In a matchup between superstars, Kevin Durant (left) guards LeBron James (center) on Christmas Day. Getty

The NBA Finals showdown many had anticipated since the summer of 2016 is inching closer to reality, as the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors are just three combined wins away from meeting in the title series for a third consecutive year.

The Boston Celtics cut into the Cavs' Eastern Conference series lead on Sunday night, with a tight 111-108 victory. Cleveland still leads the best-of-seven series, 2-1, and are expected to advance to the Finals. In the West, the Warriors have a 3-0 lead on the San Antonio Spurs and can earn a series sweep on Monday night.

Should both the Cavs and Warriors reach the Finals, the Warriors would have a slight edge, according to oddsmakers. lists the Warriors as 5/13 favorites to win their second title in three years, while the Cavs have 2/1 odds to repeat as champions. The Celtics and Spurs are major longshots to reach the Finals.

The Warriors will have homecourt advantage in the Finals after finishing with a 67-15 regular-season record, compared to the Cavs, who finished with a 51-31 record. The two titans met twice in the regular season. On Christmas Day, the Cavs defeated the Warriors in Cleveland, 109-108. On Jan. 16, the Warriors thumped the Cavs 126-91, in Oakland.

In 2015, the Warriors prevailed over the Cavs in six games, while the Cavs won the 2016 series in seven games.

The Cavs may not put much interest in Las Vegas oddsmakers. In 2016, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened with Golden State as a -185 favorite to defeat Cleveland. The Cavs were given +165 betting odds. Days later, the odds would shift more to the Warriors (-230), compared to the Cavs (+200).

The addition of Kevin Durant may be a determining factor in the Warriors' success. Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder in the summer to join Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green on a squad mostly still intact that set a record 73 wins in 2015-16.

Durant averaged 25.1 points per game in the regular season and has averaged 24.8 points per game in nine playoff games.

The Warriors averaged 107.7 points per game in 24 games in 2016 and has averaged 117.4 points per games in 11 games in the current playoffs.

While LeBron James and Kyrie Irving remain the most important pieces for Cleveland, the Cavs may be banking on the improved play of Kevin Love to carry them to a title. In the 2015-16 regular season, Love averaged 16 points and 9.9 rebounds per game but lifted those numbers to 19 points and 11.1 rebounds this season. In the playoffs, he averaged 14.7 points and 8.8 rebounds in 2016 and has raised them to 17.4 points and 9.7 in 11 playoff games in 2017.

"We want the mentality of Kevin from Minnesota, but his usage rate [doesn't] have to be as high as Minnesota," James said of Love, who previously starred with the Minnesota Timberwolves before he joined the Cavs in a blockbuster trade. "Obviously, we all know that he was a featured guy pretty much every possession going down the floor, and here that's changed a little bit because we have other guys.

"That mentality from Minnesota is what we all love."