Durant perfectly read the situation, fired a cross-court pass into Andre Iguodala's shooting pocket and the super-sub continued his huge night by burying a 3, jumping the lead back to eight. Kevin Durant emerged as the MVP in the NBA Finals averaging 35.2 points per game, 8.4 rebounds per game and 5.4 assists per game.
The Warriors won in 2015 before the Cavs made their historic comeback a year ago.
It was the third of Oakland's three consecutive World Series, and that team featuring Reggie Jackson, Joe Rudi, Vida Blue, Blue Moon Odom, Rollie Fingers and the late Catfish Hunter wasn't short on talent or charisma, either.
As Curry said after the win, "We accomplished something special".
After another of J.R. Smith's moonshot 3s, the Cavaliers had it within five to start the fourth quarter.
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.
Golden State looks to clinch at home
And the more you give me a little bit of an opportunity, the more you give me a little bit more of a leash, I can contribute. With all of the Warriors' big guns healthy, the Cavaliers understand where they stand.
In a tightly called Game 5 of the NBA Finals, it was a no-call involving Kevin Durant that helped the Golden State Warriors pull away from the Cleveland Cavaliers. What do you have to fight against Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant as a pair?
Durant outplayed James in Game 1 finishing with 38 points and zero turnovers. Early in the second half, the Cavaliers managed to narrow the Warriors lead, but were never able to draw level.
Durant, who will likely be crowned Finals MVP, finished with a team-high 39 points on 14-of-20 shooting.
Out of the timeout, the Warriors got a layup from Durant, but the Cavaliers answered that with a layup from Thompson and a pull-up three-pointer from James from the left wing, which gave Cleveland a 20-11 advantage.
Or perhaps teams - knowing that they can not put as many great shooters and defenders on the court as Golden State - will try to be a counterweight: instead of trying to beat Golden State and the Warriors' clones on the perimeter, let's pound them in the paint. He chose Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and a chance at his first championship over returning to Oklahoma City.
Cleveland enjoyed a 41-33 lead in the second quarter Monday before the Warriors ripped off a 28-4 run.
Durant's stellar play all season and throughout the playoffs vindicated Golden State's massive payout to the superstar in a controversial off-season deal. We battled and I told him we're tied up now.
"Pretty much all their big-name guys are in their 20s, and they don't show any signs of slowing down", Cleveland forward LeBron James said. "Doesn't get much better than that".
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