Warriors perfect in playoffs, Cavaliers piling on the three-pointers - NBA Finals Opta preview

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The NBA Finals get under way on Thursday, with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors going head-to-head for a third year in succession.

Golden State were crowned champions in 2015, before losing the title to the Cavaliers 12 months ago.

Ahead of this year's best-of-seven series, we take a look at the best Opta facts.

 

- The Warriors enter the Finals with a perfect 12-0 record this postseason, the first team ever to accomplish that feat since the NBA switched to their current playoff format in 2003. The 1988-89 and 2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers each entered the NBA Finals undefeated, with 11-0 records.

- This is the fourth time the Cleveland Cavaliers have reached the NBA Finals, all of those appearances coming in the past decade. They defeated the Warriors last season after losing their first two Finals (2007 and 2015).

-- Cleveland and Golden State have met 19 times since the start of the 2014-15 regular season, including their two NBA Finals matchups. Golden State have won 11 of those 19 games, outscoring Cleveland 103.6-97.3 in those matches. The teams split the regular season series this year, with the home team winning each match.

- This is the first time in league history that the same two teams have faced off in three consecutive NBA Finals. Should Cleveland win the series, it would be the 12th time in NBA history that a team has won consecutive NBA titles, and the first since the Lakers did so in 2009 and 2010.

- Kevin Durant (28.4) and LeBron James (28.3) rank fourth and fifth respectively in points-per-game averages in the NBA playoffs, behind Michael Jordan (33.45), Allen Iverson (29.73) and Jerry West (29.13).

- James enters this series with 1,079 points in the Finals, the seventh-most in history. With 239 points in this series, however, he can climb to second place all-time, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,317), Michael Jordan (1,176), Elgin Baylor (1,161), Bill Russell (1,151) and Sam Jones (1,143).

- The Cavaliers hit 1,067 three-pointers in the regular season, the third-most in NBA history. They are also just the third team in league history to hit 1,000+ three-pointers in a single season.

- Golden State finished with 67 wins in the regular season, tied for the seventh-most in NBA history. They are the first team in league history to win 64+ games in three consecutive seasons.