Cavs, Warriors clash in one game winner-take-all for title

Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:15pm EDT
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By Frank Pingue

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - An 82-game NBA regular season followed by four best-of-seven playoff series has boiled down to a one game 'winner-take-all' title clash on Sunday between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors.

"It's two of the greatest words in the world, and that's 'Game Seven'," gushed LeBron James after his Cavaliers forced the decider on Thursday with a ruthless 115-101 Game Six win over the Warriors.

Far from two of the NBA's glamor franchises, Cleveland and the Warriors offer more grit than glitter but will play for basketball's crown jewel in a matchup that features two of the game's greats, four-time league most valuable player James, and Warriors guard Stephen Curry, the two-time reigning MVP.

Game Seven could be a classic. Betting agencies have the Warriors moderate but by no means overwhelming favorites.

The Cavs will be tipping at historic windmills trying to become the first NBA team to overturn a 1-3 series deficit in the Finals and give Cleveland its first professional sports championship since the 1964 Cleveland Browns of the National Football League.

The defending champion Warriors, after a record smashing regular season (73-9), are rewarded with Game Seven at home at Oracle Arena in Oakland, where they have lost just four times all season.

"We get one game at home to win the NBA Championship, I'll take it every time," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. "So I can't wait for Sunday."

Playing on the road does not rattle the Cavaliers, who will ride a wave of confidence into Oakland having taken back-to-back wins from Golden State, including a big Game Five victory there.   Continued...

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) blocks a shot by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) in game six of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports