- LeBron and Stephen to see their rivalry reinvent in play-in tournament match
- Both the players will be vying for a playoff spot
- LeBron and Stephen have met in plenty of big games, including four straight NBA Finals matchups between 2015-18
Both LeBron James and Steph Curry are used to meeting in the spring with an NBA championship up for grabs. However, the stakes, this time, will be so much different when they face each other in the play-in tournament game as they will just be vying for a playoff spot.
James and the seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers host Curry’s eighth-seeded Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night in a Western Conference play-in tournament game.
At 33 years old, Stephen Curry, this season, became the oldest scoring champion since Michael Jordan did it at age 35 back in the year 1998, averaging 32.0 points, 5.5 rebounds along with 5.8 assists in 63 games.
That included 96 3-pointerss in April alone, an NBA record for a single month.
The head coach of the Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr, said, “I don’t know what else to say about Steph, we’ve been through this all year,” of the two-time league MVP.
He added, “One game to the next it’s very difficult to express just how good he is, what an amazing teammate he is, everything that he brings to the table, leadership, the example that he sets every day and then of course the brilliant shot-making.”
James has already said that Curry should be this year’s MVP.
He said, “I don’t know anything else if you’re looking for an MVP. If Steph is not on Golden State’s team, what are we looking at? We get caught up in the records sometimes,” and added, “Steph has had, in my opinion, the best season all year.”
James, on the other hand, has been averaging 25.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.8 assists in 45 games, and has played in only four games since originally sustaining a sprained right ankle on the 20th of March.
This will be the 23rd postseason game between LeBron James and Stephen Curry. Golden State and Cleveland faced off in four straight NBA Finals between 2015-18, with Cleveland capturing the city’s first NBA championship in 2016 as James and Co. won Game 7 on the Warriors’ home floor.
In those seasons, James almost averaged a tiple-double (33 points, 11.5 rebounds and 9.3 assists) while Curry averaged 25.6 points and shot 39.7% from the 3-point range.
Curry said, “It will be a different scenario, another chapter in it, but at the end of the day you expect greatness”.
Both these teams ended their regular season on a winning streak with the defending NBA champions – who did not win consecutive games for nearly six weeks – have taken their last five and Golden State has won its last six.
The winner of the Wednesday game will be the 7th seed and will be able to start preparing for a first-round matchup against the Phoenix. The loser, on the other hand, will face either No. 9 seed Memphis or 10th-seeded San Antonio on Friday for the right to face No. 1 seed Utah. Anthony Davis, the Lakers’ forward said, “We know it’s a one-game thing and can’t afford to lose. We definitely want to get in that seventh seed and get a couple days off to lock in on our opponent and tighten our screws with a healthy team”.