Love is expected back for the Finals, and Lue needs his experience against the Warriors, who like the Cavs rallied to win the Western Conference finals by taking Game 7 on the road. Irving outplayed Stephen Curry in the 2016 Finals (not to mention he hit the game-winning shot in Game 7), and scored 40 in the Cavs' lone win in the series last season.
The Warriors are the first team in postseason history to win multiple elimination games in the same series when trailing by 10 or more points at halftime.
"I saw one of the worst quarters of basketball we've ever played and we're down five points".
Of course, Durant was the victor of the 2017 NBA Finals MVP, after averaging 35.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. It's a contradiction of styles that played out to a lesser extent in the Eastern Conference finals between the Cavaliers and Celtics.
Golden State, after trailing by 11 points at the intermission, outscored the Rockets 33-15 in the third period.
"We approach this series looking to win", coach Tyronn Lue said Tuesday, before his team left for California to get ready for Game 1 Thursday.
"That's what C.P. was so good at in two [of the] games we won", the Rockets coach said.
The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas set the Warriors as -1000 favorites to win the series, meaning bettors would have to put down $1,000 on Golden State to win $100 on their bet. After scoring 35 points in Game 6, he collected three fouls in less than four minutes to force him to sit out most of the first quarter.
Without Iguodala, the Warriors are squeezing more minutes out of Jordan Bell and Kevon Looney. Before we had eight or nine days to settle in; we hadn't played and had trouble trying to get our rhythm.
For two straight games, the third quarter officiating has been rough to say the least.
"It's been great to come out of the locker room kind of focused, locked in, made some shots, get some stops and just have fun".
"We just didn't have that extra juice that we needed", Harden said.