The Cleveland Cavaliers' bid to defend their National Basketball Association championship ended in defeat Monday night, as the Golden State Warriors prevailed 129-120 to win the league championship series in five games. Afterwards he payed homage to James, with whom he's now played for three seasons that reached the Finals.
For the first time in the series, the Cavs played extremely well as a team where everyone contributed to their normal specifications. Steph Curry followed with a deep 3 of his own to get the Warriors rolling on a 21-2 run. They led at the half by 11. Durant was front and center in that turnaround, hitting the go-ahead 3-pointer to provide the signature moment of the Warriors rally - and the series as a whole - in an 11-0 finish.
He hugged mother Wanda many a time.
(AP Photo/Josh Edelson). Fans light fireworks on a street in downtown Oakland, Calif., after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday June 12, 2017. They had gone 73-9 without him. The team's four All-Stars shared the scoring wealth and played tough defense. They've got 3/1 championship odds.
He was the first man to ever average a triple-double in the NBA Finals.
"I couldn't sleep for two days, I was anxious, I was jittery", Durant, 28, said in the post-game, on-court interview. Irving had 26 points and six assists, but the Cavaliers were plus-4 during his 42 minutes. The Game 5 rating was up 13 percent from Game 5 in both 2016 and 2015.
James, 32, can opt out of his contract after next season. He led his team to a dominating game-four win in Cleveland.
Kevin Durant makes the best career decision by joining the Warriors, unfortunate tweets aside. They have an incredible team.
"Pretty much all of their big-name guys are in their 20s", the Cavs' James said, "and they don't show any signs of slowing down. There are gonna be a lot of teams trying to figure out ways to put personnel together to try and match that".
This offseason will be filled with theories and rumors of what the Cavaliers and other teams around the league will need to do to compete with the Warriors.
The most hated player in National Basketball Association this year but just appreciate greatness!
But as many have pointed out, it's not working. But like you don't concern me, I'm coming in and working every day, seeing how I can be the best teammate I can be, the best player I can be. Griffin's current deal expires June 30.
"We learned from everything we've been through", Curry said during the trophy celebration. "We have like 50 seconds left.' And I'm like, 'Bro, we're about to win the title'".
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"You won't hold your head down".
"A lot of guys cried because they wanted it bad", Lue said. NPR's Eric Westervelt has more from Oakland.
Their approach was methodical as they outscored Cleveland 38-23 in the second quarter with Durant and Curry doing their best MJ and Pippen imitation.
History will always note that Durant's first championship came against James. It's the third year in a row the Warriors and Cavs have faced off in the finals. We might soon forget which Warriors championship was which, that it was once possible for a different team to celebrate. At the end of it all a new champion was crowned and the likes of Matt Barnes, David West, Patrick McCaw, Zaza Pachulia, James Michael McAdoo and JaVale McGee will collect championship rings at the beginning of next season. And the packed crowd at Oakland's Oracle Arena got to sing along with Queen as it rained yellow-colored confetti.
WESTERVELT: Warrior fan Mark Chris Santos. Here are five reasons we should expect them to win it all again next year. Go Dubs. Woo (ph).
"Well, it's a two-sided question because for me personally - I don't know", said James. And they're winning like insane.