The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers to regain the NBA Championship with a 4-1 series win.
LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 41 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists but it proved in vain as the home team came out on top. He averaged 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists in the Cavs seven-game series win over the Warriors in 2016, finishing it with three of the greatest games of his career in succession.
The people in the video mimicked numerous criticisms Durant has faced since entering the National Basketball Association in 2007 as a member of the then Seattle Supersonics (now Oklahoma City Thunder), including that he’s “too weak”, “soft” and “not a real leader”.
“There was never any question in my mind that this was going to work”, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of the addition of Durant to a Curry-led core that already was good enough to make consecutive Finals. “Our perspective, being blessed to play on this stage three years in a row, it’s for these fans, for our organization, for these families. I was anxious and jittery and I just wanted to leave it all out there”, Durant told ESPN’s Doris Burke minutes after the game ended. “I’m not in the front office, but I know our front office is going to continue to try to put our ball club, put our franchise in a position where we can compete for a championship year in and year out”.
Led by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers looked to find the extra gear they’d been missing in the opening three matches, threatening to exploit mental ghosts that accompanied a Warriors 3-1 finals lead from the 2015/16 season.
Completing a flawless 9-0 run at home during the postseason, the Warriors became the first San Francisco Bay Area team to win a championship at home since the Oakland Athletics won the 1974 World Series. Thompson and Smith confronted West and all three of those players received technical fouls.
“It’s just unfortunate for some of the guys on our team that’s never been able to get this far and not be able to hold the trophy up”, James said.
Durant, with 39 in last night’s clincher, was the difference in what wasone of the easiest MVP votes in the history of the Finals.
“I’m happy for him”, Curry said. He averaged 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists en route to the award.
“I broke down so I couldn’t really finish my speech”, he said.
“It would be the same if you feel like you [had the best accomplishment] of you your life and somebody picked another one over you”, James said.
A year ago, these Warriors fell short after a record-setting season that included a 24-0 start and 73 victories at the end to break the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ wins mark.
Kyrie Irving had 26 points and J.R. Smith chipped in 25 on 7 of 8 from 3-point range.
Additionally, the Warriors got double-digit scoring efforts from shooting guard Stephen Curry (34 points), shooting guard Klay Thompson (11), power forward Draymond Green (10) and reserve forward Andre Iguodala (20).