Powered by Kevin Durant Warriors roll to second NBA titles in three years

  

Powered by Kevin Durant Warriors roll to second NBA titles in three years

OAKLAND, Calif. - Three-one is now done.

After blowing a 3-1 NBA Finals lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers last year, the Golden State Warriors made sure history didn't repeat.

Led by Kevin Durant, the Warriors defeated the Cavs 129-120 on Monday night at Oracle Arena in Game 5 of the Finals to win their second NBA championship in three seasons.

Unlike last season, the Warriors led this series 3-0 before falling Friday night to the Cavs, who needed a record-setting offensive performance to push the Finals back to the Bay Area.

With Durant in the mix, Golden State wasn't going to blow this one as he finished with 39 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Curry, a two-time league MVP, faced plenty of criticism after a subpar Game 4 in which he had 14 points on 4-of-13 shooting and 10 assists but turned over the ball four times and was a team-worst minus-25. On Monday, he rebounded with 34 points and 10 assists.

Kevin Durant is a champion in his first season with the Warriors. (AP)
Kevin Durant is a champion in his first season with the Warriors. (AP)
With the victory, Golden State wrapped up a 16-1 postseason run after finishing the regular season 67-15.

Golden State jumped to a 9-4 lead, but the Cavs weren't fazed, quickly regrouping and taking a 20-12 advantage with 6:27 remaining in the first quarter.

The Cavs shot 62.5 percent from the floor in the first and had a 10-9 rebounding edge to end the quarter with a 37-33 lead. But it was far from great basketball as the teams combined for 16 fouls and 12 turnovers.

It was a back-and-forth game through much of the second quarter until Durant hit a 3-pointer to give the Warriors a 45-43 lead with 6:37 remaining. That seemed to open the floodgates as the Warriors stormed to a 60-45 advantage with 3:25 left.

David West and Tristan Thompson then got into an odd confrontation with 3:08 remaining after West got tangled with Kyrie Irving while fighting for a rebound. Thompson got chest to chest with West after the play was ruled a jump ball, resulting in a long stoppage, a review and technical fouls on West, Thompson and J.R. Smith.

After Curry sunk the technical free throw, James immediately hit a 3-pointer after the ensuing jump ball to cut the Warriors lead to 61-48.

Golden State seemed to have more energy and hustle, coming up with loose balls and key rebounds, to take a 71-60 halftime lead. The Warriors' bench outscored the Cavs' reserves 19-2, with Durant and Curry combining for 41 points and four 3-pointers in the first half.

The Cavs trimmed the lead to three early in the fourth quarter behind yet another brilliant game from LeBron James, who finished with 41 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.

Kyrie Irving pitched in 26 points, and J.R. Smith was the surprise of the evening with 25 points and seven 3-pointers.

But the Cavs simply didn't have enough for this year's Warriors, previous championship runners-up who were elevated to super-team status with the addition of Durant last summer.


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