In Game 5 of the 2017 NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers by a score of 129-120 to take home their second NBA title in three years. The win also means that the Warriors lead the series in the trilogy thus far at 2-1. Coming into the game, the Cavaliers had seized the momentum by finally winning in Game 4 at home.
However, Kevin Durant was one win away from validating his highly criticized move last summer when he decided to join what most already considered a “SuperTeam.” Durant was in the middle of writing history, and he was ready to finally defeat “The King” Lebron James when it counted.
KD continued to play like an MVP in Game 5 by scoring 39 points, seven rebounds, and five assists in the series clincher. His partner in crime throughout the playoffs, Stephen Curry, added 34 points, 10 assists, and five rebounds. Andre Iguodala, who was the MVP in the 2015 NBA Finals for the Golden State Warriors, was huge off the bench for the squad by contributing 20 points.
However, Durant was the one who would be raising the Finals MVP trophy this time around. According to ESPN, “In the series, he averaged 35.2 ppg, 8.4 RPG, and 5.4 APG. He’s the 7th player in NBA history to score 30 points or more in every game of a finals series. KD becomes the first player to do it since Shaquille O’Neal did it in 2002,” when the Los Angeles Lakers swept the New Jersey Nets.
Lebron James came up short in trying to keep the Cavaliers season alive, but he continued to make history in the finals by becoming the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double in an NBA Finals series. In Game 5, King James scored 41 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists.
The loss gives Lebron a 3-5 record now in his eight finals appearances. However, he has played in a remarkable seven straight championships. His final numbers were amazing, posting an average of 33.6 PPG, 12.0 RPG, and 10.0 APG. After the game at his post-game press conference, Lebron said about the Warriors, “they’re gonna be around for a while, they don’t show any signs of slowing down.” (courtesy of CBS News)
Kevin Durant and Lebron James shook hands at the end of the game, and KD praised James in his post-game celebration interview for pretty much being the only guy he felt like he had to beat. After the game, the Warriors celebrated in the locker room with the traditional champagne showers for champions.
Lebron embraced teammate Kyrie Irving after the game and told him “we’ll be back.”
Don’t forget to celebrate the Warriors win with a free taco from Taco Bell on Tuesday!
[Featured Image by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images]