The Warriors were back in the NBA Finals, and they had a 3-1 lead against the Cavaliers, the same team they defeated for the championship the previous year.
That will happen with wins in Cleveland on Tuesday and in Boston on Thursday.
The Cavaliers basically conceded the East's top seed to the Celtics at the end of the regular season by opting to rest their starters in advance of the playoffs. "So like any gym I try to be at, no matter who's there playing, and that's probably gonna be the toughest part about me being patient and having to let my body heal and understand what's important for the future". So rather than add another scorer, Don Nelson figured Golden State might be better off getting a dominant man in the middle to shore up the defense in the 2007 National Basketball Association draft.
The Cavaliers, who rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Warriors in last year's finals, set an National Basketball Association record in winning their 13th straight playoff series potential closeout game.
The Sixers used whatever emotion they had left to upset the Lakers in Game 1, but then exhaustion and injury set in and Los Angeles won the next four games.
Deron Williams, who had been quiet for most of the series, also got in on the act with a series-best 14 points for Cleveland.
James referred to the Warriors as only "that juggernaut" and "a beast" following Thursday's Game 5 in at Boston, a night in which he passed Michael Jordan as the career postseason scoring leader. It starts with James, who is in his seventh consecutive NBA Finals. After missig out on consecutive titles past year, Warriors forward Draymond Green said he wants his team to "destroy" and "annihilate" the Cavs in this season's Finals.
After all, James scored just 11 points during the Cavs' loss in Game 3, and although Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving combined for 57 points, it was apparent Cleveland needed more if it was going to compete at the next level.
What about a couple of his contemporaries? Can James win his fourth ring?
James is intelligent. He knows what he's up against, both on the court and in the history books. "We're in the NBA Finals. Two great teams, great players, and that's what it is". James' title teammates included Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, and Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in Cleveland. In the lottery era, four guards have been selected No. 1 overall: Allen Iverson, John Wall, Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose.
Duncan is arguably the best power forward of all-time. He also wants to play until he's 40 years old.
BOSTON - The Cleveland Cavaliers might be one win away from facing the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals for the third straight season, but Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said his team's current opponent in the Celtics is enough of a handful.
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