Kevin Durant's Non-Foul Looms Large In Warriors' Game-Deciding Run

The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers to regain the NBA Championship with a 4-1 series win. Scorned and scrutinized from every angle for that decision, Durant triumphantly raised his arms and an MVP trophy Monday night all these months later— beaming as a first-time National Basketball Association champion, just as planned.

This would be a similar approach, with a slight tweak: "When they go small, we go massive". You don't want to take a step back.

"I told him we're tied up now and we're going to try to do this thing again, but I'm going to celebrate this one tonight", Durant revealed of their conversation.

"Well, it's a two-sided question because for me personally - I don't know", said James. Kevin Durant embraced with his mother in unvarnished joy as the final 2016-17 chapter to his decision last summer to jump from Oklahoma City to Golden State, not even attempting to play it cool.

"I just wanted to lay it all out there".

James, who in 2012 with Miami beat the Thunder in Durant's only other Finals, wound up with 41 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists. Hes had an fantastic career, but he just took it to the next level, ” coach Steve Kerr said. Im just so happy Kevin has broken through.

After Game 5, Irving spoke at length at how James' work effort inspires him and how he hopes to maintain their relationship for years to come (via Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver).

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The 29-year-old has built up quite a strong resume over the last three years garnering a pair of MVP awards, three All-Star Game selections, two First Team All-NBA nods, One Second Team All-NBA selection, and two NBA titles. Still, he insisted he had another notch to raise his game, and he certainly found it.

Kyle Korver's 3-pointer pulled the Cavaliers within 108-102 but dunks by Durant and Andre Iguodala boosted Golden State's lead to 110-102 and the Warriors kept Cleveland at bay, a Durant driving layup stretching Golden State's edge to 118-106 with five minutes remaining.

Ten years after becoming the No. 2 draft pick behind Greg Oden, Durant has reached the pinnacle. Durant set a tone at a very high level the entire postseason and especially under the brightest lights of all in the championship series. He can't do it alone.

“I cant believe it, but I have to, ” Durant said recently of where he is after a decade. "I'm really proud where I am right now as a player and being as consistent every year as I've been". "This is something that we want to continue to do, but for us to have these conversations that we had nearly a year ago and now being in this position, worth every shot we took in practice, fighting through injuries that he had this year, and it's an unbelievable feeling". But this is not an individual sport.

This is a major start.

"It's different just because of what happened previous year to be honest", Curry said. "And he showed that".

LeBron James has now lost five Finals in eight appearances - only the fourth player to come up short in five NBA Finals. David West fought for the ball with Irving, then they got tangled up and Cleveland's Tristan Thompson entered the fray.

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