The NBA Finals Game 7 saw Golden State’s historic season get blown away by an unprecedented Finals comeback for the Cleveland Cavaliers. What seemed to hurt the Golden State Warriors was losing Draymond Green for Game 5. Despite his return, that game is when the downward spiral started for them, and they just couldn’t lift themselves back up. They started to lose composure, despite excellent play in the games before Game 5. LeBron James proved that he is still the most dominant player in the game despite all odds, saying he and the Cavs didn’t have a chance to win this series against a previously invincible team.
LeBron James brought Cleveland their first-ever NBA championship. He did it in only two years after returning, and with a rookie head coach who obtained the position as late as mid season. Coach Tyronn Lue is a young head coach, at only 39-years-old. As a player, Lue won two championships with the Los Angeles Lakers in a team composed of NBA legends. Lue played alongside Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, and had Phil Jackson as a coach. Lue also played on some pretty bad teams, too. But that doesn’t matter anymore. The collective experience it gave him allows him to approach his new coaching position from a diverse playing background, and in his first year as a head coach, he becomes a champion again.
As the New York Times reports, nobody could have won this game without the contributions from Kyrie Irving. He hit the shot that gave Cleveland the lead within the final minute of play, and quieted the Oracle Arena to a hush while the Cavs held onto victory after a thoroughly exasperated and deflated Golden State team could only throw up bricks in response. Kyrie Irving proved that when he is healthy, he is almost impossible to guard. Last year during the NBA Finals series, he was out with an injury and saw his team lose, but he proved how much the results might have been different through his performance in Game 7 last night.
After Kyrie hit the 3-pointer in the final minute, Golden State was forced to foul LeBron James, who put an NBA Finals championship out of reach at the foul line by putting the Cavs up one point. The Warriors just couldn’t get anything to drop. Everyone knew the game was over when Marreese Speights ran to the 3-point line and tried to throw up a desperation shot after Steph Curry’s off-balance 3-pointer wouldn’t fall.
It was Draymond Green who had the most notable answer for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He scored 32 points, had 15 rebounds, and was just one assist shy of a triple double. Steph Curry had 17 points but shot just 6 for 19, perhaps bringing his struggles in this finals series to their culmination. Draymond Green has shown he can certainly step into the role as leader of the offense, as this wasn’t the first game of the Finals where his play outshone the Splash Brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
As CNN reports, besides the Cavs vs Warriors NBA Finals battle leading to Cleveland making history by coming back from a series where they were down three games to one, LeBron James also became only the third player to come out of an NBA Finals Game 7 with a triple double. The only other players to do that are two legendary Los Angeles Lakers, James Worthy, in 1988, and Jerry West, in 1969.
Though Kyrie Irving made the 3-point field goal that gave them the lead, about a minute before that shot, LeBron James soared high in the air and jumped over his own teammate to block a transition layup by Andre Iguodala. He pinned the ball to the backboard in a way that pretty much swatted all hopes the Warriors had of winning. The Warriors couldn’t score another point after that.
After Kyrie’s clutch three-pointer, it was James again. He was fouled going to the basket, and hit one of two free throws with just 10 seconds left. That one basket put the game out of reach for Golden State, and they played out the final lackadaisical seconds knowing that they had been upset in the NBA Finals Game 7 by one of the greatest players in history.
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