Warriors on verge of NBA title

Steph Curry (left) shakes hands with Draymond Green during an NBA Finals match against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo / Getty Images
Steph Curry (left) shakes hands with Draymond Green during an NBA Finals match against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo / Getty Images

After verbal barbs, a baby bottle emoji and low blows, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers return to the court for what could be the final game of the NBA championship series.

The Warriors will host the Cavaliers in front of a ravenous home crowd at Oakland's Oracle Arena on Monday (Tuesday 1pm NZT).

The Warriors hold a 3-1 series lead and a victory will clinch back-to-back NBA titles.

The Cavaliers, however, have been buoyed by the one game suspension of Warriors' power forward Draymond Green for repeated dirty play.

The Warriors' Australian centre Andrew Bogut will have to help fill the physical, rebounding and emotional void left by Green's absence Both teams have also been fired up by off the court remarks by players and players' wives.

"We're in a competitive series right now and I think friendship is the last thing we're thinking about," James told reporters.

If the Cavaliers win on Monday, game six will be in Cleveland on Wednesday.

If needed, the best-of-seven series will be concluded in Oakland on Sunday.

Green's one game suspension came after he racked up flagrant fouls for striking the genitals of Kiwi Oklahoma City Thunder centre Steve Adams in the Western Conference Finals and doing the same to James in game four.

The referees allowed a physical contest and in the final minutes James and Green became entangled. James stepped over the top of Green, who was sprawled out on the court and Green retaliated by swiping at James' genitals.

James also claims Green's trash talking crossed the line. The Warriors hit back, describing James as being sensitive and accused the Cavaliers of campaigning for Green's suspension.

"I guess his feelings just got hurt," Warriors guard Klay Thompson said. James replied: "I'm not going to comment on what Klay said. I've taken the high road again".

Warriors back-up centre Marreese Speights appeared to target James by tweeting a baby bottle emoji. Ayesha Curry, wife of Warriors' NBA MVP Steph Curry, also used Twitter to take aim at the "high road" comments made by James and his decision to step over Green. "High Road. Invisible bridge used to step over said person when open floor is available left to right," she wrote.

- AAP

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