Warriors ride Durant to beat Cavaliers and clinch National Basketball Association title

The party began as soon as Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and the Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-120 at Oracle Arena to clinch their second championship in three years Monday night.

Durant's incredible efforts in topping 30 points in every game of the Finals enabled the Warriors to avenge a heart-breaking game seven loss to the Cavs at the same stage a year ago but, when the rest of the league looks at Golden State with envy, they should not study their star free-agent acquisition, but the way in which they have drafted and found affordable gems on the open market.

As unforgettable for the rest of the National Basketball Association was the way the Warriors attacked the season, blending Durant's inside power with Curry and Klay Thompson's outside shooting to create a deadly combination and potentially long-lasting one. Then it was Golden State's turn again, taking the title in five games.

At home, clinging to a six-point lead after a J.R. Smith triple, the Cavs finally had that late-game advantage.

Two-time reigning league MVP Stephen Curry is expected to sign the richest contract in National Basketball Association history this offseason as the league's best three-point marksman will be eligible for a five-year deal worth an estimated $207 million.

Durant didn't really need a hard sell that day in the Hamptons.

James made a fast-break slam dunk over Durant for a 41-33 Cleveland lead. For other teams looking to trade for George, there's no point in giving up vital assets just to get the four-time All-Star for a year or two.

"It's different just because of what happened past year to be honest", Curry said. "But then that was far from the truth". "I have no reason to look back at what I could have done or what I shouldn't have done or what I could have done better for the team. Like I said, tried to be myself, be aggressive and sacrifice as well". But, the one-time spike in the salary cap triggered by the new TV deal enabled the Warriors to land Durant, and the constraints that everybody else has in terms of what they could offer Curry and Durant will mean that in all likelihood the team retains them. They're pretty darn good right now....

"We learned from everything we've been through", Curry said during the trophy celebration. "It's kind of insane to think about the conversations we had this summer and going into the year about how we can both mesh and do what we do and be the players that we are and (to) see it come to life in this series, it was unbelievable".

After helping the Golden State Warriors win the 2017 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, the 28-year-old athlete squashed his alleged (and hilarious!) beef with the "Love on the Brain" singer. "I'm not gonna lie, I didn't think it was going to happen". "He was incredible all season long. Five games didn't do it justice, just for how competitive it was", Kerr said. I'm just so happy Kevin has broken through. But the embarrassment of riches that came with Durant's arrival was simply too much to bear. No surprises here as Golden State is an early favorite to get back to the finals for the fourth straight season. Still, he insisted he had another notch to raise his game, and he certainly found it.

But James, in his seventh consecutive playoff series and eighth overall, fell to 3-5 in the championship round.

  • Julie Sanders