LeBron undaunted by challenge of facing Warriors in Finals

There's a four-headed, shot-making, scoreboard-breaking monster out West awaiting LeBron James and the Cavaliers. "But right now, we're not at that point".

To further illustrate the East's lack of recent firepower: James is the only player to make the All-NBA first team from the East in each of the last three seasons.

But it all evaporated.

Curry said he does not want the Cavaliers, led by Love, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, to have any fun in June.

James has played 212 career playoff games - and is now in the NBA Finals for a seventh straight time. If they lose these Finals, Golden State will have just one championship to show for three transcendent seasons, in a span where they set the regular season wins record and added Durant.

Golden State opened as a 7-point home favorite versus Cleveland for Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night. They got a big scare in late February when Durant had a left knee injury, but he's back and the Warriors have rolled since. Golden State, they've been the best team in our league for the last three years, and then they added an MVP (Kevin Durant). After delivering a championship to Cleveland past year, he can add to a legacy that has him pushing the best player of all-time conversations.

And they're doing this without their head coach.

This all comes up because Brown once helmed the Cavaliers and will now face them as an assistant an assistant who has stepped up in Steve Kerr's absence. He's been present at practice and recently traveled with the team at the end of the Warriors' sweep against the Spurs. "It's like, we're in the NBA Finals".

James is still just 32. So rather than add another scorer, Don Nelson figured Golden State might be better off getting a dominant man in the middle to shore up the defense in the 2007 National Basketball Association draft.

On July 4, with a 351-word post on The Players' Tribune, Durant announced he was joining the Warriors. Too many blowouts. Too much certainty that Cleveland and Golden State would not only win their series, but would win virtually every game along the way to the Finals.

Cavaliers set franchise playoff record for points in a half
Crowder and the Celtics are looking forward to going home and redeeming themselves after the blowout losses in Games 1 and 2. This NBA Finals rubber match between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers has been building up for a while.

"(We) went through some tough times in the regular season, but we knew we had confidence to be great", Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. "We just kept grinding".

"With this team, the center position is one that we're looking for", he said. We will use it as motivation, but the idea of playing into it? "We still, obviously, have to keep growing as a group. This is a great moment, and this is not promised", James said.

Can LeBron and the Cavs do it again? The star of the Cleveland Cavaliers is at the peak of his career. Stephen Curry is coming off back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards and looking to avenge a disappointing Finals previous year.

On the brink of becoming the first player since the early 1960s to play in seven straight Finals, James finds himself in a similar - and somewhat surprising - situation.

LeBron James surpassed Michael Jordan to become the highest points scorer in National Basketball Association play-off history as the Cleveland Cavaliers reached the finals for a third successive year. So I didn't believe that I could be Mike.

"I wear the number because of Mike", James said. "So I just got back to the game". And though the playoff scoring record is now his, he's also chasing Johnson and John Stockton in the all-time postseason assists category. Any gym, I try to be at, no matter who's there playing. And now he is passing Jordan in the record books.

And then, nearly as if he was trying to remind himself that he's got three championship rings and is frightful in his own right, James recalled other fearsome postseason opponents - San Antonio and Boston.

A Warriors' team bent on revenge stands in his way.

Thomas detailed his goals ahead to get back to being great, acknowledging how great a challenge it will be to be patient while not knowing how long he will be off the court recovering.