It has been a long time coming, but the Cleveland Cavaliers triumph over the reigning champions, the Golden State Warriors, to win the NBA Finals in Game 7.
For the first time in NBA history a team in the NBA finals had recovered down 3-1 to win out of 7 games. As for the Cavs, this is the first title that the franchise has obtained since 1964.
“This is what I came back for,” says Lebron James, who had 17 points, 11 assists, and grabbed 11 rebounds in a valiant last game of 7 performance. The 31-year-old who was born a mere 20 minutes away from the stadium can now hang a banner above signifying this historic moment.
James averaged 29.9 points, 8.9 assists, 11.3 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2.3 blocks across the series.
“Everybody counted us out — and that’s when we strive the most,” Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said. “That’s definitely when I strive the most.”
They’re the “best team on the planet”, Gregg Popovich coach of the San Antonio Spurs wrapping up the Warriors in one sentence.
And so they were, after all they recorded the best team in NBA history with 73-9. After beating the Cavaliers 4-1 in the 2015 NBA playoffs, it was almost a unanimous decision by a large group of the public that the Warriors would be two-time champions. Not to mention a complete season sweep of the Cavs.
But a surge of energy in Game 3 ended all doubts, with a triple double from Lebron James (27pts, 11reb, 11ast) and a 26 point performance from Kyrie Irving. They came back from losing by 30 points in Game 2 to wining by 30 in Game 3.
Game 4 however did not seem so great, as the Warriors held down the Cavaliers 108-97.
But back to back, Game 5 and 6, James recorded 41 points with his running mate Irving who recorded 41 points in Game 5 and 23 points in Game 6.
They were not alone.
Big plays from Kevin loves tough defense, Tristan Thompson crashing the boards, and clutch shots from JR Smith gave the support the Cavaliers needed to secure the title.
Struggles from the Warriors
THey had just come off of a disappointing game result in Cleveland, where two-time MVP Stephen Curry fouled out. In disagreement with the call, Curry threw his mouthpiece into the stands and was ejected from the game. This was the first ejection of his career. On Friday, it was announced that Curry would receive a $25,000 fine for throwing his mouthpiece.
“At the end of the day, you congratulate them for accomplishing what they set out to do, and it will be a good image for us over the summer and all next season to remember so that we can come back stronger,” Curry said.
“That’s all you can do.”