Game 1 Tipoff: 6 p.m. Thursday at Oracle Arena. TV: ABC. Radio: KGMZ 95.7 “The Game” in Oakland and San Francisco, KRTY 95.3 in San Jose, KION 1460 and 101.1 in Salinas and Monterey.
REMAINING SERIES SCHEDULE
Game 2: Sunday (June 3) at Golden State, 5 p.m. ABC
Game 3: Wednesday (June 6) at Cleveland, 6 p.m. ABC
Game 4: Friday (June 8) at Cleveland, 6 p.m. ABC
Game 5: Monday (June 11) at Golden State, 6 p.m. ABC
Game 6: Thursday (June 14) at Cleveland, 6 p.m. ABC
Game 7: Sunday (June 17) at Golden State, 5 p.m. ABC
THE REGULAR SEASON
Warriors: 58-24, No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
Cavaliers: 50-32, No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.
ROAD TO THE FINALS
Warriors: Defeated San Antonio 4-1 in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. Defeated New Orleans 4-1 in the Western Conference semifinals. Defeated Houston 4-3 in the Western Conference finals.
Cavaliers: Defeated Indiana 4-3 in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Defeated Toronto 4-0 in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Defeated Boston 4-3 in the Eastern Conference finals.
2017-18 REGULAR-SEASON SERIES
Dec. 25 — The Warriors defeated Cleveland 99-92 in a Christmas Day showdown at Oracle Arena. Klay Thompson hit the go-ahead 3-pointer to break a 92-92 tie with 1:33 remaining, then iced it with two free throws with 18.9 seconds left that put Golden State ahead 97-92. In all, Thompson scored 24 points, including the final seven. Kevin Durant had a stellar all-around game with 25 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and five blocked shots. Stephen Curry missed the game because of a sprained right ankle.
Jan. 15 — Golden State swept the season series from the Cavaliers with a 118-108 victory on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Quicken Loans Arena. Behind Green, Thompson, David West, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston — one of the Warriors’ best defensive units all season — Golden State went on a 20-6 run that broke a 93-93 tie and put them ahead 113-99. During part of that stretch the Warriors held the Cavaliers to 2-for-19 shooting. Durant had 32 points, eight assists and three steals, and Green had a near-triple-double with 11 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists.
This marks the fourth postseason meeting for these franchises.
2015 NBA Finals — The Warriors won their first NBA title since 1975 when they defeated the Cavaliers 4-2. After falling behind 2-1 in the series, Golden State coach Steve Kerr made a major lineup change by inserting sixth man Andre Iguodala for center Andrew Bogut. The move allowed the Warriors to use Iguodala, their best one-on-one defensive player, for longer periods as as the primary defender on LeBron James. In addition to his stellar defense, Iguodala averaged 20.3 points in his three starts and was the NBA Finals MVP.
2016 NBA Finals — The Warriors led 3-1 and appeared to have the series under control until they were forced to play Game 5 without Draymond Green, who was suspended for accumulating too many flagrant foul points during the postseason. Without Green, the Warriors lost Game 5 at home and Game 6 in Cleveland. In Game 7 in Oakland, Kyrie Irving hit a 3-pointer with 53 seconds left to break an 89-89 tie as Cleveland won 93-89. The Warriors, who didn’t score over the final 4:39, became the first team in Finals history to blow a 3-1 lead. The championship was the first for the city of Cleveland since the Browns in 1964.
2017 NBA Finals — Led by new acquisition Kevin Durant, the Warriors won their second NBA championship in three seasons with a 4-1 series victory. For the 2017 playoff run, Golden State was near-perfect, going an NBA-record 16-1 with the only defeat coming in Game 4 of the Finals at Cleveland. Durant was the NBA Finals MVP.
Iguodala missed the last four games of the Western Conference finals against Houston because of bone bruise suffered when he banged knees with James Harden in Game 3. He has been ruled out for Game 1 tonight and will be re-evaluated before Game 2 on Sunday. … The Cavaliers’ Kevin Love, missed most of Game 6 and all of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals after banging heads with Boston’s Jayson Tatum. He is in the NBA’s concussion protocol and his status might not be known until game time.
MATCHUP TO WATCH
A host of Warriors defenders vs. the Cavaliers’ LeBron James: This must be what they mean by “Strength in Numbers.” The Warriors have more skilled defenders to run at James than most teams, namely Iguodala (when he returns), Green and Durant. But with Golden State’s switch-heavy defense, how hard will the Cavaliers guards work to set screens and get James matched up against Curry?