Game 7 headed back to Oracle Arena in Oakland and everyone packed the stadium to see what was going to be one of the greatest NBA battles we’ve seen in the last decade. Both teams took the floor and we’re ready to play, but it was the Warriors defense led by Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala that managed to give the Warriors the lift they needed. Green was on fire early on in the first half making 4 of 4 from 3 point range and sparking his team and the crowd with infectious energy.
The third quarter looked much of the same, with the Warrior offense sparking short runs. The whole time the Cleveland Cavaliers looked like a one man team with LeBron James racking up statistics in every category to keep his team in the game. Coming off a historic 73 win season the Warriors were favorites coming into this series and even this game, but LeBron James had bigger ambitions.
Heading into the fourth it felt like either Curry or James had to explode. James came out and ignited a 6-2 run for the Cavs, whilst the MVP sat on the bench, and with the Warriors trailing by 3, the fans at Oracle Arena were suddenly feeling nervous. Golden State took a two-point lead after Curry drilled a three over Tristan Thompson and Klay knocked down a tough contested two with his foot on the line to restore the Warriors lead.
LeBron hit a three to give the Cavs a two-point lead, which Klay Thompson answered with a layup. With Curry picking up his fourth foul, the game was tied at 89 with 2:50 to play. Iguodala broke away in transition, it looked like an easy basket would break the tie. Instead, LeBron made the defensive play of the game with an unreal chase-down block to keep the score knotted at 89-89.
Kyrie Irving then hit a huge three-pointer over Curry in isolation to give the Cavs a three-point lead with 53 seconds left. Love played tremendous defense on Curry on the ensuing possession, forcing him into a missed three. It was then in Lebron’s hands as he cut to the lane for an open dunk, and was contested at the rim by Draymond Green who fouled him. With LeBron hittin 1 of 2 from the stripe it was a brutal dagger for the Warriors and with that LeBron brought a championship to the city of Cleveland for the first time in 52 years across all major sports.
James finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, three blocks and two steals on 9-of-24 shooting earning him the NBA finals MVP. LeBron James cradled the shiny gold trophy and struggled to sum up what might be his sweetest championship yet, the one he is so proudly bringing home to his native northeast Ohio just as he promised to do when he returned home almost two years ago.
The Cavaliers became the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the finals, and with this win put LeBron James into the league of NBA all time greats. This year and these finals can only be summed up in one sentence said by LeBron James after the game “This is what I came back for.”
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