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No. 1 BOSTON CELTICS vs. No. 2 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

--Boston and Cleveland are meeting in the playoffs for the seventh time. The Celtics hold a 4-2 edge, but the Cavaliers won the most recent series in the first round in 2015. Boston defeated Cleveland in the 1976 Eastern Conference Finals on their way to a championship.

--The Cavaliers are in the Conference Finals for the third straight year. This is Boston’s first trip to the Conference Finals since 2012, when the Celtics lost to LeBron James and the Miami Heat in seven games.

--With a win in Game 1, Cleveland would become the seventh team in NBA history to open a postseason with nine straight victories. (Golden State just became the sixth team to accomplish the feat; the Warriors are 9-0 in the 2017 playoffs entering Game 2 vs. the San Antonio Spurs.) The NBA record for most victories to start a single postseason is 11 (Lakers in 1989 and 2001).

--The Cavaliers won three of four games against the Celtics during the regular season, averaging 116.3 points in those meetings.

--LeBron James is seeking to become the sixth player in NBA history to play in at least seven straight NBA Finals, joining former Boston Celtics Bill Russell (10), Tom Heinsohn (9), Sam Jones (9), K.C. Jones (8), Frank Ramsey (8) and Bob Cousy (7).

--James ranks second on the all-time playoff scoring list with 5,847 points. He needs 141 points to surpass Michael Jordan (5,987) for the top spot – about five games’ worth of production for LeBron. James has appeared in 207 playoff games and averaged 28.2 points. Jordan played in 179 playoff games and owns the highest postseason scoring average (33.4 ppg) in league history.

--James ranks fourth all-time in career playoff three pointers (309), behind Ray Allen (385), Reggie Miller (320) and Manu Ginobili (314); he is second in free throws made (1,422), behind Jordan (1,463); and he is third in steals (371), behind Scottie Pippen (396) and Jordan (376).

--The Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving was the top pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. His point guard counterpart, the Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas was the 60th and final pick in the same draft. These two dynamic scorers are on the short list of players who can take over a game offensively for long stretches and especially during crunch time. 

--Cleveland’s Tyronn Lue began his coaching career with Boston, serving as an assistant under Doc Rivers from 2009-2013. Lue followed Rivers to the LA Clippers for one season (2013-14) before being hired as the Cavaliers’ associate head coach under David Blatt in 2014. He became the team’s permanent head coach on Jan. 22, 2016, and led Cleveland to its first NBA title.

--When Celtics President Danny Ainge was coaching the Phoenix Suns in 1997, he pushed for a young PR assistant -- who was making a name for himself with the quality of the notes and stats he was preparing for media – to join the Basketball Operations department. That assistant, David Griffin, spent the next 13 years playing an integral role in the Suns’ front office before joining the Cavs in 2010 and eventually becoming the team’s general manager in 2014.

--Cavaliers starting center Tristan Thompson and Celtics backup center Kelly Olynyk are from Canada. Both have represented their home country in international competition. Olynyk scored 26 points in Boston’s Game 7 win over the Washington Wizards, becoming the first Celtics bench player to have at least 25 points in a Game 7 since John Havlicek in 1965.   

--Depth has been a key factor for both teams during the playoffs. The Cavaliers rely on a stable group of veterans to provide a lift off the bench – Kyle Korver, Channing Frye, Richard Jefferson and Deron Williams. The Celtics’ bench is decidedly younger, featuring Marcus Smart, Kelly Olynyk, Terry Rozier and rookie Jaylen Brown.  

--The Celtics’ Al Horford and the Cavaliers’ Kyle Korver were teammates for four seasons (2012-16) with the Atlanta Hawks. In 2014-15, they were two of four All-Stars (Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague) who helped the Hawks win 60 games and face Cleveland in the Conference Finals.