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Kevin Durant capped his spectacular first season with the Warriors by bringing home that coveted NBA championship he joined Golden State last July so determined to get, scoring 39 points in a fast-and-furious, Finals-clinching 129-120 victory over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night. Durant shot 14 for 20 and Curry — the two-time reigning MVP who took a backseat as the new big star got acclimated — finished off a brilliant postseason. Not to mention a healthy one after his 2016 injuries
James, who in 2012 with Miami beat the Thunder in Durant’s only other Finals, wound up with 41 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. Kyrie Irving followed up his 40-point gem in Friday’s Game 4 with 26 points but shot 9 for 22. This time, King James gave way to KD, who was the NBA Finals MVP 10 years after being picked second in the NBA draft behind Greg Oden.
Stephen Curry added 34 points, 10 assists and six rebounds as Golden State closed out its second title in three years after squandering a 3-1 lead a year ago to the Cavs to miss a repeat. That stung ever since, and even Durant understood, because he gave up the same lead to the Warriors a round earlier with Oklahoma City.
“We learned from everything we’ve been through,” Curry said during the trophy celebration. “Our perspective, being blessed to play on this stage three years in a row, it’s for these fans, for our organization, for these families. To be back here, bring ol’ Larry back home, I’m just excited to do something special. I’m ready to do it again.”
“It’s just a great group of guys, great community, great arena, great fans,” Durant said. “I’m just so happy to be a part of it. I can’t wait to celebrate with my teammates in the locker room.”
The buzzer sounded and gold confetti began to fall. The Warriors became the first Bay Area team to capture a championship at home since the A’s finished the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1974 World Series.
The Warriors won in 2015 before the Cavs made their historic comeback last year. Then it was Golden State’s time again, with Durant as the prized addition.