MVP Durant, Curry lead Warriors to NBA title

Hazel Gray
June 13, 2017

Then, Golden State puts it in overdrive and blows right by Cleveland - similar to how Curry took it right to the hole by James. But the Golden State Warriors are just too good, and happened to save what might have been their finest performance of the postseason season for a game Cleveland had to win. In Game 5, James broke away from a dunk and was hit in the face by Kevin Durant with no foul call. Durant has made 14 of 18 shots, including 5 of 7 3-pointers, to put the Warriors on the brink of their second championship in three years.

For the series, the four-time MVP averaged 33.6 points on 56 percent shooting to go with 12.0 boards and 10.0 assists. This is my third year here, and we haven't won every game.

To win his first championship, Durant had to go through the game's greatest player in Cavaliers forward LeBron James, who he defended for most of the five games. Pretty much all their big-name guys are in their 20s, and they don't show any signs of slowing down.

Warriors point guard Stephen Curry said the experience of losing last year's Finals served them well this season. But J.R. Smith made two wild 3-pointers in the final 40 seconds of the second quarter, breathing life into a locker room that needed every gasp it could muster to keep up with the best team in basketball.

The Cavaliers clawed back into the game in the third period.

The league continues to try to use the leverage of the collective bargaining agreement - salary caps and incentives - to get superstar players such as Durant to stay with their teams.

LeBron realizes this, and understands that the narrative going into these Finals was not about the result defining LeBron's career, but that he is the only player in the league who was even capable of potentially stopping this super team from winning a championship. There was more than a touch of pay-back Monday night. One final shake-and-bake at the 3-point line and Curry was able to drive past James for the easy layup.

Tempers flared when Kyrie Irving tied up David West on a loose ball. West shoved Irving and Smith and Tristan Thompson immediately came to their teammates' aid.

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This isn't the first time Durant has sent some love Rihanna's way.

Path to Finals: Won Pacific Division; Beat Portland 4-0 in Western Conference quarter-finals; beat Utah 4-0 in conference semi-finals; beat San Antonio 4-0 in conference final; beat Cleveland 4-1 in NBA Finals.

Both Durant and the Warriors blew their first closeout chance in Game 4. Steph Curry followed with a deep 3 of his own to get the Warriors rolling on a 21-2 run.

His play has been just as impressive on the other end, Durant has bought into the Warriors' philosophy of tireless defence and has used his natural size advantage to pull off some spectacular blocks on James and Co.

29 - Points averaged by Kyrie Irving in the NBA Finals.

On how he feels about Kevin Durant winning his first National Basketball Association title: "I'm not happy he won his first".

Down by eight points, the Warriors responded with a 30-8 scoring run over the next seven-plus minutes of play. And that was just the start. It's tough to imagine anyone else on Cleveland's roster, absent James, who might net a trade package that could drastically improve the team's fortunes against Golden State.

Game 5 of the NBA Finals is off to a much more deliberate start than Game 4's track meet. The first quarter was a competitive affair featuring eight lead changes and four ties.

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