Rumors: Cleveland will shop Kevin Love if LeBron James leaves
- Author: Stacy Allen Jun 10, 2018,
Jun 10, 2018, 2:45
The Cleveland Cavaliers were brushed aside by the Golden State Warriors last night, completing a four-game sweep in the best-of-seven NBA finals to be crowned the best team in U.S. basketball for the second year in a row.
And again, it was Durant, who added 12 rebounds and 10 assists - more satisfaction and validation for a player who couldn't beat the Warriors so he joined them.
On Friday, the Cavaliers clawed back from an 11-point deficit before pulling in front on a slam dunk from James near the midway mark of the second quarter, but it was just a matter of time before the Warriors took over.
"I let the emotions get the best of me and pretty much played the last three games with a broken hand", James said during a press conference after the Cavs' Game 4 loss to the Warriors.
In the process, a bit of National Basketball Association history was made as Golden State is the first team to sweep the Finals since 2007, when the San Antonio Spurs schooled the Cavs.
"This year was pretty insane in general with all that we went through with injuries and the struggles throughout the regular season", said Stephen Curry, who finished second in the voting to repeat victor Kevin Durant for the Finals MVP award. The Cavaliers probably should have won Game 1 and had a great chance to win Game 3, but there's no doubting who the better team is. Durant has already challenged some of the Warriors' young and promising players to raise their games.
"We just know how to win", said Curry.
Defending champion Golden State can capture a 3rd title in 4 seasons, carrying a 3-0 lead over the Cavaliers into Game 4 of their record 4th consecutive best-of-seven title matchup.
As for James, he accomplished his goal of bringing a title to Cleveland in 2016, but having lost three of four to the Warriors, he likely will move on as a free agent to a team he believes is ready to win.
"Even when you do defend them well, you've still got guys like Steph and K.D. and Klay (Thompson) who can make unbelievable shots, even when you play the best of defense".
"I remember sitting in this room three years ago and it seemed like a dream". So if you make a mistake, they're going to make you pay.
"He had a lot of opportunities where he could have sat out of games and was going through a tough stretch and wasn't playing well, but he didn't want to do that".
"It's just about the journey, all season", Durant said. "But after a game like that I'm not in any position to talk about that".
And LeBron James made it clear that, after 15 seasons, he still is in what he described as "championship mode", and his decision on what route to take in free agency will be driven by the desire to surround himself with "cerebral players".