Warriors beat Cavs for second title in three years
OAKLAND, Calif. -- 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 NBA championship in the past three seasons.
Durant, the MVP of the Finals, had 39 points, and Curry added 34 for the Warriors, who captured the best-of-seven series 4-1 against the defending champions.
Golden State completed an unprecedented 16-1 run through the NBA playoffs, registering the second-best average point differential (plus-13.5) in league history.
Completing a perfect 9-0 run at home during the postseason, the Warriors became the first San Francisco Bay Area team to win a championship at home since the Oakland Athletics won the 1974 World Series.
Led by LeBron James' 41 points, the Cavaliers hung within 108-102 with 8:29 to play on a 3-pointer by Kyle Korver.
However, Andre Iguodala assisted a Durant dunk and added one of his own off a Curry feed, reopening a double-digit lead and making the final 7:42 an extended celebration among the Oracle Arena fans.
Durant shot 14 of 20 overall and 5 of 8 on 3-pointers, hitting three of his threes during the critical second-quarter run that lasted more than seven minutes and turned a 41-33 deficit into a 61-45 advantage.
Curry shot 10 of 20 and completed a double-double with a game-high 10 assists.
The Warriors, who were playing a Game 5 for the first time in the postseason, shot 51.1 percent from the field and 36.8 percent on 3-pointers.
Iguodala chipped in with 20 points off the bench and Draymond Green had a 10-point, 12-rebound double-double for the Warriors, who topped 100 points for the 17th straight time in the playoffs.
James collected a game-high 13 rebounds and added eight assists to go while becoming the first player ever to average a triple-double in the Finals. He finished with averages of 33.6 points, 12.0 rebounds and 10.0 assists in the five-game series.
Kyrie Irving had 26 points and J.R. Smith 25 for the Cavaliers, who, like the Warriors, were competing in their third straight Finals.
The Cavaliers shot 53.4 percent from the field and 45.8 percent on 3-pointers, but were outrebounded 42-40 and outscored 23-15 at the free throw line.
NOTES: The Warriors' .941 winning percentage in the playoffs (16-1) bettered the previous mark of .938 established by the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers, who went 15-1. ... The highest average point differential in NBA playoff history remains plus-14.5, set by the 1971 Milwaukee Bucks. ... The championship was the 17th won by a San Francisco Bay Area franchise in baseball, basketball or football. The Warriors have three of the 17, trailing the San Francisco 49ers (five) and Oakland Athletics (four). The San Francisco Giants are tied with the Warriors with three, while the Oakland Raiders have two (not counting the Raiders' title during their stint in Los Angeles). ... Cavaliers SF LeBron James played in his 217th career postseason game, moving past C Shaquille O'Neal for seventh place on the all-time list. ... Asked before the game if his team would approach the game as if it had "nothing to lose," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue responded, "We do have something to lose: a championship."