For the third time in four years, the Golden State Warriors is an NBA champion.
Stephen Curry scored 37 points to lead the Warriors to a four-game sweep past the Cavaliers with a 108-85 win Friday night. The last four NBA finals have been between the Warriors and Cavs, with Golden State winning three of them.
Kevin Durant added a triple-double, scoring 20 points, with 12 rebounds and 10 assists. With his seventh point Friday night, Durant broke Curry's Warriors record for points in a single postseason (594 in 2015).
The Warriors jumped out to an early 34-25 first-quarter lead on the road, stifling any momentum Cleveland might have had. While Golden State didn't put up the same eye-popping postseason numbers as last year, it improved on defense, stifling the opponent in the half court.
Golden State then outscored the Cavaliers by 12 points in the third quarter. This postseason, Golden State outscored its opponents by 153 points in the third quarter, the largest point differential in a single playoff quarter in the Shot-Clock Era (since 1954-55).
LeBron James looked tired and defeated for most of the game, with his teammates once again doing little to provide support. James scored 23 points with eight assists and seven rebounds, falling just short of passing Michael Jordan's record for the most points in one postseason.
With the Warriors once again crowned champion, attention will now turn to James and the offseason, as he potentially moves on from Cleveland in free agency.
Stud of the Night:
James is rightly considered the best player in the NBA, but each of the last two years, Durant has shone in the NBA Finals. After suffering heartbreak with the Thunder, he has proven he's a winner, capable of taking over games with the spotlight on him.
Dud of the Night:
The Cavaliers' decision to trade for George Hill didn't really pan out. The veteran floor general scored three points on 1 of 7 shooting, while failing to give Cleveland much of an option on offense and defense.
2018 NBA Draft — Thursday, June 21