James spectacular again, but his efforts not enough for Cavs

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - It took the Cleveland Cavaliers four games to solve the mystery of how to beat the Golden State Warriors.

Golden State Warriors players and coaches celebrate with the Larry O'Brien Trophy after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in game five of the 2017 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California on June 12, 2017. The All-Star forward shot 14-for-20 from the field, including 5-for-8 from 3-point range in helping Golden State close out its third title since the franchise moved from Philadelphia in 1962. They dropped the NBA Finals opener to league MVP Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers, then took the next four games. Golden State in 2015, the Cavaliers a year ago, the Warriors again this time.

Golden State outscored Cleveland 38-23 in the period on Monday night.

Irving, who led the Cavs in scoring in each of Games 3 and 4 had 26 through three quarters but did not score in the fourth.

Cleveland has won four straight Finals elimination games, rallying from a 3-1 series deficit to win the championship previous year and then winning 137-116 in Game 4 on Friday night to extend this series.

Irving hit 15-of-27 shots from the floor, going 7-of-12 from 3-point range to set the pace for a finals record 24 3-points on 45 attempts.

"So I would hope we're more ready, more prepared tonight".




Stephen Curry found himself isolated on LeBron James and immediately cleared out space on the right wing. In Oakland, the Warriors are the first team in history to squander a 3-1 Finals lead.

"We'll just come and play our game, continue to build on what we've been doing since Day 1 of training camp", said Warriors star Kevin Durant, attempting to brush all distractions aside.

Throughout the playoffs coach Steve Kerr encouraged his team to enjoy the ride, to "play with joy".

"LeBron and Kyrie I've never seen nothing like them two before". But the Warriors also had shooting that would have made them the envy of even some of the toughest teams of all-time. Love picked up two fouls in the first three minutes and had to go to the bench and was just not the same player we saw earlier in the series.

"I think it came from Draymond (Green, a Warriors forward), which is OK, that's Dray anyway". "There are some things we can do to free him up and we'll try that".

Speaking on ESPN and BT Sport, he added: "I've got the best job in the world, these guys are so gifted, so committed to each other and so unselfish".

It all added up to Golden State's second championship in three years.

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