Finals pick up where they left off with Cavs-Warriors III

Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson is staying focused on task at hand not reliving past success

The Wine & Gold have won nine straight Playoff road contests - second-longest streak in National Basketball Association history - dating back to Game 5 of the 2016 Finals, when the Cavaliers did the unthinkable, handing Golden State three straight losses, including two back here at Oracle Arena.

Five years on, and Kevin Durant is back in the NBA Finals. Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving shoots during an NBA basketball practice, Wednesday, May 31, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. Likewise, most people don't give the Cavs much of a chance to beat Golden State in the 2017 NBA Finals, which start Thursday. Past year the Cavaliers came back from a (3-1) deficit and most Warriors fans felt that was their title because Steph was just not 100%.

The Cavaliers flew into San Francisco on Tuesday, taking a team photo once they arrived that Cleveland forward Kevin Love posted on Instagram.

They figure to be electrified for the opener after watching the Cavaliers celebrate their first crown on the Warriors' court in a seventh-game thriller.

So let's go back to Game 7 of last year's finale. Cleveland defeats Golden State 109-108.

From a league standpoint he is the NBA's top playoff scorer, tops in steals, tops in win shares and No. 1 in value over replacement player.

Cavs fans have run the gamut of emotions in this road back to the Finals.

"Too much going on to go get my brain wrapped around it", Thompson said. Look for adjustments over the first two to three games and then the teams to stick with what they feel is best the rest of the way.

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"I'm about great finals", he said when cornered by muckraking monsters TMZ.

"We've got to come in with a defensive mindset and I think our best defense is going to be our offense", Lue said.

While sources stressed that Durant has not yet decided on how to structure his next contract, it is believed he's willing to take less than the maximum he's eligible for this summer in order to keep the Warriors core together and give them the best chance of contending for years to come.

Kevin Love sat out the 2015 finals with a shoulder injury and was more of a blue-collar, dirty work player in last year's conquest. This same theory had the Dubs beating the Cavs a year ago, too, and that didn't prevent State from squandering a 3-1 Finals lead.

Green may not be averaging as many points as Curry and Durant, but his 14 points per game are coming via an insane 42% from beyond the arch. But he got two DNP-CDs in the previous series against Boston and closed last year's Finals with three straight. He is averaging 28.6 points through the 12 games the Warriors have played while shooting just over 50% from the field. The Warriors' best lineup against the Cavaliers probably has both players on the floor at the same time, with Iguodala on James and Thompson defending Irving, so Thompson said he doesn't get caught up in whether his shot is falling. Or maybe he signs with the Celtics and joins Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas and whatever veteran help Danny Ainge would have been able to deal for as he moved some younger talent and pushed the go-for-it-now button.

Don't get upset when Steph Curry hits a bunch of threes in a row and smiles through that mouthpiece. Averaging 32 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, 2.2 steal, 1.4 blocks, James is doing everything; and all at the very top of the National Basketball Association echelon.

Curry sported a fresh haircut for the occasion and the two-time reigning MVP initially wore a black sleeve on his shooting arm to protect a tender elbow that still had some swelling, but he quickly removed it and found his stroke.

"It has been a great motivating factor", Warriors guard Stephen Curry said.



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