Warriors beat Cavaliers to clinch NBA title, Iguodala named Finals MVP
The Warriors, the top-seeded team in the playoffs after bringing the best record from the regular season, won the best-of-seven championship series 4-2.
Stephen Curry and NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Andre Iguodala had 25 points apiece for Golden State while James once again led the way for the injury-hit Cavaliers by pouring in a game-high 32 points.
The victory made Golden State the first NBA team to win a title behind a roster without any previous finals experience since the 1991 Chicago Bulls.
Having trailed by 13 points late, home team Cleveland pulled within four in the final minute, but the Warriors held firm to clinch the title.
Cleveland opened with a 7-2 run to whip an anxious home crowd into a frenzy but Golden State weathered the storm with a solid finish to the opening quarter and built a 28-15 lead.
Golden State closed out the quarter with an 8-0 run that included three-pointers from Iguodala and Shaun Livingston sandwiched around a put-back basket from Nigerian Festus Ezeli.
After a quiet start to the game, James helped Cleveland narrow the gap with a three-pointer from the corner as part of his team’s 11-4 run to open the second quarter.
Cleveland, despite a slew of turnovers, battled mightily throughout the second before finally cutting the deficit to two points when Tristan Thompson slammed down a put-back dunk as time expired in the first half.
The Cavaliers carried momentum into the early moments of the second half where they moved in front for the first time since early in the game but the Warriors responded brilliantly with an 8-0 run that forced the Cavaliers to call a timeout.
Golden State, powered by Iguodala, then built a game-high 15-point lead with a minute left in the third.
The Cavaliers came out hard in the fourth quarter and showed they were ready for a fight when James forced a turnover before racing down the court for a dunk.
James’ basket capped an 8-0 run that put Cleveland within seven points with 10 minutes to play.
But from there the Warriors used a slew of three-pointers to hold the Cavaliers, who were largely undone by 19 turnovers in the game.