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. He punctuated that season with his famed “Baby Hook” to win Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Boston, giving the Lakers a 3-1 lead before they finished off their rivals two games later.
The game-five victory over the Cavs capped an emotional journey for Durant, who spent nine years with the Thunder and was part of the side that blew a 3-1 lead to the Warriors in the Western Conference finals last year. “I couldn’t sleep for two days”.
“I was anxious. I was jittery”. “I have no reason to put my head down”.
Completing a ideal 9-0 run at home during the postseason, the Warriors became the first San Francisco Bay Area team to win a championship at home since the Oakland Athletics won the 1974 World Series.
Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors celebrating after being named Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player after winning the 2017 NBA Finals at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California on June 12, 2017. And even prior to having his moments in the Finals spotlight, many fans have already speculated that this year’s title run might be the last for the 27-year-old sharpshooter as a member of the Warriors. “It’s a combination of talent and an unselfish nature”.
After the game, Durant had only praise for Cavaliers stars, Lebron James and Kyrie Irving.
James became the first player in history to average a triple-double in the finals – 33.6 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
He dramatically drove and dunked on Cleveland’s defense, knocked down big 3-pointers and blocked shots while handling the load of defending King James.
LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 41 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists but it proved in vain as the home team came out on top.
“They would all kill us”, Kerr said, deadpan, last week. I thought we played well, got better each game.
“Now we get our – my second banner – our fifth banner as an organization and celebrate in front of our home fans in the Bay Area”.
“You can talk about whatever you want to talk about, but nobody comes in and cares about the game or loves the game as much as I do or works as hard as do I at the basketball game”. Two courtside seats reportedly went for $133,000 on the resale market while other confirmed resale prices for pairs of seats were at $82,000 and $90,000. The Warriors went on a 21-to-2 second-quarter run.
Sometimes lost in all the chatter about a possible Warriors’ dynasty is the fact that Golden State plays attractive, often unselfish team ball.
The Warriors tallied 35 bench points in game five, while Cleveland managed just seven points outside their starting five. Originally, he was going to let some of the Cavaliers have it until he thought otherwise.
That Lacob was so casual, so cheerily distant - like a man bidding farewell to a new neighbor after an awkward BBQ - said a great deal about the Kevin Durant Experience.