LeBron James is in the NBA Finals for the ninth time and the eighth straight season.
The Cleveland Cavaliers meet the Golden State Warriors in the finals for the fourth straight season. Game 1 is tonight at Oracle Arena in Oakland.
The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers in five games last year. It was James’ fifth loss in the finals in eight appearances.
It was the fifth loss in the finals for James in eight appearances.
Here’s a recap of LeBron’s eight finals appearances:
2007: Spurs 4, Cavaliers 0
James was 22 when he led the Cavs to the finals for the first time. He averaged 22.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.8 assists.
The Cavs lost the first two games on the road, 85-76 and 103-92, but played the Spurs close at home, losing 75-72 and 83-82. James shot 10 of 30 from the field in Game 4 and 36 percent from the field in the series. There hasn’t been a sweep in the finals since.
“I think we played well,” James said. “We definitely just faced a better team in this series, simple as that.”
2011: Mavericks 4, Heat 2
In his first season in Miami, James led the Heat to the finals. With a chance to take a 2-0 series lead, the Cavs blew a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter of Game 2.
James averaged 17.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists. Dallas rallied from a 2-1 deficit, winning the last three games 86-83, 112-103 and 105-95.
“It was a failure in ‘07 when we lost to the Spurs when I was in Cleveland,” James said. “It’s a failure now.”
2012: Heat 4, Thunder 1
James won his first NBA title with a dominant performance against Oklahoma City. He averaged 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists. He was named finals MVP for the first time.
The Heat routed the Thunder 121-106 in Game 5, and James and fellow stars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh left the game with three minutes remaining.
“You know, my dream has become a reality now, and it’s the best feeling I ever had,” James said.
2013: Heat 4, Spurs 3
James averaged 25.3 points, 10.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists and earned his second straight Finals MVP honor. In Game 7, a 95-88 victory in Miami, he scored 37 points.
Miami avoided elimination with a 103-100 overtime victory in Game 6. A last-second shot by Ray Allen in the fourth quarter saved them.
“I work on my game a lot throughout the offseason,” James said. “I put a lot of work into it and to be able to come out here and (have) the results happen out on the floor is the ultimate. The ultimate. I’m at a loss for words.”
2014: Spurs 4, Heat 1
James put up big numbers again — 28.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game — but the Spurs won four games by 15 points or more.
“We lost one (finals), we won two and we lost another one,” James said. “(We’ll) take 50 percent in four years in championships any day. Obviously, we want to win all of them, but that’s just the nature of the game. Not proud of the way we played (in this series).”
2015: Warriors 4, Cavs 2
In his first season back in Cleveland, James led the Cavs back to the finals, but injuries to Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving left them little chance against the Warriors.
James posted his best individual performance in a finals, averaging 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists.
“We ran out of talent,” James said. “We gave everything we had.”
2016: Cavs 4, Warriors 3
James earned MVP honors by averaging 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists. In Game 7, with the game tied at 89-89, James blocked a shot by Andre Iguodala with 1:50 remaining. The Cavs took the lead on a 3-pointer by Kyrie Irving with 53 seconds left. James clinched the victory by making 1 of 2 free throws with 10.6 seconds to go.
“I’m true to the game, and I know what I bring to the table,” James said. “I came back for a reason. I came back to bring a championship to our city. I knew what I was capable of doing. I knew what I learned in the last couple years that I was gone. I knew when I came back I had the right ingredients and the right blueprint to help this franchise get back to a place that we’ve never been. That’s what it was all about.”
2017: Warriors 4, Cavs 1
The Cavs and Warriors matched up in the finals for the third straight season.
James scored 41 points with 13 rebounds and eight assists in the deciding game as the Warriors won their second title in the last three seasons. He became the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double in the finals.
"I couldn't be more proud of that guy," Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving said. "He left it all out there on that floor. And to average a triple-double in the freaking Finals, man, add that to the LeBron long list that everyone keeps forgetting."
James averaged 33.6 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
"I left everything on the floor every game, all five games," James said. "So for me personally, I have no reason to put my head down. I have no reason to look back at what I could have done or what I shouldn't have done or what I could have done better for the team. I left everything I had out on the floor every single game for five games in this Finals, and you come up short."