NBA, NHL finals will feature defending champions

Ruben Hill
May 27, 2017

James, who finished with 34 points, was joined in double figures by Kevin Love, who scored 17 points with 17 rebounds and five assists.

More germane to the present, the Cavs officially rebounded from their out-of-character Game 3 loss and shaky first half of Game 4 with a game and a half of vicious execution and momentum.

The 2017 NBA Finals marks the third straight time the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers will tip off for the NBA crown.

"This team is a insane team". James had been leading the team in win probability added before that (plus-13 percent per game) and ranks eighth overall this postseason.If nothing else, Lue said their recent taste of adversity should help them remain humble heading into Game 5.

"I'm going to be honest", James told reporters in Boston on Thursday night, "I'm not in the right mind to even talk about Golden State". But I also know that there are steps to get to that point. This championship could be James' most special, with Durant moving to a team that already won 73 games in the regular season prior. The Warriors are producing an effective field goal percentage of 57.3 percent, while holding their opponents to a below-average rate of 46.7 percent, giving them the highest net eFG% differential since 1983, the first year data is available. Green hit LeBron in the groin, was suspended for Game 5 and Klay Thompson said postgame that, "I guess [LeBron's] feelings got hurt".

James, Irving and Love took command from the opening tip-off on Thursday.

Michael Jordan lead in all-time playoffs points with 5,987, and now LeBron holds the record with 5,989 points. He showed no signs of lingering issues, though, beating several defenders off the dribble and handing out seven assists.

The Warriors are in fine form themselves and boast a 12-0 record in these playoffs, but if the Cavs' dominance of Boston is anything to go by, they ought to be wary.

It was a historic night at TD Garden.

"Honestly, I don't really care who we play", Lacob said, per The Mercury News, after the Warriors swept the Spurs. "Our offensive mistakes led to bad defense, and it just kind of snowballed on us". Last season, James getting that rest time meant a lot in the series finale, enabling him to lead his team to a stunning championship.

Avery Bradley knocked down a three-pointer with one-tenth of a second left, and the Boston Celtics completed a comeback from 21 points down to shock the Cavs, 111-108, in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The 109 points through three quarters marked the most the Celtics have allowed in the shot clock era.

Celtics closed this season in a disappointing way, and at some point, they even started thinking about the title.

Thomas injured the hip in March and aggravated it in the second-round series against Washington. Held a pregame moment of silence for the victims of the Manchester bombing. Through the first 82 games, Toronto would've ranked No. 16 in offensive rating without Lowry (105.9 points per 100 possessions), while the Thomas-less C's would've sat at No. 30 in offensive rating (99).

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