LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers completed one of the greatest comeback rallies in NBA history on Sunday, downing the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, bringing a major professional sports championship to Ohio for the first time in over five decades.
After falling behind in the series 3-1, James and the Cavaliers reeled off three consecutive victories, culminating in Sunday’s win at Oracle Arena in Oakland, where the Warriors lost just two times during the regular season.
“I’m happy to be a part of history,” James said.”I’m home. I’m home. … I’m at a loss for words. This is unbelievable.”
James, who broke down in tears once the final buzzer sounded, turned in a masterful triple-double performance, delivering 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists to go along with a dazzling chasedown block of an Andre Iguodala layup in the game’s waning minutes.
Moments later, a Kyrie Irving 3-pointer from the right wing pushed Cleveland ahead for good.
The Cavaliers, the first team in NBA Finals history to overcome a 3-1 deficit, are now Cleveland’s first major professional sports champion in 52 years.
The Warriors, who led by seven at half time, saw their record-setting 73-win season come to an unceremonious close, scoring just 13 points in an offensively deficient fourth quarter.
Stephen Curry, the NBA’s regular season MVP, struggled throughout much of the evening, shooting just 6-of-17 from the floor and 4-of-14 from the 3-point line. Trailing by three with 30 seconds remaining, Curry struggled to elude Cleveland’s Kevin Love before firing and missing a forced 3-point attempt, placing the Cavaliers firmly in the driver’s seat down the stretch.
- Saginaw native and Michigan State graduate Draymond Green led the Warriors with 32 points, 15 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals. In his second contest back following a Game 5 suspension, Green connected on 11-of-15 shots from the floor and 6-of-8 from the 3-pt. line.