NBA Finals Wrap-Up: The Warriors Claim Their Title, Form a Dynasty
The 2017 NBA Finals began just as it did last year, with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors fighting for the series title. However, this year former Oklahoma City Thunder MVP Kevin Durant was in the mix, meeting LeBron James in the finals for the second time in his 10-year career. While Durant’s decision to join the Warriors wasn’t the necessarily received well by all, everyone had their eyes on him to see if he could help the Warriors defeat the Cavaliers and avoid a repeat of last year.
The series started off with a 113-91 win by the Warriors, and Durant played a big role by scoring 38 points. Durant continued to prove himself as the Warriors won Game 2 and Game 3, scoring 33 and 31 points respectively. The Warriors quickly found themselves leading 3-0 in the series, and it seemed they would take the title on Cleveland’s court, but Game 4 yielded unexpected results. It turned into an aggressive showdown with the Cavaliers and James leading over the Warriors all the way to the end. Soon the series was 3-1, and fans were wondering if it was possible for history to repeat itself. The question of whether the Warriors could clinch the title in Game 5 hung in the air as the players made their way back to Oracle Arena.
Although the Cavaliers came into Game 5 with the same energy they fought through Game 4 with, the Warriors didn’t let it last long. They stormed ahead in the second quarter, ending the first half with an 11-point lead. While the Cavaliers stayed close throughout the second half, the Warriors ultimately ended the game with a 129-120 win. Durant continued to prove himself in every game of the series, becoming the sixth player in NBA history to score 30 or more points each game of the finals.
In Game 5 alone, Durant scored 39 points while former MVP Stephen Curry scored 34, the two making up 73 of the Warriors 129 points. While James led the Cavaliers with 41 points, the Warriors proved that this year’s title belonged to them. Durant and James hugged following the game–two of the best players in the league showing each other respect. Durant told ABC’s reporter Doris Burke following the game that, “He’s the only one I’ve been looking at since 2012. He’s the only one who looked me eye-to-eye. I told him we tied up now, and we going to try to do this thing again.”
Not only did Monday night’s Game 5 lead to the Warriors’ second title in three years, but it also led to Durant being unanimously voted the 2017 Bill Russell Finals MVP. Durant is the third player to win the Finals MVP title during his first year with the team. In the finals, Durant averaged 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.6 blocks. Durant certainly proved himself as a key component of the Warriors, and paired with Curry, it’s possible the Warriors are a dynasty in the making.