Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, center, battles for position between… (David Santiago / Associated…)
Many basketball savants before the season were predicting a LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant face-off in the NBA Finals. And here it is.
Both stars are in their 20s, and with other key players on the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder also being young, this could evolve into a Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird-like matchup for many Junes to come.
Both teams have a Big 3: Miami's James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have averaged 67.4 points in the playoffs, while the Thunder's trio of Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden have poured in 67.1 points a game.
James won his third league MVP award this season, while Durant won his third scoring title, and both the Heat and Thunder play up-tempo games.
But for all their glitz, only two starters on the Heat and Thunder have title rings: Wade (Heat '06) and Kendrick Perkins (Celtics '08).
This is James' third trip to the NBA Finals -- he and the Heat lost last June to the Dallas Mavericks, and James lost in the Finals when he played for Cleveland in 2007.
Does home court matter in the NBA Finals?
It does, at least according to gambling site Betus.com, which favors the Thunder, by 7-to-4 odds, to win the title. OKC has home court in the series over the Heat because of a better regular-season record. As for Game 1, to be played tonight in Oklahoma City, the gambling site favors the Thunder by 5 1/2 points.
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