The Warriors are making history of their own by being the first team in the National Basketball Association to sweep the playoffs through three rounds, with a ideal 12-0 record entering the finals.The Cleveland Cavaliers were not far off with a 12-1 record after sweeping the Indiana Pacers, the Toronto Raptors and losing only one game to the Boston Celtics in game 3.
The Draymond Green suspension allowed the Cavaliers to capture momentum and become the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals.
(Kyle Terada/Pool Photo via AP).
Cleveland superstars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving will go head-to-head against Golden State's Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry in much-anticipated head-to-head matchups in the best-of-seven showdown that starts Thursday. The Cavaliers are entering the series as underdogs against the Warriors despite being the defending National Basketball Association champions.
Durant's move to Golden State, who won the 2015 title and had a record-setting 73-win campaign the next season before losing the decisive game of the Finals, created a super team that also features two-time reigning league MVP Stephen Curry.
Durant led the show in the fourth quarter, but there wasn't much more to say as both teams emptied the benches and this one ultimately went down as a blowout. "So it's more or less a heart thing, a prideful thing".
The teams will meet again in Oakland on Sunday for Game Two of the best-of-seven series.
Cleveland went just 23-23 after January 10 and was ranked in the bottom third statistically on defense all season.
Irving has played great through the Cavs' walloping of the Eastern Conference, as has Kevin Love, who is having his best postseason campaign since joining Cleveland.More news: Watch Real Madrid, Juventus
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Cleveland is 12-1 in these NBA Playoffs.
The Warriors improved their postseason record to an unprecedented 13-0 while the Cavaliers suffered just their second loss since the playoffs began in mid-April. Acting Warriors head coach Mike Brown has a lot on his shoulders but it's a chance for redemption after getting fired by the Cavaliers twice in 2010 and 2014.
"I don't want to see what has been going on, I want last-second shots, nail-biters, a minute left, the game is tied, that's what I want to see", George said.
"I've got to support Steph since he supports the Panthers". Kyrie Irving had 24 points for the Cavs, while Kevin Love finished with 15 points and 21 rebounds.
- Cleveland and Golden State have met 19 times since the start of the 2014-15 regular season, including their two NBA Finals matchups.
"Some of our lack of communication led to mistakes and led to buckets. Uncharacteristic with the number of guys that turned the ball over, but we have to credit those guys for creating some of the turnovers". However, they will face a tougher road with the addition of Kevin Durant on the Warriors this time around.
Kevin Durant was on fire, putting up 38 points, eight rebounds, eight assists with zero turnovers in almost 40 minutes. They destroyed the Cavs in their last meeting in January.
It has made a big difference for Curry, who missed six playoff games in 2016 because of ankle and knee injuries and was never 100 percent after that. "He gets them going".
"It's been a long journey, some ups and downs but it's well worth it once you get here in the Finals", Williams said.