CLEVELAND-- It was fun while it lasted.
The Cavaliers reign as NBA Champions lasted 358 days from June 19, 2016 until June 12, 2017 as the Golden State Warriors captured the rubber match with a 129-120 win over the Cavs at Oracle Arena in Oakland. The Warriors finished 16-1 in the postseason.
Kevin Durant once again proved to be the difference as the former league MVP was the go to guy when the Warriors needed it as he led Golden State with 39 points on 14-of-20 shooting. Durant scored over 30 points in every game of the NBA Finals. Steph Curry scored 34 points for the Warriors.
The Cavs started well and led by eight points early in the game, 20-12 as LeBron James and Kyrie Irving scored 12 points each in the first quarter. However, the Warriors came back and trimmed the lead to 37-33 after the first quarter. There were eight lead changes in the first quarter.
James led all scorers with 41 points, while Irving added 26. J.R. Smith hit seven three's for 25 points.
The Cavs imploded in the decisive second quarter and were out scored 38-23 in the period. A turning point in the game was when James had a thunderous dunk over Durant to give the Cavs a 41-33 lead early in the second quarter. However, from that point, the Warriors went on a 12-2 run to take 45-43 lead on a Durant trey. There was a big no call on the James dunk as Durant fouled James, which would've sent him to the bench with three fouls. However, the no call allowed Durant to stay in the game and he got hot and triggered the big Warriors run with 21 points in the first half. They led by as much as 17 points, 69-52 before the Cavs cut the lead to 71-60 at half, including a long three by Smith to end the half.
In the third quarter, the Cavs cut the Warrior lead to just four points when James lobbed a pass to Tristan Thompson who dunked to make it 90-86 and they finished the quarter trimming the deficit to 98-93. Thompson scored 15 points and had eight rebounds.
James opened the fourth quarter with a driving layup to make it 98-95, but the Warriors pushed it right back to a 10-point lead and the closest the Cavs could get the rest of the way was six points when Kyle Korver hit a three to make the score, 108-102.
King James: LeBron James is the first player in NBA Finals history to average a triple-double in the finals. James passed Shaquille O'Neal for 7th on the all-time playoff games list in the game. James scored 41 points with 8 assists and 13 rebounds. He also passed Tim Duncan to become the sixth all-time leading rebounder in the playoffs.
Love Trouble: Kevin Love picked up two quick fouls early in the first quarter and had to sit out much of the first quarter and never really got going. Love finished with just six points and 10 rebounds.
TT Active: Tristan Thompson had his best offensive game of the series with 15 points and eight rebounds.
J.R.'s Spark: J.R. Smith gave the Cavs a big lift, hitting his first six three-point shots and finishing with 25 points on 7-of-8 from behind the arc.
Not as Hot: After hitting a record 24 three-point shots in the win in Game 4, the Cavs were just 11-of-24 (45.8 pct.). J.R. Smith hit 7 of the 11.
Giving It Up: The Cavs had 14 turnovers and 22 assists.LeBron James had 8 assists and Kyrie Irving had six.
Free Throw Woes: The Cavs shot just 65.2 pct. from the free throw line on 15-of-23 attempts. Kevin Love and LeBron James both missed back-to-back free throws in the first half.