OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – The Golden State Warriors brought Kevin Durant to the Bay Area last summer for the express purpose of winning an NBA title and erasing the memory of last year’s collapse against Cleveland in the finals. Mission accomplished.
Durant pumped in 39 points and the Warriors won their second championship in three seasons by taking Game 5 of the finals, 129-120 over the Cavaliers. The All-Star forward shot 14-for-20 from the field, including 5-for-8 from 3-point range in helping Golden State close out its third title since the franchise moved from Philadelphia in 1962.
Durant was named MVP of the finals, 10 years after being taken second overall in the NBA draft.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry shot just 2-for-9 from beyond the arc but finished with 34 points and a team-high 10 assists.
The Cavaliers got off to a sizzling start after ripping the Warriors, 137-116 in Game 4 to extend the series. Cleveland enjoyed a 41-33 lead in the second quarter Monday before the Warriors ripped off a 28-4 run.
The Cavs fell behind by as many as 17 but closed to within three early in the final period before ending their reign as champions. Cleveland stormed back from a 3-1 series deficit to win last year’s finals against Golden State after the Warriors knocked off the Cavaliers in the 2015 finals.
LeBron James fell two assists shy of his second consecutive triple-double, contributing team highs of 41 points and 13 boards for the Cavaliers. James had a spectacular series, averaging 33.6 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Kyrie Irving had 26 points and J.R. Smith chipped in 25 on 7 of 8 from 3-point range.