National Basketball Association
Cleveland at Golden State
When: 8:00 PM ET, Sunday, June 19, 2016
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
The Cleveland Cavaliers are one victory away from ending the city's
52-year sports championship drought when they visit the defending
champion Golden State Warriors in Sunday's Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
Cleveland is also looking to become the first team in NBA Finals history
to recover from a 3-1 series deficit while Golden State strives to
bounce back from two disappointing closeout failures, including an
embarrassing performance in Game 6 in which two-time MVP Stephen Curry
was ejected after throwing his mouthpiece and hitting a fan.
Cleveland's last sports title was won by the 1964 Browns - before the NFL's Super Bowl era - and forward LeBron James is doing his part to back up his vow to bring a championship to the city with back-to-back 41-point performances. The Warriors opened the door for the Cavaliers in Game 5 when stellar defensive forward Draymond Green served a suspension and the Game 6 meltdown marked a frustrating night for the Curry family as wife Ayesha accused the NBA Finals of being "absolutely rigged for money" before sinking into full retreat mode and deleting her social-media comments. Stephen Curry said Saturday that "if we come up short, we'll all be very, very disappointed," in regards to two opportunities already having been squandered while James is feeling confident now that his squad has turned the series into a one-game winner-take-all. "You don't put too much more added pressure on it because it's a Game 7," James said at Saturday's press conference. "One thing we all know is it's the last game of the season, so it's not like you're preserving any energy, be out there saying, 'OK, I've got to keep my body ready for the next game.' There's no next game."
9 p.m. ET, ABCABOUT THE CAVALIERS:
James is averaging 30.2 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.5 assists in the series and rose his play to even higher levels with Cleveland facing elimination. Point guard Kyrie Irving also has performed well in the series with three 30-point outings - a high of 41 - while averaging 27.3 points, and he is attempting to put the long-discussed Cleveland championship drought out of his mind. "After the game, we can worry about the rest of that stuff," Irving said at Saturday's press conference. "History will be made either way, regardless of both teams, win or lose. But we're just really focused on what we can control, and (Sunday's) game is just living in the moment."
ABOUT THE WARRIORS:
Golden State recorded an NBA-record 73-9 mark in the regular season but things have been a bit different in the last two playoff series and the Warriors have dropped eight games overall in the postseason. "At the end of the day, we knew this wouldn't be a walk in the park," Green said at Saturday's press conference. "It's hard. It's hard to win a championship. But we've never really been a team to lack confidence. We feel like we can do anything. That's going to always be our mindset." Curry has recovered from a slow start in the series by averaging 31 points over the past three games but Golden State is getting practically nothing from small forward Harrison Barnes, who is averaging 2.5 points on 2-of-22 shooting over the past two games.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Both teams have scored 610 points in the series but there hasn't been a close game - the average winning margin is 19.7 points.
2. Cleveland PF Kevin Love is averaging just seven points in the series - and scored just nine total points as the Cavaliers won the past two games.
3. Golden State F Andre Iguodala (back) remains hampered but Warriors coach Steve Kerr doesn't foresee any minutes' limitations.PREDICTION:
Cavaliers 106, Warriors 102
Stats and Records