The Golden State Warriors could finally put those jokes about them losing a 3-1 lead to rest. And they could thank Kevin Durant for that.
KD scored 39 points and Steph Curry added 34 to slam the door shut on any chance of last year's history repeating itself by scoring a 129-120 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night to win their second championship in the past two years.
Durant, who was heavily criticized for joining the Warriors just a couple of months removed from losing to them in last year's playoffs, not only accomplished his mission of clinching his first title, but added a Finals MVP to his name for averaging 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game across the five-game series.
After winning the title, KD embraced LeBron James and told him "we're tied," referring to their head-to-head Finals history, where King James defeated Durant and his then-Oklahoma City Thunder squad in 2012 only for Durant to extact revenge five years later with the Warriors.
“It feels great to win a championship with these guys,” Durant said, as reported by the New York Daily News. “I can’t wait to celebrate this for the rest of the night. Or the rest of the summer.”
He added, "I knew at some point in my life it would come together for me. I just had to keep grinding ... I’m at a loss for words.”
The Warriors finished their playoff run with a near-flawless 15-1 record, having swept through the first three rounds before clinching the Finals in five games.
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(Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)