Game 1 recaps: The Warriors have won all three of the previous Game 1s in the NBA Finals, outscoring the Cavs 325-280

2015

Game 1 at Oakland: Warriors 108, Cavaliers 100 (OT)

Warriors lead 1-0

As NBA Finals starts go, the Cavs couldn’t have had a better one. They jumped out to a 29-15 lead in the first quarter, but the Warriors made a run before halftime. J.R. Smith’s 3-pointer with 0.7 second left in the first half gave the Cavs a 51-48 lead. A tight game throughout, the Cavs had two chances to win the game in the final seconds, but LeBron James missed a jumper and Iman Shumpert missed a prayer off an offensive rebound before the buzzer and the game went to overtime, where the Cavs lost more than the game. The Cavs went cold in OT and scored their only points on a James lay­up with less than 10 seconds left. Also in OT, they lost Kyrie Irving for the series when he suffered a fractured left knee. James finished with 44 points and Stephen Curry had 26. The Warriors’ reserves outscored the Cavs’ reserves 34-9, and all of the Cavs points off the bench came from Smith.

2016

Game 1 at Oakland: Warriors 104, Cavaliers 89

Warriors lead 1-0

The Cavs have seen this story play out before. The Cavs held a 68-67 lead and then Curry and Co. got loose on a 29-9 run between the third and fourth quarters and led by 20. Curry and Klay Thompson drilled consecutive 3-pointers to drive the point home. The Warriors bench was too much, again, for the Cavs with a 45-10 scoring advantage.

2017

Game 1 at Oakland: Warriors 113, Cavaliers 91

Warriors lead 1-0

Golden State started the second half with a 13-0 run and the addition of Kevin Durant proved to be too much as he scored 38 points and Curry had 28. James needed to be perfect and he wasn’t. He scored 28 points and was two assists shy of a triple-double, but he also had eight of the team’s 20 turnovers and could not prevent the Warriors’ 13th consecutive postseason win. A common theme in all three Game 1s? The Warriors reserves outscored the Cavs 103-40.

Game 2 recaps: Golden State is two for three in the second game of the NBA Finals with the Cavs, outscoring the Cavs 335-285.

2015

Game 2 at Oakland: Cavaliers 95, Warriors 93 (OT)

Series tied 1-1

It took another overtime and a James triple-double to beat the Warriors at home in the first time in NBA history Games 1 and 2 were decided in OT. James played 50 minutes and either scored or assisted on 66 of the Cavs’ 95 points. The game didn’t have to be as close as it was, as the Cavs let an 11-point lead with three minutes left slip away. James missed a potential game-winning lay­up in regulation and Tristan Thompson’s tip-in also failed. The Cavs gutted their way through the overtime and Thompson stole an inbounds pass and the Cavs ran the final seconds out for the win. After the game, James called the Cavs “The Grit Squad.”

2016

Game 2 at Oakland: Warriors 110, Cavaliers 77

Warriors lead 2-0

Golden State seemed to be in control of the series and Kevin Love was injured and missed the second half of the game. Green scored 28 points, including five 3-pointers, for the Warriors. James scored just 19 points and the Warriors’ 48-point margin of victory in the first two games was the highest in NBA Finals history.

2017

Game 2 at Oakland: Warriors 132, Cavaliers 113

Warriors lead 2-0

Golden State’s postseason win streak stretched to a record 14 games. It was a 3-pointer party with Curry, Durant and Thompson each hitting four 3s. James had a triple double (29 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds) and moved into a tie with Magic Johnson for the most triple-doubles in NBA Finals history (eight).

Game 3 recaps: The Cavs have won two of the three third games in NBA Finals vs. Golden State, outscoring the Warriors 329-299

2015

Game 3 at Cleveland: Cavaliers 96, Warriors 91

Cavs lead 2-1

Cleveland led wire-to-wire and pulled away in the third quarter to build a 20-point lead. The Warriors chipped away at the lead in the fourth and got as close as 81-80. The game is remembered for Matthew Dellavedova’s shot that went in after he was fouled by Curry. Dellavedova hit the subsequent free throw, James drilled a 3-pointer and the Cavs led 87-80. This was a significant win for the Cavs — it was the first time in franchise history the team led an NBA Finals series. James finished with 40 points and eight rebounds. Curry had 27 for the Warriors.

2016

Game 3 at Cleveland: Cavaliers 120, Warriors 90

Warriors lead 2-1

This is how you respond to getting blown out in the first two games: The Cavs opened with a 33-16 lead at the end of first quarter and never looked back as Quicken Loans Arena rocked. Love didn’t play because of a concussion, but four Cavs starters scored in double figures, led by James’ 32 points. Irving added 30.

2017

Game 3 at Cleveland: Warriors 118, Cavaliers 113

Warriors lead 3-0

Golden State’s 15th consecutive postseason win was historic. The Warriors became the first team in the four major North American pro sports to win that many postseason games in a row, besting the NHL’s 1992-93 Penguins, who had a 14-game streak. Durant, again, led the Warriors with 31 points. James had 39 for the Cavs, who started the final quarter with a 71-69 lead and extended that to 113-107 with 2:32 left. However, 11 consecutive Golden State points spelled disaster.

Game 4 recaps: Golden State has won two of the three fourth games in the NBA Finals, outscoring the Cavs 327-316.

2015

Game 4 at Cleveland: Warriors 103, Cavaliers 82

Series tied 2-2

Golden State made a lineup change, starting Andre Iguodala over Andrew Bogut, and it proved to be a tough matchup for the Cavs. James was hurt in the second quarter when he cut his head on a photographer’s camera, but stayed in the game. The Cavs cut a 15-point Warriors lead to 65-62, but couldn’t get closer as Curry caught fire in the fourth. The Cavs made just 6-of-45 shots outside the paint, their worst performance of the season. Timofey Mozgov led the Cavs with 28 points, and Curry and Iguodala each had 22 for the Warriors.

2016

Game 4 at Cleveland: Warriors 108, Cavaliers 97

Warriors lead 3-1

Curry finally got going for the Warriors, scoring 38 points and knocking down 7-of-13 3-pointers. Golden State drained a Finals-record 17 3s and made just 16 2-point baskets. It was the first time in Finals history one team scored more points from beyond the 3-point arc than inside it. The series took a turn late, though, when Green fell to the floor and James stepped over him. Green swung an arm and hit James in the groin, which resulted in Green being suspended for the next game after the league reviewed the incident. A few seconds, later, Green and James chased a rebound and had to be separated after a double foul was called.

2017

Game 4 at Cleveland: Cavaliers 137, Warriors 116

Warriors lead 3-1

Their 15-game win streak ended, as the Warriors did not become the first team to put together a perfect run to an NBA title by winning each of their series in four-game sweeps. The Cavs scored 49 points in the first quarter and 86 in the first half — both NBA Finals records — and James passed Johnson for the most Finals triple-doubles with his ninth (31 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists). Irving scored 40 points to lead the Cavs, making 7-of-12 3-pointers. Curry, Thompson and Green all scored 20 pointers or fewer. The game also was notable for the officiating. Green was called for a foul against Shumpert away from a jump ball and then seemed to be hit with a technical foul that was assessed to Steve Kerr. Geen was hit with a “second” technical later in the game, which would have meant an ejection. However, officials clarified the first technical was on Kerr. James and Durant were hit with double technicals and continued to have a heated exchange of words. A fan was escorted from the arena. If this Finals lacked competitive spirit, Game 4 made up for it.

Game 5 recaps: Golden State has won two out of the three fifth games in the NBA Finals against the Cavs while outscoring them 330-323.

2015

Game 5 at Oakland: Warriors 104, Cavaliers 91

Warriors lead 3-2

Game 5 is a pivotal game with 20 of 28 Game 5 winners from a tied series going on to win the championship. A 13-6 run to start the fourth gave the Cavs an 80-79 lead, but that was it as the Warriors made an onslaught of shots and outscored the Cavs 25-11 to finish the game. James had 40 points and Curry had 37.

2016

Game 5 at Oakland: Cavaliers 112, Warriors 97

Warriors lead 3-2

In what may have been their finest performance together, James and Irving each scored 41 points and became the first teammates to score more than 40 points in an NBA Finals game. Green was suspended for this game for hitting James in the groin area in Game 4, which was ruled a flagrant 1 foul. It was Green’s fourth flagrant foul of the playoffs, triggering the suspension. Bogut also was lost for the series when he came down awkwardly while defending Smith. After Irving and James, the only other Cavs player in double digits was Smith with 10 points. The Cavs took momentum back to Cleveland and seemed to have new life.

2017

Game 5 at Oakland: Warriors 129, Cavaliers 120

Golden State wins series 4-1

Love had one of his worst playoff games in his career and the Cavs bench — again — was outscored, this time 35-7, by the Warriors bench. James finished with 41 points and Irving had 26. Love played nearly 30 minutes and the Cavs were minus-23 with him on the floor. The Cavs started the fourth down 98-93 and cut it to 98-95 on a James lay­up. Slowly, the Warriors pulled away and opened a 122-108 lead with four minutes left. Durant was named the Finals MVP.

Game 6 recaps: Each team has won a sixth game in the NBA Finals, and the Cavs have outscored the Warriors 212-206

2015

Game 6 at Cleveland: Warriors 105, Cavaliers 97

Golden State wins series 4-2

The Warriors controlled this game, although Smith led a Cavs rally late that cut the lead to four with 33 seconds left. Golden State made its free throws down the stretch and secured the series win at Quicken Loans Arena. James left the game with 10 seconds left to a standing ovation. “If I could’ve gave more, I would’ve done it,” James said. Dellavedova had just one point in 26 minutes. James had nine of the Cavs’ 14 assists and said, “I don’t enjoy that. That’s not winning basketball.” Iguodala, who didn’t start until Game 4, was the Finals MVP.

2016

Game 6 at Cleveland: Cavaliers 115, Warriors 101

Series tied 3-3

Momentum carried over to a 31-11 lead at the end of the first quarter for the Cavs. James had another dominant game and finished with 41 points. At one point in the second half, he scored 18 consecutive points. The signature moment of this game came when James swatted a Curry shot and then had words with the Warriors star. Curry fouled out late in the fourth quarter and threw his mouthpiece in the stands, hitting a fan. He was ejected from the game.

Game 7 recap: The Cavs won the only Game 7 between the teams in the NBA Finals

2016

Game 7 at Oakland: Cavaliers 93, Warriors 89

The Cavs win series 4-3

James and his teammates seemed to have the mental edge all series on the Warriors. Green was suspended for one game, and Curry fouled out and was ejected from another. Game 7 was everything it was supposed to be with 20 lead changes. The Warriors failed to score a point in the final 4:39. With 1:50 left, the Cavs had undoubtedly the franchise’s most important sequence of plays in franchise history. Iguodala had an open lay­up on a fast break and James swooped in from behind and pinned it against the backboard and Smith grabbed the rebound. Then with 53 seconds left and coming out of a timeout, Irving drilled a 3-pointer over Curry for a 92-89 lead. With 33 seconds left, the Warriors got the matchup they wanted when Love was forced to guard Curry on a switch, and guard him he did as Curry didn’t get a clean look and missed a 3-pointer. James finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists — just the third triple-double in a Game 7 in NBA Finals history, joining Lakers legends Jerry West and James Worthy. The Cavs became the first team to win an NBA Finals by rallying from a 3-1 deficit. As Cleveland celebrated the city’s first major championship since 1964, the Warriors signed Durant about two weeks after the NBA Finals.

— Todd Porter, Canton Repository

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