Cleveland, Ohio, USA: The Golden State Warriors won their second straight NBA championship title, their third title in four years with a decisive 108-85 win and a 4-0 sweep over the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Quicken Loans Arena on friday night.
It was the first sweep in the NBA Finals since 2007, when James was dismissed by a powerful San Antonio team in his first one. His eighth straight appearance didn’t go well either, and now there’s uncertainty where the superstar will play next.
“This is so hard to do and doing it three out of four years is incredible,” Warriors guard Klay Thompson said.
“Can’t get enough of this feeling so we’re going to celebrate it together,” Warriors Steph Curry said.
The Cavaliers clawed back from an 11-point deficit before pulling in front on a slam dunk from James near the midway mark of the second quarter that brought the home crowd to their feet.
But it was just a matter of time before the Warriors took over.
“We knew that they were going to come out with a tough first punch and we answered it and ran right back at them and set the tone for the whole game,” said Curry.”They made so many runs but over the course of 48 minutes our will took over. Unbelievable feeling to come in here on a mission and get the job done.”
Stephen Curry scored 37 points, Kevin Durant added 20 and a triple-double and the Golden State Warriors stamped themselves a dynasty with their sixth NBA title to tie Chicago for third place behind Boston and the Lakers. The Warriors also won in 1947 and 1956 when based in Philadelphia plus 1975, 2015 and 2017 after their move to the San Francisco Bay area in 1962.
A game 4 triple-double earned Kevin Durant his 2nd Finals MVP award in as many years.
Kevin Durant was named 2018 Finals MVP having scored 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists in Game 4.
With his 43-point performance in Game 3, Kevin Durant joined Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal as the only players to score at least 25 points in their first 13 finals games.
The path to this title was more precarious than the first two for coach Steve Kerr and the Warriors, who overcame injuries, expectations, a built-to-dethrone-them Rockets team and the brilliance of James, who scored 51 points in the series opener and carried a Cavs team from the beginning of their rollercoaster season until the end.
Cavaliers appeared in its 26th NBA Finals game, moving past Atlanta/St. Louis into 10th place all-time. James averaged 34 points in his 13th postseason, his second-highest total.
It may have been the final game in Cleveland for the 33-year-old, who is expected to opt out of his $35.6 million contract for 2019 next month and become a free agent.
James was pulled from the game with 4:03 left, and he slapped hands with the Warriors before heading to the bench. He plopped down in a chair and draped a towel over his broad shoulders, looking like a boxer on a corner stool.
LeBron James, playing in his eighth consecutive finals, scored 23 points, grabbed seven rebounds and passed off eight assists but fell to 3-6 in the championship series for his career, having twice won with Miami and triumphed again with Cleveland in 2016.
James averaged 34 points, 8.5 rebounds and 10 assists in the series, but as has been the case in the past, he didn’t have enough help.
Another Summer of LeBron is officially underway and there are already teams stretching from Philadelphia to Los Angeles hoping to land the three-time champion, who may have to go elsewhere to put together a cast strong enough — and as James made clear this week, smart enough — to bring down the Warriors.
Right now, the Warriors are on another tier and with Durant expected to re-sign with them in weeks and Curry, Thompson, Green and the rest still young and hungry, their reign could last much longer.
NBA Finals Schedule
Game 1: Thu, May 31 6:00pm, Oakland (Oracle Arena) Golden State Warriors WIN
Game 2: Sun, June 3 Oakland (Oracle Arena) Golden State Warriors WIN
Game 3: Wed, June 6 – 6:00pm, Cleveland, (Quicken Loans Arena) Golden State Warriors WIN
Game 4: Fri, June 8 6:00pm, Cleveland, (Quicken Loans Arena) Golden State Warriors WIN
Game 5: Mon, June 11 – 6:00pm, Oakland (Oracle Arena)*
Game 6 Thu,june 14 – 6:00pm, Cleveland, (Quicken Loans Arena)*
Game7 Sun, June 17 – 5:00pm, Oakland (Oracle Arena)*
*if Necessary, All Times Pacific