Durant vindicates decision to join Golden State

It's been all but certain the NBA Finals MVP would be his for a few games now, but he made sure to put the game away in the fourth and finish off the deal once and for all.

LeBron James became the first player in history to average a triple-double over the course of an NBA Finals, per ESPN Stats & Info, but it wasn't enough, as the Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Golden State Warriors 129-120 in Game 5 at Oracle Arena on Monday night.

But each time, the Warriors recovered - led by Durant's clutch shooting.

James, who in 2012 with Miami beat the Thunder in Durant's only other Finals, wound up with 41 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) dunks against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of Game 5 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Monday, June 12, 2017.

But that idea fizzled fast when the Warriors opened with a pair of lopsided wins at home, fought back late to steal the next game in Cleveland and then, after dropping their first game of the postseason, closed out the series at home. "And, yes, we were able to hit the switch, but those games in January, those games in November, games that people think that's not important, they're important to me, and they would have been important to our ball club", James said. The Warriors went on a 21-to-2 second-quarter run.

Q: Can you find much solace in getting to The Finals three years in a row? "It's kind of insane to think about the conversations we had this summer and going into the year about how we can both mesh and do what we do and be the players that we are and (to) see it come to life in this series, it was unbelievable".

Cleveland never led in the second half, but was within 3 early in the fourth quarter.

Tristan Thompson's 15 points for Cleveland in game five surpassed his tally in the the first four games combined (13). The decision to move Draymond Green into the starting lineup in place of David Lee and moving Andre Iguodala into a sixth-man role sparked the Warriors to a 67-win season.

The win came three days after the Cavs snapped the Warriors' ideal streak this postseason.

After Golden State's championship run in his rookie season as a coach in 2015, Kerr missed the first 43 games of the 2016 season as current Los Angeles Lakers' coach Luke Walton stepped in for the Warriors' ailing leader. He was the deserved MVP for the NBA Finals in 2017. Golden State is a worthy opponent. The Warriors swept the Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs to earn their NBA Finals berth.

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