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NBA finals: LeBron v. GSW, round 4. Plus, checking in on the NHL playoffs




Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors blocks the shot of LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers
Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors blocks the shot of LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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The NBA Finals start up right where they finished last year. And right where they've opened every year since 2015.

Golden State hosts Cleveland on Thursday night to begin the record fourth straight meeting between the teams. It's the first time in NBA, NFL, MLB or NHL history that the same teams are meeting four straight times in the championship round.

The Warriors have had home-court advantage each time and won Game 1 in all three series. They went on to win last year's title in five games.

Golden State will be without 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala as he continues to recover from a bone bruise in his left knee. The Cavaliers are waiting to see if Kevin Love will be cleared to play after missing Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals with a concussion.

But the NBA isn’t the only league heading into the postseason. There’s also hockey. And the battle for the Stanley Cup is heading to D.C. all tied up 1-1 after a pair of entertaining games. That contest is between the Las Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals.

With files from the Associated Press.

Guests:

Kevin Arnovitz, NBA writer ESPN and ESPN The Magazine in the Bay Area to cover tonight’s NBA Finals; he tweets @kevinarnovitz

Todd Dewey, columnist with the Las Vegas Review Journal who writes about sports and sports betting