June 21, 2018

The Dime Roundtable Predicts The Winner Of The 2018 NBA Finals

01 June 2018, 04:41 | Kristopher Drake

Warriors sink ice-cold Rockets and return to Finals

Steve Kerr face

The game almost over, James traded insults with Curry and Klay Thompson, then Tristan Thompson and Draymond Green tangled moments later and made contact.

"He thought it was over".

Last month, Kerr became concerned his team's defense wouldn't return to its top form after Golden State struggled late in the regular season and even endured a particularly poor stretch in which the Warriors dropped seven of 10 games.

LeBron James was repeatedly queried on JR Smith's blunder in Game 1 Thursday night which led to him abruptly leaving the postmatch press conference. However, if a charge call against Kevin Durant with 36 seconds left in the fourth wasn't overturned after replay review, the Cavs would have had the ball, up two, with Cleveland and LeBron James in the driver's seat. James and Love combined to score 100 points in the two games, but Dwyane Wade, Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas were all shipped elsewhere by the Cavs in a series of trade-deadline moves. But it wasn't enough when Curry answered with a three-point play followed by Smith's miscue. The call had initially been a charge on 2017 Finals MVP Durant and James protested the change. "They've been to the Finals four years in a row, just like we have, for a reason".

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue did not mince words.

"Just having these guys here who have been through it, been through the tough times, been through the great times as well, this is a bond that can't be broken", Lue said. Smith grabbed the rebound in the paint, but rather than go back up for a shot at a game-winning layup, he dribbled the ball out to the perimeter.

Golden State got a serious scare when Thompson went down after Smith slid hard into the Splash Brother's left leg at the 6:17 mark of the first quarter. He and Curry each connected on five 3s. Kevin Love had 21 points and 13 rebounds for Cleveland.

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Cavaliers: James has 109 career 30-point games in the playoffs, tying Michael Jordan for most ever. On the other hand, Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 18 points as he tied by hitting a three-pointer at the buzzer. James says "No, they asked me if I talked to all about it, and I said no already".

Back home, fireworks went off in the East Bay as everyone anticipates another battle with King James.

Unlike that Rockets-Warriors game, he doesn't know what will happen in Game 1.

Westgate has also taken two bets on longshot Nick Young at 5,000-1.

"I'm still learning, still growing and figuring things out", Durant said.

"One of the most challenging seasons I've had", said James, who may be playing the best basketball of his life right now at the end of his 15th season.

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