CLEVELAND (AP) — The Latest on the NBA Finals from Game 4 (all times local):
LeBron James, most definitely, does not want to get swept in the NBA Finals for a second time.
But if it happens, at least he’ll be in elite company.
Should Cleveland lose Game 4 of this series Friday night and get swept by Golden State, James would be the fifth player to actually be on the floor for a pair of 4-0 defeats in the NBA Finals. James was on the Cleveland team that lost 4-0 to San Antonio in 2007 as well.
The other four guys to be twice-swept? They’re not bad.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Michael Cooper all played in a pair of swept-out defeats in the finals with the Los Angeles Lakers. James Worthy was on both of those teams — 1983 and 1989 — but didn’t actually play in the first sweep because of injury.
So besides Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson and Cooper, the only other player to appear in two finals sweep losses was Wes Unseld — with the Bullets in 1971 and 1975.
Golden State could hand James his second sweep loss Friday night. The Warriors lead this year’s NBA Finals 3-0.
If the Golden State Warriors win the NBA championship on Friday night, it’ll mark the earliest start to the offseason in more than three decades.
The last time the NBA Finals ended on or before June 8 was back in 1986, when the Boston Celtics defeated the Houston Rockets in six games. Since then, the earliest any title series has ended was June 12.
That means the Warriors get two chances to bring on an early summer: If they lose Game 4, they’ll play host to Game 5 on June 11.
The NBA season started earlier than the previous norms this year, part of the league’s initiative to add days to the schedule in order to limit back-to-backs and help get players more rest during the 82-game regular season grind. These finals started May 31, just the second time since 1986 that Game 1 wasn’t played in June.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball