The Cleveland Cavaliers begin their latest quest for an NBA championship Sunday when they face the Detroit Pistons in the first game of the playoffs for both teams, a game that will stream live online for free and legally as Lebron James take his hometown team to the postseason for the second straight year and seventh time overall over his two stints with Cleveland.
But the now 31-year-old “King” James, who came into the NBA as a 19-year-old straight out of Saint Vincent-Saint Mary High School in nearby Akron, Ohio in 2003, has never brought a championship home to Cleveland — a city that has not seen an NBA title since the Cavaliers joined the NBA in 1971.
James has led the Cavaliers to their only two NBA Finals appearances, including last year when Cleveland went up two games to one against Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, only to lose three straight games and the championship series.
James first took Cleveland all the way to the Finals in 2007, but in that series, the San Antonio Spurs swept the Cavaliers in four straight games.
— Detroit Bad Boys (@detroitbadboys) April 14, 2016
But the Cavaliers must win three best-of-seven playoff series before they can claim another spot in the NBA Finals this year, and standing in the way of their goal, a Detroit Pistons team that finished the season at 44-38, 13 games behind Cleveland in the Eastern Conference, to win the eighth seed — and the right to face the Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs.
But in their four meetings this season, Detroit won three and lost only one to Cleveland, including an overtime win in the final game of the season April 13. But neither James, nor six-foot-10-inch power forward Kevin Love even played in that game for Cleveland.
Watch highlights of the April 13 Pistons vs. Cavaliers game in the video below.
To find out how to watch a free and legal live stream of the first game of the first-round NBA Playoffs series pitting the Detroit Pistons vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, see the streaming link in the final paragraph of this article. Tipoff at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, is scheduled for 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, noon Pacific, on Sunday, April 17.
The regular season results will likely mean nothing on Sunday with Detroit leading scorer Reggie Jackson and his Pistons going on the road to face a Cleveland team armed with a Lebron James who has played at the top of his game through the home stretch of the season.
James, over the last 10 games that he played, averaged 28.4 points, eight rebounds and 8.5 assists while firing up field goals at a lights-out 63 percent rate — and 52 percent from behind the three-point line.
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ESPN3, the online-only network of international sports conglomerate ESPN, will stream the Detroit Pistons vs. Cleveland Cavaliers first round Game One of the NBA playoffs live and for free, with video from Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Click on this link to watch the playoff matchup that could mark the first step toward the Cavaliers first NBA title for free on a computer — or watch on mobile and set-top devices with ESPN3 using the the WatchESPN app. ESPN3 is free to subscribers of almost any major internet service provider and dozens of smaller ISPs. For a complete list, check this link, or try the instructions at this link if you do not have an account with an ISP that carries the ESPN3 streaming service.
[Featured Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images]