Cavs dethrone Warriors in Oakland

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Cavs dethrone Warriors in Oakland

Photo Courtesy of Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Photo Courtesy of Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Photo Courtesy of Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Louis LaVenture,
Editor-in-Chief

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Don’t switch, don’t switch.

That’s all I could think with less than a minute left in game seven of the NBA Finals on Sunday.

But he did, and it happened.

The Warriors had their best defender, Klay Thompson, on Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving when his teammate J.R. Smith set a screen on Thompson and forced his defender, Stephen Curry to switch. Guard Irving then buried the game-winning three-pointer in the reigning two-time MVP’s face to secure the first championship for professional Ohio sports in 52 years. It was a small summary of the entire series in one play when it counted most. The Cavaliers saw a matchup they wanted, got it and executed. They made the Warriors do what they wanted them to and it was the fatal blow for Golden State’s championship goals.

The best regular season team ever at 73-9 and the same team that started the season 24-0 and 39-2 at home could not defend their home court and lost their attempt at back-to-back championships to the Lebron James-led Cavs 93-89.

“It will haunt me for a while,” Curry said to reporters following the game.

It should haunt him. Curry helped secure the Dubs a 3-1 series advantage and had three chances to beat Cleveland, but couldn’t get the job done in large part to the performance of Finals MVP James, who scored 40 points twice in the series, an NBA record. The four-time NBA MVP led all players in the Finals in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, which made him the first player in NBA history to accomplish that feat.

James averaged 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 2.3 blocks and 2.6 steals in the series and the Cavs became the first team to come back after trailing 3-1 in the NBA Finals. James also became just the third player in NBA history to record a triple-double in a finals game seven as he tallied 27 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals.

James was dominant and proved that he is the best player in the league, despite what the NBA MVP voting outcome was. He also brought a championship to a city that has had a history of disappointment and lacked a champion since the Jim Brown-led Cleveland Browns won theirs in 1966. From Ernest Byner’s fumble that led to “The Drive” by John Elway to the Michael Jordan shot that sent Cavs’ guard Craig Ehlo falling to the floor; or the blown save by Fernando Mesa that cost the Indians a World Series. All of those failures went away at the expense of Golden State.

Lebron got off the plane in Cleveland on Monday morning holding the championship trophy and wearing a shirt with deceased former professional wrestler “The Ultimate Warrior.”

Coincidence? No. James is calculated in everything that he does and image-conscious in every way. This was a direct shot at the Dubs, who called him out several times on behavior and actions.

After a big block in game 6 on Curry, James taunted him and even called him “Little N—a” as the two walked away following the play. Some will blame the Draymond Green suspension in game 5 for the losses, however it wasn’t Green’s fault in the final game. Green was suspended for game 5 after the league reviewed a play that resulted in a flagrant foul, which put Green over the limit, resulting in an automatic one-game suspension. Green started game 7 on fire, went five-for-five from behind the three point line and finished the game with 32 points, 15 rebounds and 9 assists, one shy of a triple-double of his own.

Others will blame Curry’s wife Ayesha for her tweet that claimed the series was “rigged,” which gave momentum to Cleveland and something to be angry about for James and the Cavs. Whatever the reason, the Warriors looked flat and the Cavs looked hungry. It was the Cavaliers who answered all the questions and the Warriors who fumbled at the goal line.

It was a forgettable first NBA Finals game 7 in franchise history for the Warriors and a close call for Oakland because they lost. No professional team has won a championship in the city since the Oakland Athletics did it in 1974 at the Oakland Coliseum.
For James it is a sigh of relief as he accomplished his goal of bringing a championship to Cleveland at the expense of the best regular season team ever. The Warrriors instantly became the