Watch Cleveland Cavaliers Vs. Golden State Warriors Game 1 Live Stream: 2018 NBA Finals, Start Time, Preview

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors face off in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year on Thursday, with LeBron James and the Cavs hoping to even the series with another championship.

The 2018 NBA Finals get underway on Thursday and for the first time in league history — in fact, in the history of any of the four major North American pro sports leagues — the same two teams will play for the championship as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors meet in Game One, which will live stream from Oakland, California.

The matchup will also mark the eighth straight year that LeBron James will play for an NBA title. James has won three titles, the first two coming in 2012 and 2013 when James was a member of the Miami Heat. But in 2016, in his second year back with Cleveland, he led the Cavaliers to their first and so-far only NBA championship in the 49-year history of the franchise.

To find out how to watch a live stream of the 2018 NBA Finals Game One, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors, see the streaming information at the bottom of this article. Opening tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time at 19,500-seat Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, on Thursday, May 31. In the Eastern Time Zone, the live stream will get underway at 9 p.m.

In the 1980s — from 1980 through 1989 — either the Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers appeared in the NBA Finals in every year. But the two teams faced each other only three times during that span, and back-to-back only once, in 1984 and 1985.

But will anyone outside of Cleveland or California’s Bay Area be watching the fourth consecutive NBA Finals matchup between the Cavaliers and Warriors? According to an analysis by the entertainment news service The Wrap, the NBA shouldn’t be worried about TV ratings, at least probably not.

In the 1990s when Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six championships in eight seasons including two streaks of three Finals wins in a row, NBC which then had the NBA’s broadcast rights averaged more than 20 million viewers for each of the Bulls series.

While Jordan is long gone from the NBA, the Cavlaiers have James, and the Warriors also feature a star-studded roster, which is expected to create a draw for fans.

“LeBron James being in the Finals is never bad for business,” said former NBA coach-turned-TV-announcer Jeff Van Gundy, who will provide curtsied analysis for broadcaster ABC. “The Warriors are such a team of superior talent that (Kevin) Durant, (Stephen) Curry, (Play) Thompson, you know, they are going to always be a big draw.”

Watch a preview of the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors from NBA TV in the video below.

To watch a free live stream of the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors NBA Finals Game One showdown, log in to ESPN3, the free, online-only network of the sports media giant ESPN, by going to this link. The ESPN3 streaming network is free with almost any internet service provider subscription.

Another way to watch the first game of the 2018 NBA Finals pitting the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors for the fourth year in a row — with a free live stream but without a cable subscription — is for fans to sign up for a free trial of one of the “over the top” streaming TV packages, such as Sling TV at this link, or YouTube TV at this link, or DirecTV Now by visiting this link. All of those services require credit card information and will charge subscription fees. But they each offer a seven-day free trial period, and if the subscription is canceled prior to the expiration of that weeklong trial, fans can watch the Cavaliers vs. Warriors Game Seven live stream for free.

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