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When the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors renew their storied rivalry Monday, neither side will have to look very far for motivation. Cavs vs Warriors live stream: West Cavs vs Warriors basketball: tv channel, start time, odds and point spread, preview. NBA MLK Day schedule, scores, highlights: Warriors vs. Cavaliers renew rivalry.
The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers will do battle for the final time in the 2017-18 regular season, the last possible preview of a potential NBA Finals four-peat. The Warriors defeated the Cavs 99-92 on Christmas Day, but it hardly carried the magnitude of what Martin Luther King Jr. day is about to bring is.
Two of the four most important players currently engulfed in this rivalry, Stephen Curry and Isaiah Thomas, didn’t suit up in the first meeting due to injury. Both are expected to play Monday. Barring trades, both teams will go in with mostly complete, healthy rosters that could reflect the personnel representing the 2018 NBA Finals.
Sexy once upon a time, filled with chunks of drama that metastasized into two years of rage and conflict, the rivalry between the Warriors at the Cavaliers ends its 30th month Monday in need of resuscitation. The surest way, perhaps the only way, to revive it is if the Cavaliers somehow beat the odds Monday and take down the Warriors in Cleveland.
The Warriors, winners of two out of the last three NBA titles, host the Cavs, who broke up Golden State’s run in 2016 during the league’s marquee matchup at 3 p.m. Christmas Day.
Since the two teams began facing off for NBA Championships in 2015, both sides have fired shots, on the court and in the press, that have enhanced the rivalry and made things more intense for players and fans alike.
Whether it’s a whiff of champagne in the locker room or a swift kick to a sensitive area on the floor, it doesn’t take much for players from both sides to get their blood pumping.
Here’s a look back at 13 moments from the Cavaliers-Warriors rivalry that show why it’s the best in the NBA.
After defeating the Cavaliers in the 2015 Finals and celebrating in Cleveland, Golden State guard Stephen Curry remarked to reporters that he hoped the visitor’s locker room at The Q “still smells like champagne” prior to the Warriors’ return in January of 2016.
A year later, Curry told reporters he was “surprised” that anybody would have hard feelings about the remark, choosing instead to focus on good memories of the celebration.
Late in Game 4 of the 2016 NBA Finals, Draymond Green reacted to LeBron James stepping over him by punching James in the groin. The sequence led to Green being suspended for Game 5 and sparked the Cavaliers to three straight wins to capture the title.
After Game 4 of the 2016 Finals, Warriors guard Klay Thompson talked about how surprised he was that LeBron James reacted to Draymond Green’s trash talk. “I’m just kind of shocked some guys take it so personal,” Thompson said. James famously “took the high road” when asked about the comments.