With less than a minute left in the final quarter of the season’s final game, Kyrie Irving crossed the ball between his legs, one, two, three times, before picking up his dribble, squaring up, and letting the jumper fly.
The shot zipped through the net, giving Cleveland a three-point advantage that, 53 seconds later, would prove fatal for the Golden State Warriors.
When the buzzer finally rang after a heart-racing, hair-rising 48 minutes, the Cavaliers had done what few thought was possible: take down Golden State in front of a roaring Oracle Arena crowd, notching a Game 7 victory, 92-89.
It was the Cavaliers’ first championship in franchise history.
After the series’ first six games ended in double digits, fans finally got their money’s worth Sunday night, as Game 7 proved to be the chess match we were all waiting for. It was a contest of runs, in which neither the Cavs nor the Warriors ever seemed fully comfortable, perhaps accounting for what was a poor shooting outing for both clubs.
Cleveland, true to form, was led by Irving and LeBron James. While Irving poured in 26 points — three of which clinched the Larry O’Brien trophy for the state of Ohio — James pocketed a triple-double, tallying 27 points, 11 dimes and 11 boards.
But it was James’ defense that came up big when the contest was on the line.
With less than two minutes to play, the Warriors looked poised to take the lead, as wing Andre Iguodala snatched up the ball, feet from the basket, with the Cavalier’s transition defense in disarray.
But just as he has done time and time again this series, James didn’t give up on the play, seemingly coming from nowhere to swat away the layup attempt, thereby keeping the contest knotted at 89 and setting up Irving’s heroics a minute later.
It’s the first time in league history that a team came back to win the title after being down three games to one.
source: huffingtonpost.com by Juliet Spies-Gans