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Lebron to face Golden State in fourth-straight NBA Finals showdown

NBA Finals

NBA Finals

ONE of the most intriguing rivalries in NBA history has at least one more epic chapter left.

The Golden State Warriors outlasted the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals on Monday night, winning 101-92 to join the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA finals.

Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 32 points, while Steph Curry had a blistering second half to finish with 27 in the win. The Rockets, led by James Harden’s inefficient 32 points (2-13 3pt) led by as much as 15 points in the first half, but an 18-point swing in the third quarter set up the Golden State assault.

Having beaten the Rockets — the team with the best home and away record in the NBA — the Warriors will start game 1 as the $1.12 favourite at Bovada. The Game 1 line is -12.5 and the total points figure for the match is 216.5.

Cleveland is paying an incredible $8 to upset the Warriors and win the NBA Championship.

In the 2014-15 NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games, clinching the first title for then league MVP Steph Curry and coach Steve Kerr.

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In 2015-2016, the two sides matched up again and this time the Warriors were an even stronger side, breaking the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bull’s regular season winning record at 73. After being up in the series 3-1, the Cavs, led by Lebron James and Kyrie Irving, engineered one of the greatest comebacks in NBA history to win the next three games and clinch Cleveland’s first NBA crown.

In 2016-17 the teams faced off for a third-straight time and after adding another league MVP to its roster in Kevin Durant, Golden State proved too strong, bulldozing the Cavs in five games to win its second title in three seasons.

Who will win the sequel to the trilogy?

Lebron James is arguably playing the best basketball of his storied career at 33 years of age. Leading the Cavaliers to another NBA Finals series — the eighth consecutive time he has made it to this stage — has said to have been one of the greatest feats.

James’ support is simply not at a level to realistically compete with the depth of elite talent the Golden State Warriors possess. In a weakened Eastern Conference, the Cavaliers needed seven games to get past India in the first round, stampeded Toronto in four games in the second round and overcome a young and injury-riddled Boston in seven games to reach the summit.

While there’s no doubting James’ hunger and ability to threaten Golden State’s vaunted defence, he simply can’t do it on his own. The likes of JR Smith, Rodney Hood, Tristan Thompson, Jeremy Clarkson, George Hill and Jeff Green are glorified bench players and Cleveland is not the same side that upset the Warriors to win the title two years ago.

The Warriors are paying $3 to win the NBA Finals 4-0 at Bovada.

Kevin Durant leads the NBA Finals MVP betting at $1.67. Durant won the award last season after a dominant display for his new club.

Player NBA Finals MVP odds
Kevin Durant $1.67
Stephen Curry $3 @ Bovada
Lebron James $8
Draymond Green $16.50
Klay Thompson $16.50
Kevin Love $181
Rodney Hood $501
George Hill $501
Andre Iguodala $501
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