Warriors and Cavaliers meet for third straight year

Ross Houston
June 2, 2017

Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson, right, shoots against Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia during the second half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, June 1, 2017.

James was asked what his message to the Cavs was following the loss.

Durant shook LeBron to the ground for a slam, powered through Irving for another layup - his first eight makes were all at the rim - and then forced his way to the free throw line a few times late in the first half, putting up 23 in the first 24 minutes.

James continued: "You take one of the best teams that we had ever assembled past year, that we saw in the regular season and in the postseason, and then in the offseason you add a high-powered offensive talent like that and a great basketball IQ like that, that's what stands out".

But overall, Jones is tipping Warriors to win in five games.

"They're going to challenge us offensively, defensively, mentally, physically". "So it's more or less a heart thing, a prideful thing". In all, there are a combined seven All-Stars on the two teams, and that means at any given time or in any given game, any of these guys could step up and take over the moment. James was just exhausted, because for the third straight year, he remembered how impossible it is to play against this team. Cleveland shut down Indiana's Paul George, Toronto's DeMar DeRozan and Boston's Isaiah Thomas before he went down with a hip injury on the way to a 12-1 postseason record.

MyBookie sportsbook opened the Warriors as -6.5-point favorites versus the Cavaliers, while the game's total opened at 226. They can shoot the ball from the perimeter; they can get into the paint.

As unsafe a scorer as he is from outside or driving to the hoop, James also threatens by being able to find teammates such as Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love with passes when defenders focus too much on him. "We've got to work hard at practice and when the game comes on, get out there and go play". On top of his versatility and defense that is so important to Golden State, he's shooting 47 percent from 3-point range in the postseason, tops on a team that has some of the best perimeter shooters in the world.

By comparison, the Warriors had just four turnovers.

Look for Cleveland to take an early series lead and never look back. "I might not be able to get those shots the next game".

Or will LeBron James strengthen his argument as the greatest to ever play the game by winning multiple titles in two different cities?

The Cavaliers' own version of the big three - LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love - scored 67 of their points but they had little help off the bench and James had eight costly turnovers.

Thompson had a pathetic six points on 3-of-16 shooting, including 0-5 on 3-pointers.

RESERVES: Andre Iguodala, Shawn Livingston, JaVale McGee, Ian Clark, David West, and Patrick McCaw vs. Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, Kyle Korver, Deron Williams and Richard Jefferson.

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