BASKETBALL: The Golden State Warriors have been crowned the 2017 NBA champions after smashing the Cleveland Cavaliers in game five at Oracle Arena.

The 129-120 victory marks Golden State's second NBA title in three years, having clinched the series 4-1.

Warriors superstar Kevin Durant, who at the end of last season left Oklahoma City for the Bay Area in free agency, scored 39 points in the game-five win to claim the Bill Russell Finals MVP award.

"I just had to trust in it, we were really good tonight," Durant said after the game.

"We prevailed, we are champions and it was amazing to do it on our own floor."

Two-time league MVP Steph Curry drained 34 points to go along with 10 assists, while 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala saved his best for last, coming off the bench to score 20 points on nine-of-14 shooting.

 

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant with the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP award.
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant with the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP award. Marcio Jose Sanchez

Durant paid special tribute to Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, who drained a game-high 41 points, but whose record in NBA Finals now falls to 3-5.

"Since 2012 he is the only one I have ever looked at," Durant said.

"I knew it was gonna be a battle. We battled and I told him we're tied up now.

"I'm gonna celebrate tonight."

For the Cavs, James added 13 rebounds and eight assists to his huge scoring night, while Kyrie Irving scored 26 and JR Smith had 25, but Kevin Love went missing, managing just six points from only eight shots.

News Corp Australia


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