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Jun
22
2016

Putting the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Finals Run into Historical Perspective

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Just as the Golden State Warriors made history with their 73-9 record, the Cleveland Cavaliers have also made history becoming the first team in NBA history to come back from down 3-1 to win an NBA title. That record is now 1-32 after the Cavaliers 93-89 victory. The Cavaliers became just the fourth NBA team to win an NBA title on the road as well, the first time since 1978. This is the first pro sports title for the city of Cleveland since 1964. LeBron James has added another exciting chapter to his career.

After Game 4, LeBron James had to turn things up a few notches, and James did. In the last 3 games, James averaged 36.3 points, 11.6 rebounds, 9.6 assists to lead the way, including 2 back to back 40+ point games in Games 5 and 6. James scored 27 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and dished out 11 assists in  Game 7, becoming just the 3rd player in NBA history to record a triple-double in an NBA Finals series. For the series, James averaged 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounts, and 8.9 assists per game to take home Finals MVP for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Not to be outdone, there was also Kyrie Irving, who was phenomenal as well. In the last 3 games, Irving averaged 30 points, including a crucial go ahead three pointer with 53 seconds left to seal the deal for the Cavaliers. Golden State found it difficult to contain Kyrie Irving in Game 6, something Cleveland missed badly when Irving was injured in Game 1 of last season’s NBA Finals. In Game 5, Irving was a sharp shooting 17-24 from the field including 5 three pointers on his way to 42 points and a convincing 112-97 Cleveland victory in Oracle Arena.

Then the defense…LeBron James took the wind out of Oracle Arena with his block of Andre Igoudala. After witnessing James’ 3 blocks in Game 7, it was hard to foresee anything but a Cleveland victory in the end. LeBron James lead both teams in points (208), rebounds (78), assists (62), steals (18), and blocks (16), the first time a player has ever lead in every statistical category in the NBA Finals. Points came at a premium this series as the Cleveland Cavaliers were both 4 points better than the Golden State Warriors in the final game as well as for total team points in the series. The Cavaliers scored 703 points as a team, the Warriors scored 699 as a team.

James is now 7th all time on the NBA Finals career points leaders list with 1,079 points as well as 7th all time in NBA Finals points per game with 26.98 points per game. This title was the most meaningful for LeBron James as he made a promise to Cleveland to bring them a title just 2 years ago when he returned in 2015 from the Miami Heat. His promise has come to fruition, in emotional fashion, as the Cleveland Cavaliers overcame the odds and are now 2016 NBA Champions.

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