The Golden State Warriors defeated the Cavs 129-120 in the fifth game of the NBA Finals to claim the 2017 Championship. It was a storybook win for this team because every player played well and several played brilliantly. It was Strength in Numbers triumphant. After winning in 2015 and losing the seven game series last year, Steph Curry could touch the championship trophy and tell it, "you're home, baby."
Kevin Durant won the Finals MVP but in this revealing postgame press conference he noted the big contributions made by Steph Curry, who some observers claimed on the basis of numbers was the real most valuable player. (And in fact, after KD got a huge ovation from the home crowd as he held up his trophy, when Steph was introduced the crowd chanted MVP--which technically he could still win for the season, though it's unlikely.)
KD had 39 points, bolstered by some audacious threes and jump shots. The Cavs harassed Curry all game again and he wasn't hitting 3s but with drive after drive to the basket, he scored 34. Andre Iguodala played longer off the bench as part of the Hampton Five smaller lineup and again came up big defensively while scoring 20 points.
Klay Thompson's defense paid off again and he had his 3 stroke going. Draymond Green kept his cool, made plays and hit his open 3s. Both veteran David West (who finally won his first championship) and rookie Patrick McCaw had key buckets and made plays.
All this was necessary because the Cavs got not only lots of scoring from LeBron and Kyrie but J.R. Smith hit seven 3s. The Cavs won the first quarter but the Warriors went on major runs in the second and fourth quarters to keep control. They led by as many as 17 points.
All the talk about the Warriors being the most hated team evaporated during these playoffs. This is the team of unselfishness, of playing with joy, and of friendship. The good guys won. Congratulations to the Golden State Warriors, 2017 NBA champions.
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