The Golden State Warriors eliminated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 129-120, to claim the NBA championship. The game took place on Monday, June 12, 2017, at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
Both teams came out of the locker room primed for action. The first quarter was a competitive affair featuring eight lead changes and four ties. The officials called the game close.
Warriors stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson were both assessed two fouls early in the period. They sat on the bench for much of the first quarter.
Cleveland shot extremely well in the first, making 61 percent of the field goals. The Warriors suffered, only shooting 31 percent, in the period. The Cavaliers led the Warriors, 37-33, at the end of the first quarter.
The Warriors came back strong in a combative second quarter. Cleveland scored the first points of the quarter. Golden State then went on a 21-2 run to retake the lead and push it to as many as 17 points, 69-52, late in the period. The second quarter ended with the Warriors leading the Cavaliers, 71-60.
Stephen Curry was outstanding for the Warriors, scoring 20 points in the half. That was the most points he has scored in a half during the finals. Durant was one point better for Golden State with 21 points in the first half.
The Cavaliers clawed back into the game in the third period. The Warriors led early in the third by as much as 14 points. Cleveland played some great offense and took advantage of Golden State fouls to close the quarter with the Warriors holding a slim, 98-93, lead.
However, Cleveland could not overcome the Warriors’ lead in the final stanza. They came within 3 points of Golden State, 98-95, in the first minute of the fourth quarter. The Warriors would not surrender and pushed back harder; both Curry and Durant showcased their talents. In addition to the starters, Golden State’s bench was outstanding. They were led by Andre Iguodala, who had 20 points.
Lebron James played magnificently for the Cavaliers and finished as lead scorer, with 41 points. Durant led the Warriors in scoring with 39 points, followed by Curry, with 34 points and 10 assists.
Durant scored 30, or more points, in all five finals games. He is the first player to accomplish this since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000 with the L.A. Lakers. Durant was the deserved MVP for the NBA Finals in 2017.
Written By D.T. Osborn
Edited by Jeanette Smith
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Featured and Top Image Courtesy of D.T. Osborn