Cavs win NBA title for the first time in their history, while LeBron James swoops the NBA Finals MVP award for the third time in his career.
(Image credit: The Guardian)
Despite trailing behind the Golden State Warriors at the start of the Finals, Cleveland Cavaliers managed to fight back to seal their first-ever championship in their 46-year existence. After Game 4, the Warriors were leading 3-1 in the Finals, however the Cavs made a historic comeback to lift the title by winning their next three games, and thus become the first team in the NBA to seal the championship after suffering a 3-1 deficit, Telegraph reports.
Cavs win NBA title thanks to special efforts from LeBron and Irving
(Video credit: NBA Conference)
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving proved instrumental in the victory over the Warriors, as they recorded 27 and 26 points respectively in the thrilling final game. According to USA TODAY Sports, “King James” also had 11 rebounds, 11 assists, three blocks and two steals on top of his impressive 27 points haul in Game 7, which essentially helped him get his hands on his third NBA Finals MVP award, after collecting his first two in 2012 and 2013 with the Miami Heat.
As for Irving, the 24-year-old gave the Cavaliers a decisive lead – with only 53 seconds of the game remaining and the scoreline showing a tie 89-89 – with his three-point shot. Last year’s NBA Finals MVP Steph Curry tried to block the shot, but Irving made a crucial step-back that allowed his ball the freedom to go inside the net. “I don’t know how close I was to him. I tried to reach at the ball, stay in front of him, make it a tough shot,” said Curry. “It was a tough step back that he just stepped up and made. It doesn’t matter how good or bad defense I played, he made the shot. So credit to him. He stepped up and took advantage of the moment. It was not a good feeling turning around and seeing it go in.”
With 10 seconds remaining on the clock, LeBron aimed to hand the Warriors their final blow with what would have been an amazing dunk, however he was fouled which gave him a chance to extend the Cavs’ lead with to four points over the Oakland-based team. This sealed their victory, while also allowing “King James” bragging rights for scoring the final point in the final.
Cavs win NBA title two years after the return of “King James”
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Kyrie Irving compared LeBron to Beethoven due to the way in which he played in Game 7 of the Finals. “I’m very thankful that I have a guy like that that’s leading our team that I can continue to learn from. And when my time does come of being able to lead a franchise and see the landscape of how it’s supposed to he composed, I watched Beethoven right now of LeBron James compose a game,” said the 24-year-old.
“He had a freaking’ triple-double in Game 7 of an NBA Finals game. There will still be naysayers, but I know it doesn’t matter to him,” said Irving. “All that matters is we’re champions, and our whole team is etched in history.”
LeBron left the Cavs in 2010 for Miami Heat in a move that attracted a great deal of controversy, but proved personally successful for him as it saw him reach the Finals four times and win the championship on two occasions (2012 and 2013). He re-joined the team in 2014 with many US online sportsbooks giving the Cavs favourite odds for the title, which they’ve achieved in his LeBron’s second year following his return.
“I came back for a reason. I came back to bring a championship to our city,” said the 31-year-old who has made six consecutive Finals appearances over the course of the past 50 years. “I knew what I was capable of doing. I knew what I learned in the last couple of years that I was gone, and I knew if I had to – when I came back – I knew I had the right ingredients and the right blueprint to help this franchise get back to a place that we’ve never been. That’s what it was all about.”
Cavs win NBA title to end their city’s long-awaited quest for glory
(Video credit: The Guardian)
While other towns were celebrating victory after victory over the years, Cleveland as a town has been deprived of that for more than half a century. The final time a Cleveland-based sports team achieved glory was way back in 1964, when the Cleveland Browns were crowned the NFL champions. Since then, the city has gone through a dry spell which fuelled their desire for titles as the years went by.
Before LeBron’s four-year adventure with Miami Heat (2010-14), the Cavs came close to winning the NBA Championship in 2007 when they faced the San Antonio Spurs. However, the Spurs recorded a comfortable 4-0 win over the Cavs that saw the latter miss out on claiming a title for their city. With LeBron’s return to Cleveland in 2014, they became instant favourites to win the NBA Championship, per US online sportsbooks. But when they reached the 2015 NBA Finals, they were defeated by Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors 4-2 – once again losing a chance to shine.
But the Cavs exacted their revenge this year by winning the NBA Finals that allowed them to become the first sports team in over 50 years to lift a title. After initially suffering a 3-1 deficit in the Finals, the Cavs were looking to be heading home empty handed after another disappointing season. But they put on a great comeback to deny the Warriors their second successive NBA Championship.