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NBA Finals Game 1: Cavs vs. Warriors predictions, picks against the spread

02 June 2017

The NBA Finals get under way on Thursday, with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors going head-to-head for a third year in succession.

Golden State beat Cleveland in the 2015 Finals but let a 3-1 lead slip previous year as James's Cavaliers finally brought the Larry O'Brien trophy back to Ohio. Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) shoots against Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) during the first half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, June 1, 2017.

Golden State will look to set the all-time mark when the Finals continue with Game 2 on Sunday.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Kevin Durant drove through the lane untouched for dazzling dunks.

Oh, he hit from long range, too.

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The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers in the 2015 Finals and were poised to make it two in a row in last year's June showdown but James and his team stormed back to victory. He's competitive and he wants to win, so you can bet that he's not happy about past year and he's going to go after this one."Curry wants to take back the championship that got away, and help KD and so many other veterans without a title earn their ring.He has scored 20 or more points in 10 straight playoff games and led the Warriors in scoring in eight of their 12 postseason contests".

"This feels a lot like previous year".

Not much has changed since then, except the Warriors' addition of one-time MVP victor Kevin Durant via Oklahoma City-an acquisition surely to throw a wrinkle into the series.

"We could be a lot better than we were tonight but in the Finals you get a 'W, ' we'll take it", Durant said. James finished with 28 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists, Kyrie Irving scored 24 and Kevin Love had 15 points and 21 rebounds.

The four-time NBA MVP has spoken about the ongoing battle against racism in the United States after discovering a racial slur spray-painted on the front gate of his Los Angeles home. James said he would do his best to be ready for the series opener when his mind was elsewhere, concerned for his wife and children back in Ohio.

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Durant lost to James and the Miami Heat in five games in 2012 and then James and the Cavs knocked off the 73-win Warriors in a seven-game thriller last June.

With Durant already rolling, Curry buried a 17-foot pull-up jumper, and then, followed with a 27-foot three-pointer from the left side of the floor.

"They're the best I've ever seen", Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. "You know they're not going to give up at all", he said on court.

However, the 26-year-old who was undrafted out of Belmont is a part of what might just be the best team ever.

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NBA Finals Game 1: Cavs vs. Warriors predictions, picks against the spread