For James, already a three-times champion, the loss puts him in rare company as only the fourth player to come up short in five NBA Finals.
There had been plenty of memorable moments from Durant and James in these Finals, but nothing like the early fourth quarter stretch in which the Warriors star seized his chance to win his first title.
Kyrie Irving followed up his 40-point gem in Friday's Game 4 with 26 points but shot 9 for 22.
Midway through the second quarter, those dynamics changed - the Warriors went on what ultimately was a 28-7 run that had them up double digits and in control of the game.
In the video above, watch a recap of Golden State's Game 5 win over Cleveland.
"We were able to get them past year, and they went out and got one of the best players that this league has ever seen, so they did a good job of - a great job, their front office and their players, by doing that recruiting, the things that they did in the summertime, and obviously it paid dividends", James said.
Dodgers reinstate Pederson, place Gonzalez on DL
Gonzalez has been dealing with a herniated disc for some years and the issue flared up again Sunday. He took less than four weeks to go back.
A 13-2 start out of the gates was marred by a three-game losing streak starting in late November when James announced the "honeymoon stage is over" for the Cavs. LeBron James was brilliant in defeat, scoring 41 with 13 rebounds and eight assists. After 39 points tonight, he has Finals MVP to show for it.
When Steph Curry and Kevin Durant are at their best, and they usually are, they are essentially unguardable. The best they could have hoped for was to limit transition, but missed corner jumpers and problems matching up in transition led to allowing over 20.0 fast break points per game - and that's just not good enough to win against the juggernaut of the Warriors. "I just tried to stay with those principles and keep grinding".
"The toughest challenge was to come in here and see how I can help this team get better", Durant said. Thompson and Smith confronted West and all three of those players got technical fouls. Four and half months without the National Basketball Association, but there is always news. Love picked up two fouls in the first three minutes and had to go to the bench and was just not the same player we saw earlier in the series. Kerr coached the first two games of Golden State's first-round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in April but stepped away because he was experiencing complications from back surgery from two years ago.
On the other side of the ledger James spent much of Game 5 as the only real threat particularly with his wingman Kyrie Irving spending much of the night hobbled with back pain that seemed to make just running a chore. "I had a letdown last year but like I told everybody, If Kevin Durant was the consolation prize to lose thanks for that loss and we're the champs this year". There were times where we were fanning out trying to get to that three-point line [on defense], and then they would back-cut us and get a layup.
But that's where the Warriors' high-powered offense finally clicked into gear.
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