Kevin Durant scored a team-high 39 points to lead the Golden State Warriors to their second NBA title in three years with a 129-120 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Five of the NBA Finals on June 12 in Oakland, Calif.
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant gestures as he holds the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award after Game 5 of basketball’s NBA Finals between the Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers in Oakland, Calif., Monday, June 12, 2017. The Warriors won 129-120 to win the NBA championship. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
The win capped off the best-of-seven championship series for the Warriors, 4-1.
Durant added seven rebounds and five assists to his 39-point effort. The Seat Pleasant, Md. native scored at least 30 points in each game of the series, earning him the Finals MVP award. He averaged 35 points with eight rebounds in the series.
Cleveland managed to put up a fight before being eliminated. The Cavs led 37-33 at the end of the first quarter, but fell behind in the second quarter and trailed 71-60 at halftime. Still, they wouldn’t go away quietly, and constantly cut into the Warriors’ lead throughout the second half; Golden State led by just five points at the start of the fourth quarter. But the Warriors were able to hold Cleveland off down the stretch to pull away with the win.
Golden State Warriors players, coaches and owners hold up the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy after Game 5 of basketball’s NBA Finals between the Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers in Oakland, Calif., Monday, June 12, 2017. The Warriors won 129-120 to win the NBA championship. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
LeBron James scored a game-high 41 points with 13 rebounds and eight assists; he nearly averaged a triple-double in the series with 33 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists per game. Unfortunately, Kyrie Irving underperformed in Game Five, scoring just 26 points on 9-for-22 shooting, and missed all six of the shots he attempted in the fourth quarter.
James has now lost five of his eight career appearances in the NBA Finals. Durant earned his first career NBA title, and is 1-1 in his two career trips to the Finals.