It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. With less than a minute left in Game 7, Kyrie Irving pulls up on Stephen Curry and shoots a crucial three to bring the Cavaliers up by three after being tied 89-89 against the Warriors.
Warriors’ fans look dejected as the shot goes in. Cavaliers’ fans in Cleveland react with excitement as they are so close to an historic win. Thirty-two seconds left and Stephen Curry misses a three after being defended by Kevin Love. Eighteen seconds left and Harrison Barnes fouls LeBron James, giving them another chance to inbound.
Ten seconds left and Irving throws a lob to James that had the potential to be a monstrous dunk. Green fouled him, and he went hard to the floor, grabbing his wrist. James makes one of two of his free throws with less than eleven seconds in the game to give the Cavaliers a four-point lead.
Cleveland is 10.6 seconds away from a championship. Six point five seconds left and Irving fouls Draymond Green on an entry pass, and the Warriors get a chance to inbound. Oracle Arena is silent. Five seconds left and Curry misses a three. Cavaliers are now five seconds left from becoming champions. Two point five seconds left and Speights attempts a three.
The game is over 93-89. The Cleveland Cavaliers have won the championship. Kevin Love runs from the bench and shares an emotional hug with LeBron James. Warriors’ fans look defeated in Oracle Arena as an historic season comes to a disappointing end, but Cavaliers’ fans cry tears of joy because of an unbelievably historic championship win. Stephen Curry heads to the locker room devastated, but LeBron James falls to the floor with emotion as the championship-drought has ended in Cleveland.
There was so much history made. Not only did Cleveland win a pro-sports championship in 52 years, but the Cavaliers are the first team in NBA history to win a Finals after being down 3-1. Additionally, this is the first time that the Warriors have lost three-straight games since 2013, when Steve Kerr wasn’t coaching. This was the first franchise championship win for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
LeBron James is the first player to lead all players on both teams in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals in the Finals.
After the game, LeBron James shared his emotion about the win, “I set out a goal two years when I came back to bring a championship to this city. I gave everything that I had. I poured my heart, my blood, my sweat, my tears to this game. Against all odds, I don’t know why we want to take the hardest road. I don’t know why the man above giving me the hardest road. But, it’s nothing the man above don’t put you in situations that you can’t handle. And I just kept that same positive attitude like, instead of saying “Why me?”, he’s saying this is what he wants me to do. Cleveland, this is for you!”.
“The hardest road” surely is not an understatement after being down 3-1. In what looked like was going to be a sweep after two embarrassing losses in Oracle Arena, the Cavaliers responded in a big way at home in Game 3. However, the Warriors still seemed to be the better team after winning huge in Game 4.
It seemed like LeBron was absent in that game as he allowed his emotions get the best of him. Games 5, 6, and 7 had LeBron James written all over them. In Game 5, LeBron and Kyrie responded to the criticism and emotions of Oracle Arena due to Draymond Green’s suspension by scoring 82 points combined, the most by any duo in a Finals game. LeBron James scored 41 points again as he lead his team to a home game win in Game 6. In Game 7, which was the most viewed game in NBA history, the Cavaliers proved to be the better team as they won it all. The 73-9 regular season Warriors team were 15-9 in the postseason.
In what was the most incredible Finals performance of his career, LeBron James has solidified his legacy and had the game of his life. Now, he can be put on the top 5 list, if not arguably the top 3, of the all-time best in the history of our league. And now he has brought a championship to his hometown.
Spark Sports NBA Analyst