Kevin Durant scored 39 points, Stephen Curry added 34 and the Golden State Warriors won their second National Basketball Association championship in three seasons with a 129-120 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the Finals on Monday night.
This year's version is much more explosive, including a bona fide four-time scoring champion in Kevin Durant, who has also shown his talents at the defensive side of the ball.
If the Warriors can close out the tough-to-eliminate Cavs on Monday, they would become the first Bay Area team to capture a championship at home since the A's finished the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1974 World Series. "We didn't have any of that in Game 4". Golden State wasn't out of the game, but it didn't look like itself at the start of the contest.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been saying they're a better team when their backs are against the wall.
LeBron also had an All-Star Game type moment - but this was a real play in a real Finals game, and one which demonstrated his wonderful basketball instincts after he got caught in the air with nothing to do - except pass it to himself off the board. That stung ever since, and even Durant understood, because he gave up the same lead to the Warriors a round earlier with Oklahoma City. "And then all of a sudden you get slapped in the face". Golden State is great, bordering on legendary if it knocks off the Cavs for the second time in three years. More than most scorers, his effectiveness is based less on the defense he's facing and more on whether his rare ability to make contested shots on slithery drives from unusual angles is working on that particular night. West shoved Irving to pick up a technical foul, then went chest-to-chest with Tristan Thompson.
"First three games we were being too nice, helping guys up off the floor, smiling, I didn't like that", Lue said Sunday.
The Cavaliers rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the best-of-seven series to stun the defending champs in 2016, using a 112-97 win in Game 5 in Oakland as a catalyst. Draymond Green posted a double-double (16 points and 14 rebounds) but ended the game with more shots (16) than either Curry (13) or Thompson (11). "But listen, at the end of the day we just got some resilient guys". Or are we going to do what we did (in Game 4 on Friday) night, which is allow three-point shooters to get open, get broken down at the point of attack, give up offensive boards.More news: Three ways to celebrate Pride Month on Facebook
Then, in Game 7, Irving hit what turned out to be the game-winning three-pointer, a fall-away pull-up attempt from the right wing that was heavily defended by two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry.
"You're damn right it is", Jefferson said of the pressure resting squarely on Golden State in his estimation.
The All-Star point guard, who made several Golden State defenders look silly with his darting moves, excels when things seem darkest. He is averaging a Finals-best 34.3 points with 8.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists while shooting 52.3 percent.
To me, he's a very good, but not great player.
This is why they got him. Do we get him the ball in a different place?
Kyrie Irving followed up his 40-point gem in Friday's Game 4 with 26 points but shot 9 for 22.