In a tense and hotly contested NBA Finals Game 7, it was Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers who came out on top over the Golden State Warriors.
Lebron James didn’t care if this year’s Golden State Warriors were the best team since Michael Jordan’s 95-96 Chicago Bulls. All that he cared about all season long was to give Cleveland its first championship. And boy was he able to do it in a dramatic fashion. The Cavs went from being down 3-1 to tying up the series in Game 6 and finally winning it all in Game 7. Lebron once again led the Cavs with 27 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, and 3 blocked shots. More importantly, he made two crucial plays down the stretch that assured the win and the championship for Cleveland.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 20, 2016
The Warriors Start Out Strong
Unlike in Game 6, the Warriors actually started out the first half strong. Draymond Green was particularly fired up for the game as he either scored or assisted in Golden State’s first 11 points. On the other hand, Cleveland continued to make the most of Andrew Bogut’s absence by attacking the paint. The Cavs also seemed to move the ball better thanks to Golden State sending double teams on Lebron and Kyrie Irving. This freed up scoring opportunities for J.R. Smith and Richard Jefferson. Cleveland came out on top in the first quarter but only by a point, 23-22.
Have a half, @Money23Green!
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) June 20, 2016
Golden State managed to again get the lead in the second quarter thanks to Draymond Green’s efforts. Shaun Livingston started things off with by converting on a jumpshot off of a Green assist. A couple of plays later, Green hit a three pointer in response to a Mo Williams layup. This also started a run that saw the forward scoring 12 straight points for the Warriors. Aside from Lebron James and Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers also relied on their bench to get them through this quarter. Iman Shumpert had his best quarter of the series as he scored 6 points. Despite help from their reserves though, Cleveland ended the half trailing the Warriors 49-42.
The Cavaliers Show Poise
Though down by 7 as the second half started, the Cavaliers still continued playing their game. They once again ran their offense through Lebron James who assisted on two J.R. Smith three pointers. This helped cut down the Warriors lead to just 2, 54-52, by the 8:53 mark of the third quarter. A Smith steal off of a Klay Thompson turnover then lead to a wide open Kyrie Irving layup that tied the game at 54-all.
From this point on, it became a back and forth game with both teams relying on their stars for points. Tristan Thompson pitched in 7 points to help Irving and James hold off the Warriors in the quarter. Meanwhile, Golden State continued to rely on Draymond Green who finished the third with 28 points and 7 assists. Despite this though, the Warriors were only up by one, 76-76 at the end of the quarter.
— King James ☄ (@LeBronJames) June 20, 2016
By the fourth quarter, it was anybody’s ball game. Lebron James knocked down a jump shot off of a Kevin Love assist to give Cleveland the lead. He then returned the favor a couple of plays later as he fed Love in the post for a hook shot. At this point, the Warriors were having issues running their sets on offense. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were shadowed by Smith and Irving and had a hard time getting looks from beyond the arc. Additionally, they still couldn’t seem to stop James and Irving from scoring.
— NBA (@NBA) June 20, 2016
Holding On For The Win
Guarded by Curry, Irving managed to connect on a long three to put the Cavs ahead by 3, 89-92 with 53 seconds remaining. Curry tried to get it back but his shot was off and the Cavs retained possession. At this point, the Warriors could only foul James who converted the second of two free throws. With 10.6 seconds left and the Cavs up by 4, Golden State again missed on two three-point attempts to give Cleveland its first championship.
LeBron wore his heart on his sleeve after the game. https://t.co/0y0z6kU6fX
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) June 20, 2016
Lebron James Is The Best Basketball Player On The Planet
As much as I’d hate to admit this but if there’s one thing this year’s Finals proved, it’s the fact that Lebron James is the best player in the world right now. To be able to will his team from a 3-1 series deficit is out of this world. Not even Michael Jordan was able to do that. The fact that he was able to do it against a team considered by many as the best since Jordan’s 95-96 Bulls makes the comeback even more impressive. There has never been a player that is as dominant on all aspects of the game as Lebron in this year’s Finals. His back-to-back 40 point games to his Game 7 triple double will attest to that.
Times a player averaged 30 PPG, 10 RPG, 8 APG in #NBAFinals…
LeBron James: 2
Every other player in NBA history: 0 pic.twitter.com/R87qu3JPUX
— ESPN (@espn) June 20, 2016
LeBron James – King of the Land
Congrats to the 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavs and their unanimous Finals MVP, LeBron James. What a journey it has been.