9 Jun 2018

Warriors beat Cavs to win NBA championship

4:28 pm on 9 June 2018

The Golden State Warriors are once again the NBA champions after a 108-85 victory over LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers won them their third title in the last four seasons.

Warriors guard Stephen Curry shot a game-high 37 points

Warriors guard Stephen Curry shot a game-high 37 points Photo: ©Icon Sportswire (A Division of XML Team Solutions) All Rights Reserved

The fourth straight NBA Finals matchup between the two rivals proved to be the most lopsided as the Warriors won the latest best-of-seven series in four games.

After a sub-par performance in game three, Warriors guard Stephen Curry responded with a spectacular shooting night by scoring a game-high 37 points, while James had a team-high 23.

But it was Warriors forward Kevin Durant who was named the finals' Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive year.

Durant's series was highlighted by his playoff-career-high 43 points in game three.

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.

"We knew that they were going to come out with a tough first punch and we answered it and ran right back at them and set the tone for the whole game," said Curry.

"They made so many runs but over the course of 48 minutes our will took over. Unbelievable feeling to come in here on a mission and get the job done."

The Warriors used a dominant third quarter to build a 21-point lead that left the Cavaliers' hopes of a series comeback in their wake.

For Cleveland, the loss sends the team into an offseason of great uncertainty as James, the best player of his generation, could sign elsewhere as a free agent after July 1.

James, who was playing in his eighth consecutive NBA finals and fourth straight with the Cavs, has carried the team since he returned from Miami in 2014.

When three-times champion James left the game with about four minutes to play, he did so to a standing ovation.

- Reuters