LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry will be the big scene tonight when Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals for two of the NBA’s best players begins.

“We’re just two of the most competitive players to have played this game,” James said on Monday. “We want to etch our name in the history books as much as possible, and we are playing our way. I have nothing but the greatest admiration and respect for Steph.”

Curry and Draymond Green reflect on the many memorable Golden State NBA Finals battles with James and marvel at how everyone is still playing basketball at such a high level so many years later.

That Western Conference semifinal that begins Tuesday is news to everyone, though: Curry, Green, Klay Thompson and those Warriors have never faced LeBron’s Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs, even though they know the game too well. James himself .

“It’s special to know the first series we’ve played against him in Cleveland in 2014-15 so far, we’re lucky to be playing at this level,” Curry said. “Excited for a new chapter, two teams trying to keep their season alive and chasing a championship. That’s all it is.”

Photos: Celebrities who attended the Lakers game to see LeBron James make history

The Warriors and James Cavaliers met in four consecutive NBA Finals between 2015 and 2018.

Game 1 of this best-of-seven Western Conference Semifinals series is at the home of the Warriors: Golden State is the sixth seed and the Lakers are No. 7. This is the first time a No. 6 seed has landed. in the second round. since the sixth-seeded Houston Rockets faced the No. 7 Seattle SuperSonics in 1987.

“It’s weird, a six-seven seeding streak, we have home-court advantage so we have to take advantage of that,” Curry said.

Curry is 15-7 against James in the playoffs, averaging 25.4 points to James’ 33.

They are always stunning.

In February, 38-year-old James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. And now, at 35, the reigning NBA Finals MVP,

Curry, who is coming off a 50-point masterpiece in a 120-100 Game 7 win at Sacramento on Sunday that completed a comeback after falling 2-0, the most points in a Game 7 and his leading performance scorer of any postseason game.

“#1, you talk about some of the top competitors, LeBron is one of the top competitors, Steph, Klay, me (Kevon Looney), the top competitors,” Green said.

“We don’t take these opportunities for granted. Who you are as a professional will show during these times. Here we are eight years after our first meeting in a playoff series and we are still playing at this level. It is special. It says a lot about who you are as a professional.”

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