OAKLAND, Calif. — LeBron James will make what has turn out to be a daily Christmas go to to the house of the reigning NBA champion when he leads his new crew, the Los Angeles Lakers, towards the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night time.
The Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, led by James, have gained the final 4 NBA titles, with the champion every of the primary 3 times incomes the correct to host the runner-up in a rematch on Christmas.
Nevertheless it’s solely half-true this 12 months, with the NBA opting to ask James and his new crew fairly than the Cavaliers.
The Warriors beat the Cavaliers of their final two Christmas rematches in Oakland following their first two championships in 2015 and 2017. James had 20 and 25 factors in these losses.
The Warriors had not but signed Kevin Durant after they beat the Cavaliers 89-83 on Christmas of 2015, with Stephen Curry scoring 19 factors and Klay Thompson 18.
After the Cavs beat the Warriors when the golf equipment met in Cleveland in 2016 — as a result of the Cavaliers had gained the championship six months earlier — the Warriors prevailed once more at house final Christmas regardless of Curry sitting out with an harm. Kevin Durant (25 factors) and Thompson (24) led the best way.
The Warriors and Lakers are assembly for the primary time since James moved west within the offseason. They presently sit second (Warriors, 23-11) and fourth (Lakers, 19-14) within the Western Convention standings, creating the chance they may meet within the playoffs for the primary time since 1991.
The final time the Warriors gained a playoff collection from the Lakers, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor have been on the dropping finish of a Three-Zero sweep within the 1967 Western semis when the opponent was often known as the San Francisco Warriors.
The Warriors will take the ground Tuesday having gained seven straight over the Lakers and having dominated them to the tune of 13-Three within the Steve Kerr period.
They’re coming off two nail-biting house wins on back-to-back nights — 120-116 over Dallas on Saturday and 129-127 over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.
“It will likely be enjoyable,” Kerr mentioned upon turning his consideration to the Lakers after Sunday’s win. “I like Christmas video games, so long as they’re at house. We’re fortunate we’re at house.”
The Lakers have misplaced three of their final 4 video games, together with a 107-99 defeat at house towards Memphis on Sunday night time.
They possible as soon as once more can be with out middle JaVale McGee, who has missed 4 straight video games as he has battled pneumonia.
McGee felt adequate to make the journey north, and can obtain his 2018 championship ring in a pregame ceremony.
A key contributor to the Warriors final season when he made 9 playoff begins, McGee admitted Sunday he was simply blissful to be again on the area and dealing up a sweat after being hospitalized.
“It felt good, man,” he mentioned of his pregame warmup, one thing he hopes to construct upon Tuesday. “Simply getting again to the routine. For the previous eight, 9 days, my routine has been laying in mattress. And that is it. So it is actual refreshing.”