The Cavaliers turned the tables in front of the Golden State fans in Game 7 past year, winning the decider 93-89.
To cap this momentous occasion for the first-time champ, Nike released a fitting ad highlighting all the criticism Durant has gotten in his entire career, from “too weak, ‘ “soft” to “no defense” which intensified when he joined the Warriors before the season began”.
“We were able to get them a year ago, and they went out and got one of the best players that this league has ever seen”, James said.
“I couldn’t sleep for two days I was anxious, I was jittery”. To be back here, bring ol’ Larry back home, I’m just excited to do something special. “I told you when I was eight years old we’d do it!”
“We prevailed, we are champions and it was unbelievable to do it on our own floor”.
“I left everything on the floor every game”, James said after averaging a triple-double in his eighth Finals.
The Warriors also won titles in 1947 and 1956, when the team was based in Philadelphia, and took the crown in 1975 and 2015 after moving to the San Francisco Bay area, but had never clinched a title at home.
“Appropriate fear” is a mantra that Kerr has applied since becoming a coach in this league, constantly reminding his player that in order to reach greater heights, one has to be conscious of the possibility of losing, fearing it, but ultimately conquering said fear with means of preparation.
James led the way, connecting on five of his first six shots.
James had a spectacular series, averaging 33.6 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists but it wasn’t enough.
But James, in his seventh consecutive playoff series and eighth overall, fell to 3-5 in the championship round.
Irving also was the driving force in keeping the Cavaliers alive on Friday, burying seven 3-pointers to account for a majority of his game-high 40 points.
“We’ll just come and play our game, continue to build on what we’ve been doing since Day 1 of training camp”, said Warriors star Kevin Durant, attempting to brush all distractions aside. “I have no reason to look back at what I could have done or what I shouldn’t have done or what I could have done better for the team”.
The 129-120 victory marks Golden State’s second National Basketball Association title in three years, having clinched the series 4-1. “I’d rather be a part of something that could leave a legacy”.
While it is unknown exactly which seats the buyer obtained, face value for courtside seats are going for up to $3,000. Game 5 was attached to rising angst about a repeat of last June’s collapse in the Finals.
“We learned from everything we’ve been through”, Curry said during the trophy celebration.
J.R. Smith hit another 3-pointer and LeBron James scored on a hard putback to help Cleveland cut a deficit that was 17 in the second quarter to eight, 86-77, with five minutes to play in the third quarter.
The Warriors, who were playing a Game 5 for the first time in the postseason, shot 51.1 percent from the field and 36.8 percent on 3-pointers.
With the Cleveland Cavaliers holding a six-point lead early in the second frame, guard Deron Williams corralled a rebound and started a 2-on-1 fastbreak with James.
Their superior depth proved vital, with Warriors bench players contributing 35 points – including 20 from Andre Iguodala – to just seven for the Cavs’ back-ups.
Meanwhile, Durant (2 of 9) and Stephen Curry (2 of 9) struggled for Golden State at the other end.
The Warrirors had their own foul trouble issues early on to deal with as three starters – Thompson, Green and Durant all finished the half with two.
The Warriors kept a 71-60 half-time lead but the Cavaliers trimmed the deficit in the third quarter, Smith sinking a three-pointer to pull Cleveland within 98-93 entering the fourth quarter.