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The 2017 Finals mano-a-mano was the first for James and Durant with the Cavaliers and Warriors, respectively. Without the departed Kyrie Irving and injured Kevin Love (concussion) in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, James had 35 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists while playing all 48 minutes as Cleveland eliminated the Boston Celtics 87-79 on Sunday.

Iguodala, who missed the last four games of the Western Conference final with a bone bruise in his left leg, was evaluated by team doctors on Tuesday, the Warriors said on Wednesday.

Hill contributed 16 points to arguably Sacramento's most impressive win of the season, a 110-106 triumph at Golden State in November; Clarkson burned the Warriors for 21 points two days later for the Lakers; and Hood bombed in 26 for Utah in his only meeting with Golden State this season.

Klay Thompson doesn't think the Golden State Warriors or the Cleveland Cavaliers need to apologize for ruling their respective conferences for fourth straight years. But any chance Cleveland has to win rests on the Cavaliers' ability to keep up with Golden State's scoring.

For the fourth year in a row - a first in American professional sports history - the same teams will meet in a sport's championship round, when the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers meet for Game 1 of the NBA Finals here Thursday night.

"The rest of the National Basketball Association has to get better", Thompson said Wednesday, per Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News.

Mbah a Moute just finished up a one-year, $2.1 million deal and hopefully they can squeeze him in with roughly the same pact as this past season.

I mean, he knows he's LeBron James, and he knows who he is. I know one of you guys would love to be [that person]. He is averaging 34.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 8.8 assists in the postseason after posting regular-season averages of 27.5, 8.6 and 9.1, respectively.

"These are the best playoffs I've ever seen him play".

And if you're wondering how we can be so dismissing of the Cavs, well, it's because they needed a Boston breakdown to get past a team that was missing Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Game 1 is tonight, and even with James playing at absurd levels the Cavs find themselves as significant underdogs. When they lose, it's because Steph Curry played poorly.

Plenty of narratives are prevalent in this seven-game series - including former Jazz stars Rodney Hood, Kyle Korver, and George Hill all looking to win a title for The Land. "So it's going to have to be grind-it-out games where the tempo is controlled and to do that you have got to have smart, tough guys on the floor". "That's just motivation to be the best that you can be as well". This year they have averaged 101.2 points and scored fewer than 100 in eight of their 18 playoff games - with five of them in the 80s. "We've been counted out for a long time this season".

"It will be interesting to see how competitive LeBron James can make this Finals, but any game they get in this Finals would be a huge upset to me", Van Gundy said.