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The Warriors, who beat Cleveland for the title in 2015, swept the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals and host game one of the championship series in Oakland next Thursday.

James said at a summer basketball camp a year ago that he found motivation in "this ghost I'm chasing - the ghost played in Chicago".

The Cavaliers and Warriors split their two meetings this season, both winning at home. Don't be surprised if Cleveland takes this the distance again, but Golden State just has too much incredible talent on its roster.

Cavaliers: James has scored 30 or more points in 11 of Cleveland's 13 games this post-season. James has higher per-game numbers in rebounds (8.8-6.4), assists (6.8-5.7) and blocks (1.0-0.9).

If the Cavaliers advance, James would be making a seventh consecutive trip to the NBA Finals. But James has deep respect for the Warriors. They've been the best team in our league for the last three years, and then they added an MVP. They've just been more consistent and they added Kevin freakin' Durant. "He's doing a lot more movement, which makes it even tougher to guard after being one of the tougher scorers I've ever seen". Those guys are going to challenge me, they're going to challenge our ballclub. "We knew it wouldn't be easy, but we got some things we can correct and come back ready [for Game 4]".

The two finals teams have lost just one game between them on the way to the finals, the Warriors going a ideal 12-0 in cutting a swathe through the Western Conference and the Cavs dropping just one game.

The Cleveland regulars were 16 of 33 from behind the arc through three quarters-after the Cavs went 19 of 39 on treys in a 44-point win in Game 2.

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A sensational display from All Star guard Kyrie Irving rescued the Cavs after the shorthanded Celtics looked as though they may battle their way to another unlikely road win, putting the defending champions up 3-1 in the best of seven series.

"(Surgery is) not the number one option right now, but it could be once the swelling goes down", Thomas said.

James, who spent a good portion of the first half on the bench with four fouls, came back to score 24 of his 34 points in the second half. "Like it hurt me".

"This is great learning for how far we have to go", Stevens said.

After getting eliminated, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens now looks ahead to the National Basketball Association draft and said, "It's pretty cool to think that in three weeks you've got the No. 1 pick in the draft". "But nobody's going to feel sorry for me. It's just my personal goal to keep me motivated - that's all".

The Celtics have the No. 1 pick in the draft, along with the salary-cap space to sign a top free agent.

"We're definitely disappointed. I felt like if we weren't, it would be a problem", Bradley said. Just getting to that point, you know how hard it is and how much work you put in to start the season.