LeBron's title window may have been shut by Warriors
- Author: Zachary Reyes Jun 13, 2017,
Jun 13, 2017, 22:58
Cleveland had held a 37-33 lead after one quarter, and a quick start to the second period that combined with Golden State missing their first five shots from the field resulted in a 41-33 advantage.
In the end, the Cavaliers simply did not have the requisite star power to topple the talent-laden Warriors, even with four-time league MVP James doing all he could to keep his team in it. He hit a 17-foot fadeaway over James early in the fourth quarter, then assisted on a 3-pointer by Andre Iguodala the next time down as the Warriors pulled away.
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.
Durant stretches the @warriors lead back up to 8! Steph Curry followed with a deep 3 of his own to get the Warriors rolling on a 21-2 run.
Kyrie Irving followed up his 40-point gem in Game 4 with 26 points but shot 9 for 22. Golden State won the championship in 2015 and Cleveland took the title past year.
He was vilified in 2010 when he left the Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat where he won two National Basketball Association titles before returning to Cleveland four years later and delivering the city their first National Basketball Association championship in 2016.
LeBron James and the Cavaliers have already staved off elimination once with a victory in Cleveland in Game 4.
But that idea fizzled fast when the Warriors opened with a pair of lopsided wins at home, fought back late to steal the next game in Cleveland and then, after dropping their first game of the postseason, closed out the series at home. "They're built for - from my eyes, they're built to last a few years".
Golden State coach Steve Kerr wants the Warriors to be more anxious, ready and eager in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. "We dealt with a shit-ton of adversity, but I couldn't be prouder of this team".
"Appropriate fear", a stone-faced Lue said. It was the fifth straight 30-point performance for Durant in as many Finals games and earned him the MVP award.
One of the fans watching the players go through their pregame routines was Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The Warriors were a dominating force in the playoffs almost finishing with an unblemished record while finishing with the best mark in league history at 16-1 with a.941 winning percentage.