(Updated 12:52 PM with viewership numbers) The Stanley Cup Finals hit the ice for Game 1 between newbies the Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals in Sin City on NBC, but the real sports showdown last night was on TNT in Game 7 of the National Basketball Association playoffs' Western Conference Finals.
Golden State is outscoring opponents by 10.3 net points per 100 possessions while Cleveland has a net rating of 1.2. Kevin Durant was the game's leading scorer (34 points) and Draymond Green its leading rebounder (13 boards). Among them is how exhausted the players on each of the teams are right now, especially given the fact that both teams just came off hard seven-games series that went all the way. Based on that, we would expect the Warriors to beat the Cavaliers 86 percent of the time at home and 66 percent of the time on the road.
The Warriors took advantage and outscored Houston by 18 points in the third quarter.
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But none of their weaknesses have stopped the Cavaliers from pulling out two Game 7s in this postseason, or from stomping on a 59-win Toronto team in four straight games. Yes, the Warriors caught a huge break.
But for the entire season, no one has played more minutes that LeBron James. Maybe Paul's presence means more in the Game 6 and 7 losses than Iguodala's would have meant in Games 4 and 5, but we will never find out. Stephen Curry missed the Christmas Day meeting due to injury.
Golden State won two of the three finals meetings and is heavily favored to take this one.
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Meanwhile, the man the Sox traded to get him, Travis Shaw, has 42 home runs and 132 RBI in 193 games for the Brewers . With the highest payroll in the game - $66 million higher than the Yankees! - they can afford mistakes.
Klay Thompson who was so nervy in the early exchanges summed up the Warriors game growing in confidence. Durrant made the final four points for his side, including two from the free throw line to ensure that the Warriors ran out 101-92 winners.
Despite all the talent, the Warriors still needed seven games to defeat the top-seeded Rockets in the Western Conference finals.
Until they're eliminated, of course they're going to be in this thing (Cleveland, baby) LeBron James still wears a Cavs jersey and when you have the best player in the world, well...just ask the 2016 Warriors what can happen.
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