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There are plenty of storylines to be had in the fourth consecutive installment of the series. Kevin Durant was the game's leading scorer (34 points) and Draymond Green its leading rebounder (13 boards).

Despite both the Warriors and Cavaliers going the full seven games in their conference finals series, Golden State is a 12-point favorite to win Game 1 of the NBA Finals when it gets tips off on Thursday.

LeBron's Cavs may be huge underdogs and the Warriors may win in a sweep, but that doesn't mean no one will watch the games.

Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue isn't blinking. "I'm not so sure that they are not the second-best team in the business, and we'll see how it plays out".

"Our main focus is to win a championship".

"I don't think it's up to us to try to excite people", Van Gundy replied.

Cavs vs. Warriors, Part IV: an expected conclusion to an unpredictable season. Love sat out Cleveland's Game 7 win at Boston on Sunday after suffering a head injury when he and Celtics rookie forward Jayson Tatum accidentally banged heads during the opening minutes of Game 6. Eric Gordon, who stepped into the starting lineup in Paul's absence, believes so.

Meanwhile, Iguodala was missing for the final four games of the Western Conference finals as the Warriors outlasted the Houston Rockets on Tuesday in the finale of a seven-game series. Golden State opens its latest rematch against the Cavaliers as a -1,000 favorite, according to ESPN, which makes for the most lopsided Finals matchup in at least 16 years.

"Much respect to the Houston Rockets for bringing the best out of us and making this an incredible series and pushing us to the brink", Durant said."You've got to give respect to them and the great season that they had". In the early numbers that's up 7% over last year's Game 1 between the winning Pittsburgh Penguins and the Nashville Predators. We've been to Game 7s.

And yet, somehow here they stand, again.

Since the playoffs opened, Cleveland has embraced the "Whatever It Takes" mantra that began as a catchy organizational slogan and morphed into a way of survival. Van Gundy said. "As far as LeBron James, to me, he's on his way to carving out the very best career that's ever happened in the National Basketball Association". In all, James has logged more than 600 more minutes than any player on the Warriors heading into the Finals series, per Anthony Slater of the Athletic. They swept Atlanta in the Eastern Conference finals in 2015, beat Toronto in six in 2016 and wiped out the Celtics in five games in the conference finals previous year. It's hard to make a convincing case for Cleveland, and both analysts said the Cavs would need to be almost ideal to win even one game. But you can't thwart fate, and in the end everything just snapped back into place.

Cleveland was only 50-32 this season.

With Paul sidelined for the second straight game by a strained right hamstring, the Rockets needed a superhero night from probable MVP James Harden to have a realistic shot at dethroning the defending champions. It's a trust that can't be measured.

"I hate when people say that", Curry said, when asked if LeBron is holding up a awful squad.

But he knows the Warriors will continue to be the league's benchmark and they'll have to figure out a way to beat them if they hope to win a championship. Viewershipwise, the 2018 WCF is up 45% over last year's conference. They rise to the occasion. You've got to play. They won't waste this chance.

Unlike the past three Finals, Lue won't have Kyrie Irving, traded to Boston last summer. "So you go through the playoffs and things happen, and you've got to be able to bounce back no matter what and keep going".

Now that's a safe bet.


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