight to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2012 Western Conference finals.
The Spurs had won 50 games and swept the Jazz and Clippers before opening the conference finals with two straight wins at home. But Kevin Durant rallied the Thunder to four straight wins, lifting them into the Finals where the Heat won the first of back-to-back titles in five games.
The Spurs would fall to the Heat in the Finals the following year before vanquishing both the Thunder in the conference finals and the Heat in the Finals in 2014.
10 - New Jersey Nets, 2003
The Nets have never won a championship, but they made it to the Finals in back-to-back years, the second time riding sweeps of the Celtics and Pistons into the Finals.
Swept by the Lakers the previous season, the Nets fought to six games this time before bowing to a Spurs team that had dethroned the three-time defending champs in the semifinals. San Antonio added two more titles in the next four years, while the Nets' core lasted just one more season before they traded Kenyon Martin and began to retool.