LeBron James averaged the first-ever triple-double in the NBA Finals

Fans react at Oracle Arena after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Monday, June 12, 2017.

Just to illustrate what the Wine and Gold were up against in this game and the series - the Cavaliers shot 53 percent from the field in Monday's defeat, forcing Golden State into 13 turnovers that Cleveland converted into 25 points while piling up 62 points in the paint.

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.

Even though Green poured in 32 points, 15 rebounds and his entire soul into the Game 7 of the series, Irving drained a late three-pointer to send the Cavaliers to an improbable victory that taught Green a lesson he wouldn't soon forget.

Durant earned Finals MVP honors after averaging 35.2 points on 55.6 percent shooting from the field, 47.4 percent from deep and a crisp 92.7 percent from the stripe, along with 8.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 blocks, and 1.0 steals through five games in the series. Pretty much all their big-name guys are in their 20s, and they don't show any signs of slowing down. Then he moved across the podium and hugged Stephen Curry before accepting his shiny MVP trophy and hoisting it for everyone to see. "I'm definitely excited. I'm definitely going to be here in my Warriors gear Thursday!" said one Warriors fan in Oakland.

LeBron James has 21 points and J.R. Smith kept the Cavs in it with two big 3-pointers in the final minute, including a 28-foot heave just before the halftime buzzer.

"I'm talking too much at this point", Durant said.

The Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, and the Houston Rockets all had better regular season records better than any Eastern Conference team.

"After I hit my dang knee on the floor, after that my lower back started to tighten up", Irving said. Kerr returned to full-time coaching for the Final's second game.

Kevin Durant's love and respect for his mother Wanda is well known.

Said Stephen Curry of his teammate: "The way that he embraced the opportunity in The Finals, it was unbelievable".

Despite going up against LeBron James in each of their last three postseason runs, Golden State has come out on top twice under head coach Steve Kerr. "I'm trying to build a second part of my life as a man living in a different part of the country, just trying to do different things", he told The Washington Post earlier this year.

"We were able to get them a year ago and they went out and got one of the best players this league has ever seen", Cavaliers star LeBron James said.

"Steph definitely took a back seat to start the season until he realized we didn't need him to take a back seat, we need you to be aggressive as you're going to be", forward Draymond Green said.

"This is something that we want to continue to do, but for us to have these conversations that we had nearly a year ago and now being in this position, worth every shot we took in practice, fighting through injuries that he had this year, and it's an unbelievable feeling". They did it with a lot of help from the guy who won the MVP award, Kevin Durant.

OAKLAND, California-The Golden State Warriors will forever be known as one of the most talented teams in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA), along with a hefty set of other superlatives: most dominant, most dazzling, most adept at hitting shots from distant galaxies.

As a player, Kerr won five championships and was a member of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls team led by Michael Jordan that won a then-league-record 72 games and beat the Seattle SuperSonics in the Finals. After the Cavaliers cut it to four late in the third quarter, Durant connected on a three-pointer, and the crowd seemed to exhale.

When Kevin Durant revealed that his "next chapter" would be with the Golden State Warriors, the entire National Basketball Association knew what it meant.

The Cavs had the highest payroll in league history this season and their star players - James, Irving and Kevin Love?- all under contract for next season.

Turning Point - One of the many dangers that go with facing the Warriors is their ability to turn a tight game into a blowout in a very short time.

  • Julie Sanders