Golden State Warriors 108 – Cleveland Cavaliers 85 (Warriors win 4-0)
The Golden State Warriors successfully defended their NBA Championship, taking home the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the second straight year. And they did something that they failed to do last season, sweep the Cleveland Cavaliers.
This game was over in the third quarter when the Warriors went on their signature run that’s turned the tide in so many games in this year’s Playoffs. But this wasn’t one of those fireball offensive explosions like in previous games. The Warriors went on a run by tightening their defense and limiting the Cavaliers to only 13 points in the period.
Golden State opened the second half on a 6-0 run with buckets from Klay Thompson, Steph Curry and JaVale McGee. Their defense shut down several Cavalier attempts to cut the lead down. Then Kevin Durant engaged. He scored on back-to-back jumpers and found Thompson in the left corner for a three-pointer. Thompson and Curry continued to rain down baskets as the Warriors took a 21-point lead after to the final period. They cruised to the win from that point on.
Kevin Durant was named Finals MVP for the second straight year. He averaged 28.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists on 52% shooting. In Game 4, Durant was excellent once again. He had a triple-double of 20 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.
Steph Curry bounced back from a horrible Game 3 to lead the Warriors in Game 4. Curry erupted for 37 points and seven treys. He also had six rebounds and four assists. Curry was the main reason the Warriors got separation in the first half. After taking an early nine-point lead, the Cavaliers went on an 18-8 run to take a brief lead in the second quarter. Curry then led the Warriors on a 19-9 run to close the half with a nine-point lead.
This is the third Warriors championship in four years, cementing their status as a dynasty in the NBA. This sweep by Golden State is also the first NBA Finals sweep since 2007 when the San Antonio Spurs swept the Cavaliers.
Golden State struggled more than usual this season. They faced several injuries and even had a stretch where all four of their All-Stars were sidelined with injuries. The Warriors didn’t rule the West, finishing with only the second best record in the league. They were on the brink of elimination in the Western Conference Finals and had to survive Game 7 in Houston to get back to the Finals. LeBron James gave them some trouble in Game 1 with his 51-point performance. But after that, Curry and Durant took over the next three games.
After all that, the Warriors are still golden.
Photo from AP