The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers to regain the NBA Championship with a 4-1 series win.
The Warriors secured a 129-120 victory on Monday to take their second title in three seasons and cap a near-perfect run through the play-offs.
Golden State beat Cleveland in the 2015 Finals only to lose to them last year, squandering a 3-1 series lead.
Warriors forward Kevin Durant, 28, was named the Most Valuable Player of the Finals.
For the third year in succession the two teams met in the Finals, but after going 3-0 down this time around, Cleveland were only able to pull one game back before the Warriors secured the trophy in game five.
Durant, who joined from the Oklahoma City Thunder last summer, was key to the Warriors’ victory and their 16-1 postseason run – the best in the league’s history.
The first-time title winner scored 39 points as point guard Stephen Curry posted 34 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.
LeBron James, last year’s Finals MVP, led the Cavaliers with 41 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists but it was not enough as the home team came out on top.
Durant scored a crucial three-pointer with 45 seconds left in game three as the Warriors came back to win and lead the series 3-0
Durant – drafted as second-overall pick by the Seattle SuperSonics in 2007 – was an easy choice for the Finals MVP.
The two-time US Olympic gold medallist scored more than 30 points in each of the five games – the first player since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000 for the LA Lakers – and averaged 35.2 per game across the series.
He also added 8.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists a game.
“I couldn’t sleep for two days,” Durant said. “I was anxious, I was jittery.
“I just wanted to lay it all out there. I put in work, I just had to trust in it. We were really good tonight.”
After joining the Warriors in the summer of 2016, it took him just one season to win his first championship.
But Durant was quick to congratulate last year’s champions. “You have to tip your hat to Cleveland,” he added.
“LeBron and Kyrie I’ve never seen nothing like them two before. But we prevailed, we’re champions and it’s amazing doing it on our home floor.”
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