The Warriors fought off a Cavaliers charge Monday to earn their second NBA championship in three years with a 129-120 Game 5 win.
Durant was the difference, as he has been all series. He scored 39 points on 14 of 20 shooting with seven rebounds and five assists. Durant's length and shooting ability were too much for Cleveland's overmatched defense.
After getting outscored 37-33 in the first quarter, Golden State responded by taking an 11-point lead into the break. The Cavaliers made another push in the third quarter, but the Warriors ended any doubt in the fourth.
Stephen Curry scored 34 points with 10 assists while draining 12 of 15 from the free-throw line. Normally the lead dog for Golden State, Curry happily played second-fiddle to Durant at times this series. He handled the situation admirably, which is why this team of All-Stars meshed so well together.
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving tried their best to extend the series. James scored 41 points with 13 rebounds and eight assists. Irving added 26 points and six assists. The two playmakers were dynamic at times, but Cleveland's lack of depth ultimately sunk their attempt to repeat as champions.
The Warriors tallied 35 bench points in Game 5, while Cleveland managed just seven points outside its starting five. Andre Iguodala led the Warriors bench with 20 points.
Warriors fans had to suffer through watching their team blow a 3-1 series lead last year. This time, Curry, Durant and the rest of the team silenced Cleveland before it had a chance to make more noise.
With a similar roster expected next season, there is no reason to believe Golden State won't be back playing in the Finals again for a fourth consecutive year.
Kevin Durant's outside shooting was just too much for Cleveland this series:
Kevin Durant...from WAY downtown. @warriors have taken the lead on#NBAonABC . pic.twitter.com/JPevoogqyl— NBA (@NBA) June 13, 2017
Despite the loss, LeBron James made some noise while proving he's still a force to be reckoned with:
Your nightly LeBron James #NBAFinals dunk!pic.twitter.com/ZXDCpaNSIi— NBA (@NBA) June 13, 2017