by Michael Martinez
One of the greatest games I have witnessed in my life. And although I’m young, I have watched basketball for as long as I can remember.
So much was on the line before tonight’s tip off. For the Warriors, a chance to bring back to back championships to a city that ponder what winning was not that long ago. Steph Curry’s legacy was on the chopping block as well.
For the Cavaliers, it would be the first pro championship in the city of Cleveland since the Browns won the NFL championship back in 1964. That was before the Super Bowl era, which the Browns have never been to. LeBron James’ legacy was also on the line.
With two mega stars getting ready to battle it out, the anticipation was incredible. And the game did not disappoint.
The contest was back and forth for the entire game and the first half was dominated by Draymond Green.
Green who took blame for his suspension in Game 5, showed up huge for the Warriors when the league MVP did not. Green knocked down all five of his shots from three point range and went eight of ten from the field totaling 22 first half points. He also dished out five assists and grabbed five boards, playing more like himself as opposed to his lackluster Game 6 performance.
James finished the half with 12 points, a team high. Green’s performance allowed the Warriors to hold a 49-42 lead at the break.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half, but in the third quarter each team showed up. Both teams were knocking down shots and the whole Warriors team got their shots in.
For the Cavs, Kyrie Irving helped ease the load off James with 12 third quarter points. And Golden State still had a one point lead going into the final quarter.
And as Curry became non-existent, James got the job done. James scored 11 points in the fourth and made some excellent defensive plays. He came up huge when his team needed it the most. Both teams found themselves struggling, but Cleveland’s ability to stop Golden State on the offensive end proved to be the difference.
Down three games to one in the best of seven series, the Cavs somehow found a way to be the first team to come back by that margin in Finals history. Cleveland defeated the Warriors, 93-89, to win the NBA’s most coveted prize.
Unfortunately, the Warriors got beat because they were unable to do what they do best, shoot the ball efficiently.
The home team shot 38.6 percent from the field and under 37 percent from beyond the arc. Curry and splash brother Klay Thompson combined for six of 24 from three point range. Two of the best three point shooters in the NBA shot 25 percent in the most important game of their careers.
Curry finished with 17 points and Green almost notched a triple double with a game high 32 points, adding 15 boards and nine assists.
James on the other hand did finish the game with a triple double. James had 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists and quite frankly did not even have one of his better games. James joins Jerry West and James Worthy as the only players to get triple doubles in Game 7 of a NBA Finals.
Irving surely helped James get the victory with his 26 points and clutch shooting.
To no surprise, James won the MVP as he averaged 29.7 points, 8.9 assists and 11.3 rebounds in the series. After much scrutiny, James cemented himself as one of the greatest players ever and brought back a championship to the city of Cleveland for the first time in over 50 years.
Credit to the Cavs and James for playing great basketball, but the Warriors tremendous run comes to a disheartening close. The team who set the record for most wins in the regular season and came back from a 3-1 deficit of their own, watched a second championship slip away from the palms of their hands.
Curry was disappointing and did not have the best game of his career as he mentioned he would need to. And as Golden State found themselves with some injuries to key players, they allowed the Cavs to hold on to some life and it cost them a second championship trophy.
After all this team was able to accomplish, the Warriors appeared to get a little complacent. It will be interesting to see what players say in the next few days, but Golden State has a lot of things to hold their heads up high. Of course coming up short is truly discouraging, but the Warriors have the highest odds to win the championship next year.
Thank you for sticking with Sports Radio Service throughout this season and congratulations to the Cleveland Cavaliers, your 2016 NBA champions.