Sport

Golden State Warriors seal 4-1 victory over Cleveland Cavaliers

Golden State Warriors seal 4-1 victory over Cleveland Cavaliers

The Golden State Warriors used a 28-4 flurry in the second quarter to take a lead they never relinquished, then relied on the scoring of Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry down the stretch to hold off the Cleveland Cavaliers en route to a 129-120 victory Monday night, clinching their second National Basketball Association championship in the past three seasons.

In 2012, an in-his-prime LeBron James took home his first NBA Championship when his Miami Heat earned a win over a young Kevin Durant and his Oklahoma City Thunder.

But there was to be no repeat of that slipup as Spanish and LaLiga giants Barca paid tribute to the Warriors, who ended the postseason with a 16-1 win-loss record.

Durant, who lost in his only previous Finals appearance, led the way for the Warriors with 39 points and was relieved after feeling pressure to deliver prior to the game.

Warriors team-mate Steph Curry put up 34 points and 10 assists as Golden State won their fifth title.

Kyrie Irving followed up his 40-point gem in Game 4 with 26 points but shot 9 for 22.

Golden State used a 28-4 second-quarter run to take charge - just after it appeared Durant should have been called for a third foul on a basket by James - and got to celebrate right at home in Oakland surrounded by a deafening home crowd waving yellow rally towels and holding up phones to shoot video and photos as the final minute of the clock ticked away.

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LeBron James has 33 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Cavaliers, who have fought valiantly but have not been able to find an answer for Durant. With an NBA Finals MVP trophy to boot there's no debating that he's now a champion.

"I want to say a special "thank you" to (assistant) Mike Brown for keeping this ship sailing smoothly while I was out". Then it was Golden State's turn again, taking the title in five games.

Lost in the uproar that greeted Durant's move to a Golden State team that won a record-breaking 73 games in the regular season and beat his previous employers, the Oklahoma City Thunder, in the Western Conference Finals a year ago, is that the core of this team has been built by the draft.

Both were joined by Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith in getting technical fouls with 3:08 remaining in the second quarter before cooler heads prevailed, although James yelled at Durant for an extended span over the incident.

On the other side of the ledger James spent much of Game 5 as the only real threat particularly with his wingman Kyrie Irving spending much of the night hobbled with back pain that seemed to make just running a chore. Curry had 12 for Warriors, but they were 2-of-7 from three. I hope we're a little more nervous.

"You learn from your mistakes", Green said.


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