Warriors defend NBA title thanks to Cavs sweep
For the third time in four years, the Golden State Warriors are NBA champions after sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers inside four games.
Golden State went back-to-back thanks to Friday's comfortable 108-85 win over LeBron James and the Cavaliers in Cleveland.
Stephen Curry scored 37 points to lead the Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena as Golden State became the first team since the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013 to claim successive championships.
The last four NBA Finals have been between the Warriors and Cavs, with Golden State winning three titles.
Kevin Durant added a triple-double, scoring 20 points, with 12 rebounds and 10 assists. With his seventh point in game four, the Warriors star broke Curry's Golden State record for points in a single postseason (594 in 2015).
The Warriors jumped out to an early 34-25 first-quarter lead on the road, stifling any momentum Cleveland might have had. While Golden State did not put up the same eye-popping postseason numbers as last year, they improved on defense, stifling opponents in the half court.
Golden State then outscored the Cavaliers by 12 points in the third quarter. This postseason, Warriors outscored their opponents by 153 points in the third quarter, the largest point differential in a single playoff quarter in the Shot-Clock Era (since 1954-55).
James looked tired and defeated throughout most of the game, with his team-mates once again doing little to provide support.
The 33-year-old scored 23 points with eight assists and seven rebounds, falling just short of passing Michael Jordan's record for the most points in one postseason.
With the Warriors once again crowned champions, attention will now turn to James and the offseason, as he potentially moves on from Cleveland in free agency.
DURANT OUTSHINES LEBRON
James is rightly considered the best player in the NBA, but each of the last two years, Durant has shone in the NBA Finals. After suffering heartbreak with the Oklahoma City Thunder, he has proven he is a winner, capable of taking over games with the spotlight on him.
HILL FAILS TO DELIVER… AGAIN
The Cavaliers' decision to trade for George Hill did not really pan out. The veteran floor general scored three points on one of seven shooting, while failing to give Cleveland much of an option on offense and defense.
After struggling in game three, Curry found his shot to sink the Cavaliers.