Golden State's 'Splash Brothers' stand as LeBron James' final obstacle

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By JOHN DORN

Four more wins. That's how close LeBron James is from navigating the Cleveland Cavaliers to their city's first title in more than 50 years. With Kevin Love out and Kyrie Irving ailing, all is—once again—left to James to finally grab the elusive title.

But standing in the way are the 67-win Golden State Warriors, the league's most dominant team in 2015—or particularly, arguably the most dynamic duo the league has to offer.

In their fourth season together, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have evolved into much more than the pair of sharpshooters that earned them their famed moniker. Two three-point shooters alone wouldn't be nearly enough to stop LeBron's quest. This past season, the 'Splash Brothers' have amassed any and all expectations—both individually and as a team.

Curry, from an undersized combo guard to league MVP, and Thompson, from flawed specialist to legitimate two-way threat, have made the necessary leaps. Now, they stand as a rare force that can outlast the best player in the world.


Combining for 48.9 points a night, Curry and Thompson have outscored LeBron and Kyrie Irving's 46.3. Both Splash Brother are shooting at 46 percent from the field and over 42.5 percent from the three-point line.

Almost a year after the Warriors were reportedly asked to ship Thompson out to Minnesota in exchange for Kevin Love, Klay is now in the position to knock off Love's new team as one of the Warriors' LeBron-stopping options.

Now, the Cavs are without Love. They'll likely be without a healthy Irving. Cleveland's title hopes are once again in James' hands, but for the first time in years, he'll be facing a force that's strong enough to neutralize him.

Relive the Warriors' road to the Finals:
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Golden State Warriors, road to the Finals
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Golden State's 'Splash Brothers' stand as LeBron James' final obstacle
Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green (23) battles for a rebound with New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis, bottom, during the second half in Game 1 of the NBA basketball playoffs Saturday, April 18, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. Golden State won 106-99. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, Pool)
Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) shoots past New Orleans Pelicans' Tyreke Evans, left, Quincy Pondexter (20) and Anthony Davis (23) during the first half in Game 1 of the NBA basketball playoffs Saturday, April 18, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 25: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors drives to the basket against Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans during Game Four in the first round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at the Smoothie King Center on April 25, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 25: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors hugs Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans after Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the NBA Playoffs at Smoothie King Center on April 25, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 11: Courtney Lee #5 of the Memphis Grizzlies defends Harrison Barnes #40 of the Golden State Warriors during Game four of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on May 11, 2015 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 09: Tony Allen #9 of the Memphis Grizzlies celebrates after making a basket against the Golden State Warriors during Game three of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on May 9, 2015 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 09: Mike Conley #11 of the Memphis Grizzlies shoots the ball against the Golden State Warriors during Game three of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on May 9, 2015 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson, center, shoots over Memphis Grizzlies' Mike Conley, left, and Tony Allen (9) during the fourth quarter in Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, May 5, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 09: Tony Allen #9 of the Memphis Grizzlies steals the ball away from Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors during Game three of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on May 9, 2015 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) reacts after scoring during the first half of Game 5 in a second-round NBA playoff basketball series against the Memphis Grizzlies in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, May 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives between Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, left, and forward Harrison Barnes during the first half of Game 5 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, May 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson lies on the court after being injured during the second half of Game 5 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals against the Houston Rockets in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, May 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard, bottom, dunks against Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut during the first half of Game 5 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, May 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Golden State Warriors center Festus Ezeli, bottom, and Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones look for the call during the second half of Game 5 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, May 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry holds his daughter Riley after Game 5 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals against the Houston Rockets in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, May 27, 2015. The Warriors won 104-90 and advanced to the NBA Finals. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Golden State Warriors players celebrate after Game 5 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals against the Houston Rockets in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, May 27, 2015. The Warriors won 104-90 and advanced to the NBA Finals. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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