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Warriors outlasts Cleveland in Game 5, wins 2nd NBA finals in 3 years

Warriors outlasts Cleveland in Game 5

“Strength in Numbers” is better than “Defend the Land”.

Kevin Durant scored 39 points, Steph Curry added 34, and Andre Igoudala contributed 20 points off the bench as Golden State outlasted Cleveland 129-120 in Game 5 to win their second NBA Finals in three years.

The Warriors wrested the NBA crown away from the Cavaliers in their historic third straight meeting in NBA’s grandest stage, and now holds a 2-1 advantage in their three collisions in the finals.

Golden State were just ahead by five with less than four minutes left in the match when Durant ignited a 14-1 run that gave them a 122-98 lead in the 2:51 mark of the fourth, which proved to be too big a cushion for the Cavs to threaten that late in the game.

Durant, who shot 14-of-20 and made five of his eight three point attempts in Game 5, was named Finals MVP after averaging 35.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg, and 5.4 apg in the series. He made an average of 12.0 field goals out of 21.6 attempts per match, including 3.6 3FG made per 7.6 3FA per match.

The 28-year-old Durant, who moved from Oklahoma City to Golden State after losing to the Dubs in last year’s playoffs, never scored less than 31 points in any game in this year’s Finals.

Curry made only two of his nine three pointers but made 12 of his 15 shots from the free throw line and added 10 assists for the Warriors, who got 10 points, 12 rebounds and five assists from Draymond Green.

LeBron James tried to put the Cavs on his back and scored 41 points on 19-of-30 shooting, but failed to inspire his team in the late game. He also had 13 rebounds and eight assists, though he committed eight turnovers.

Kyrie Irving made only nine of his 22 attempts but finished with 26 points for Cleveland, who got 25 markers from J.R. Smith, who made 7-of-8 of his threes, including two that made it 120-127 in the dying moments of the match.

ONE MORE YEAR?

Many of Golden State’s core members are under contract, though both Durant and Curry are up for contract negotiations in the summer.

Durant, who sought the help of a record-setting 73-9 win-loss Warriors team to win in this year’s finals, stated he is willing to sell his services for a low price in the offseason to continue this run of overpowering lesser talented teams in the NBA.

Curry, who took a pay cut because of ankle problems five years ago, might not as be as cheap as he can demand the most from the Warriors as he is their longest serving player.