CLEVELAND -- It's an interminable wait for these 9 p.m. (scheduled, anyway) starts for the NBA Finals, so I decided to pass the time by doing a little research. With the Warriors on the verge of sweeping the defending champion Cavs, I wondered how many times a team had swept an opponent in the Finals after losing to them for the championship the year before.
It's happened twice. Both teams finished it off on the road. The last time was in 1989, when the Pistons swept a hobbled Lakers team that had beaten them in seven the year before. Detroit won by eight. The other time was in 1983 and also involved the Lakers. The Sixers swept LA, which had beaten them in the Finals the year before. They won that game by seven.
In both cases, the winning team came from behind to win on the opponent's home floor in the fourth quarter to complete the sweep. Golden State is a six-point favorite to finish off the Cavs on Friday night. That sounds about right, based on history. It seems the team that trails, 3-0, puts up a valiant fight but runs out of steam in the end.
Warriors by six. Durant the MVP.