After a week in which Golden State was one of the NBA’s best teams and the Cavs were arguably the best team in the league, LeBron James and company will have their hands full again when they face the Cavs on Sunday night.
LeBron James (33 points, 10 assists) and the Cavaliers will be playing the first of three meetings against the Warriors this weekend, with the second meeting taking place on Wednesday in Portland.
James, who has been playing at a high level since returning from his second ACL tear in March, has averaged 28.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.4 steals over his last five games.
The Warriors, who haven’t lost to Cleveland since April 18, are currently atop the NBA in total wins (14), plus-minus (minus-12) and offensive efficiency (108.8 points per 100 possessions).
The Cavaliers have lost four straight games, but the Warriors are currently 10-0 against them.
The Warriors lead the all-time series at 16-3.
James has led the NBA with 26.3 points per game in his last three meetings with Cleveland, averaging 23.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 3.4 assists in that span.
The Cavaliers will have to replace Kyrie Irving with a healthy Kevin Love (right ankle sprain) in the game, and the team will likely need to score more than 50 points to even the score.
James was one step away from averaging 37 points against the Cavs last week, but he fell short in the first quarter after missing his first three shots and finishing with just seven points on 3-of-12 shooting.
Cleveland went on to win 114-106.
Golden State will have a lot of firepower coming off a road win over Miami on Saturday, with Stephen Curry averaging 31.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 4 stabbings, 1 steals and 1 apg in the loss.
Curry has scored 20 or more points in each of his last two games against Cleveland.
James and Curry will be expected to make some noise in the second half of the matchup, and this game could prove to be a game where James has to prove he can play at the level he has shown during his return from the ACL tear.
The matchup between James and the Warriors is expected to be the most important of the week.
James is averaging 25.3 ppg and 13.0 rpg in his two games since returning to action, but has shot just 31.2 percent from the field in those contests.
Cleveland will also be looking to slow down Curry, who is averaging 21.8 ppg on 52.6 percent shooting.
The Cavs will be without Kevin Love, who was placed on injured reserve with a strained right hamstring and missed the first five games of the season.
Cleveland is coming off its best defensive performance of the year on Saturday night, holding Golden State to just 40.7 percent shooting and a season-low 24.7 points per contest.