The Cleveland Cavaliers were brushed aside by the Golden State Warriors last night, completing a four-game sweep in the best-of-seven NBA finals to be crowned the best team in USA basketball for the second year in a row.
After surviving a rougher-than-usual regular season and beating top-seeded Houston in Game 7 on the road in the West finals, the Warriors pushed aside James and joined an elite group of teams to win multiple championships in a four-year span.
In Games 2, 3 and 4, James scored 29, 33 and 23 points, respectively, as his team was swept by Golden State.
Stephen Curry scored 37 points and Kevin Durant, the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player for the second year in a row, added 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the first finals triple double of his career.
On Friday, 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, but it was just a matter of time before the Warriors took over. The Indiana Pacers outscored them 704-664 in the first round, and they only outscored the Boston Celtics by six points total in the Eastern Conference Finals. And it was the first time that a team had lost a finals in a clean sweep since 2007, when the San Antonio Spurs inflicted that pain on... the James-led Cavaliers.
That came on the heels of Curry setting an NBA Finals record with nine 3-pointers made, breaking a mark Ray Allen set against the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010.
Fans react while watching the broadcast of the Golden State Warriors playing the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, at Oracle Arena in Oakland.
Durant is one of 30 players to win the award.
"We just know how to win", said Curry.
The naysayers can complain about Durant's move from Oklahoma City to Golden State two years ago tipping competitive balance in the league, but the Warriors' ascendance to the status of a dynasty was far from assured. "MVPs or not, I thought we both played great basketball to help us win".
So this series is just about finished, or at least, that's what the history books say. If he wants to go and get a championship, by all means go and get it.
"We have an opportunity to extend the series, but we've got to come out and play 48 minutes", James said.
"It was definitely the toughest", Kerr said in comparing the three championships.
Ultimately, not looking their best at times this season might make them better.
"When you make mistakes they make you pay", he said, "because they're already more talented than you are but they also have the minds behind it, too, and they also have the championship DNA". Last night's Game 4 clincher, was much more of a decimation, as the tipped faves crushed the Cavs 108-85. - Why did LeBron James have so little to offer?