For a fourth straight year, we will watch Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors battle LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA finals.
Golden State opens up as the largest finals favorites in nearly 20 years, at -1,000. Cleveland is underdogs at +650.
In other words, Lebron has his work cut out for him if he wants to win his fourth championship.
Let's see how our simulations play out!
Game 1 - Warriors 117 Cavaliers 84Despite the score, the first half of the opening game of the NBA Finals was great. Golden State led by six after the first quarter, and the Cavs cut the defect to one by half as the Warriors led 44-43.
Klay Thompson led all scorers with 17 at half, knocking down a trio of 3s, while Jordan Clarkson came in hot off the bench, scoring a team high 11 first half points.
Things would get ugly for Lebron James and the Cavaliers in the third quarter. Golden State plays their best coming back from halftime. The Warriors would outscore Cleveland 40-24 to take a commanding 17 point lead heading to the fourth. Cleveland had no answer or fight in the fourth quarter, as the Warriors dominate them in the second half 73-41.
Cleveland committed 14 second half turnovers, going 0-8 from downtown, and were destroyed on the glass allowing the Warriors to grab 12 offensive rebounds (15 for the game). Draymond Green had five offensive rebounds, on his way to a 21 & 16 night.
Steph Curry went on to score 37 points, 27 coming in the second half, including 5 of his 7 triples. He also dished out 11 assists and had five steals.
Lebron was limited to 22 points on 10-25 shooting, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. He also committed a game high 6 turnovers.
Klay Thompson finished with 26 points, while Kevin Durant contributed only 13 points on 5-13 shooting.
Game 2 - Warriors 127 Cavaliers 106Golden State came out firing in the first half, on their way to a 70-55 lead. They were hot all night, shooting 54% from the field for the game, including going 16/35 from downtown and 23/26 from the foul line.
Despite a triple double from Lebron James, the Cavs still found themselves trailing by 20+ a majority of the game. James scored 38 points, while grabbing 16 rebounds and dishing out 11 dimes.
Jeff Green and Kyle Korver combined for 38 points, knocking down eight 3s. However Cleveland got nothing from two of their starters, J.R. Smith and George Hill as they combined to shoot 3-14 for 13 points.
Steph Curry and Kevin Durant combined to score 58 points. Curry finished a rebound shy of a triple double, as he had 12 assists.
Game 3 - Warriors 114 Cavaliers 110Playing in front of their hometown fans, the Cavaliers showed life late in game 3, however would come up just short.
Golden State controlled the first half as they led 64-53 heading to the locker room. In full desperation mode, the Cavs came out strong in the third quarter as they would get this game tied up at 87 going to the fourth quarter.
Mid way through the fourth the Cavs had a 99-92 lead, but after a Steve Kerr timeout, the Warriors would go on a 15-2 run, to give the Warriors a 107-101 lead that they would never give up. Warriors take a 3 games to none lead, and stunned the Quicken Loans Arena.
Klay Thompson scored 13 fourth quarter points, and hit three 3s during the Warriors 15-2 run. He would go on to score a game high 31 points on 9-13 shooting.
Steph and Durant did their thing, combining for 41 points, while Draymond Green filled the stat sheet with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Andre Iguodala for contributed 10 points and 5 rebounds off the bench in his return.
Kevin Love also returned for game 3, and he led the Cavaliers with 23 points and also grabbed 8 boards.
For a second straight game Lebron had a triple double, 17-13-14, but shot just 5-17 from the field, missing his final 5 shots of the game.
Off the bench Larry Nance and Kyle Korver sparked a Cavs comeback, as Nance was a perfect 6-6 scoring 12 points and pulling down 9 rebounds, and Korver knocked down 4 3s.
Game 4 - Cavaliers 106 Warriors 96Refusing to lose the finals on their court, the Cavs were able to extend the series with a 106-96 victory in game 4 over the Warriors.
Things did not look promising for the Cavs who saw themselves 24 minutes away from defeat, trailing 53-41 at half. However they would come out firing in the second half, and outscored Golden State 34-20 in the final quarter.
Lebron James had a big night offensively, going 16-24 from the field with 37 points, 6 rebounds and 10 assists.
Kevin Love made his presence felt with 21 points and controlled the glass with 16 rebounds.
For the first time all series, J.R. Smith was able to contribute in a positive way, as he knocked down four triples on his way to a 16 point night.
Steph led the Warriors with 26 points and had 4 of the teams 9 threes. First time all series they had made less than 15 threes.
Game 5 - Warriors 119 Cavaliers 98For a second straight year, and the third time in four years, the Golden State Warriors have defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
Game 5 was all about Steph Curry as he was unguardable and it was simply his night.
Curry scored a game high 38 points, shooting 15-26 from the field, including 8-13 from behind the arch. He also had 11 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals. Cleveland had no answer for him. Because of his performance the entire series, Curry received his first NBA Finals MVP.
Durant nearly matched Curry's night, scoring 31 points on 12-20 shooting and knocking down 5 threes.
Klay had 17, and Draymond Green finished the game with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 11 assists.
Golden State shot 51% and knocked down 18/37 from downtown.
J.R. Smith led the Cavs with 22 points, hitting six triples.
Lebron seemed gassed, as all the minutes he played during the regular and postseason caught up to him here. He shot just 5-21, scoring 19 points and pulled down 13 rebounds.
As a team Cleveland shot just 33% from the field.
NBA Final MVP - Steph Curry
- 30.8 pts
- 7.8 assists,
- 7.6 rebounds
- 2.6 steals
- 55% FG
- 50% 3pt