Deron Williams missed a 3-pointer that would have cut the deficit to two points and rookie Patrick McCaw scored two big buckets in the final two minutes of the period to give Golden State just a little bit of breathing room. But Durant is reportedly willing to take less than the max to re-sign with the Warriors.
But the Warriors are brimming with confidence, knowing they didn't have Kevin Durant to help them past year. Not to mention a healthy one after his 2016 injuries. "They're so fast, they get out in transition".
Players broke out into a scuffle when David West and Tristan Thompson got in each other's faces in the second quarter after West ripped the ball from Irving. When James dunked on Durant, many thought Durant should have gotten his third foul of the game and sat out the rest of the first half. Led the league with 121 points per game while outscoring opponents by 12.3 per night behind their potent backcourt of Goodrich and West, who each averaged almost 26 points to rank in the league's top six. "If KD was the consolation prize to lose, thanks for that loss, and we're champs this year".
One of the most consistent parts of the Warriors' on-court theatrics this season was the encore that often followed the on-court show, and quite often, that encore was sparked by Draymond Green.
The Cavaliers aren't going down in Game 5 of the NBA Finals without a fight.
But head coach Steve Kerr made adjustments early to ensure Cleveland didn'tget too far ahead.
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It was the same story early in Game 5, when the Cavs took advantage of six first-quarter Warriors turnovers and led 37-33 after the first quarter.
The buzzer sounded and gold confetti began to fall.
The win gives the Warriors their second ring in three years, after winning in 2015 against a short-handed, James-led Cavs team. Everybody for the last 10 years knew how good he was, but until you break through and win that first championship, there's always still something there. As the confetti fell from the rafters, Queen's We Are The Champions blared from the speakers as a visibly emotional Durant hugged his team-mates (and even whispered something to James). And that was just the start.
Two playful superstars who found a way to coexist through all the questions and constant scrutiny, together and smiling as champions.
Durant and Curry were always right in the middle, yet they stayed loose and focused by building their own relationship - not to mention shooting skills - through regular shooting contests that were oh so close. Totals 46-90 23-28 129. Durant buried another three on the next possession, the Warriors whipping passes around the floor before it came his way for the shot that barely flew past Kevin Love's outstretched hand.
As players from the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors warmed up for Game 5 of the NBA Finals, members of the musical Hamilton offered a preview of their national anthem set for a few hours later.
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- NBA Finals, Game 5 - Cavs vs. Warriors