CLEVELAND – The wait for a NBA champion in the Bay Area came to an end 2,000-plus miles away, while Cleveland’s 50-plus year title drought extended another year.
Thanks to 25 points from Andre Iguodala and reigning NBA MVP Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors, claimed their first NBA crown, 105-97—and their fourth overall—since 1975 in outlasting a gritty and under-manned Cleveland Cavaliers squad in six games, 4-2.
Draymond Green added a triple double with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists while Klay Thompson added five points. The Warriors amassed 39 assists in blowing the game wide open down the stretch.
For Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, he becomes the seventh rookie head coach to win the NBA title in his first year and the first since Pat Riley in 1982.
Despite being the bigger and more physical team, the Cleveland Cavaliers played sloppy in turning the ball over multiple times and failing converting on their free throws, despite attempting more than Golden State from the charity stripe.
James led the way for Cleveland with 32 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists, Tristan Thompson added a double-double in 15 points and 13 assists and Timofey Mozgov added 17 points and 12 rebounds.
In the case of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were once up 2-1 in the Finals, their lack of playmakers in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love proved fatal, as the Warriors deeper bench of David Lee, Shaun Livingston, the aforementioned Iguodala, who would be named NBA Finals MVP in helping neutralize James, while averaging 16 points, six rebounds and four assists, proved too much for the short-handed Cavs to overcome.
Despite the loss of Irving and Love, the gritty Cavs—who started the season 19-20—were able to extend the regular-season best Warriors to six games. In his first year back in Cleveland, James led Cleveland to it’s first Finals appearance since being swept by Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs in the 2007 NBA Finals.
In averaging 35.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists, while recording two triple-doubles, became the first player to lead both teams in total points, rebounds and assists, drops to 2-4 in the Finals.