Curry: 27.5 ppg, 22 3-pointers (including a number in the you-gotta-be-kidding category), 6.0 rpg, 6.8 apg. Kevin Durant says he isn't going anywhere. James had two MRIs during the series and iced the hand after games. But the weight of having to shoulder so much of the load throughout the Playoffs seemed to catch up with James in Friday's finale.
LeBron could only hope that the Warriors would receive a similar call.
It's their league now, without question.
The visiting Warriors made an NBA-record 15-0 start to last year's playoffs with 3 sweeps and a 3-0 lead on the Cavs before suffering their only playoff loss, eventually taking the title in 5 games.
Rodney Hood was the only other Cavalier in double-figures - also adding 10 points - but it took the four-year vet 14 shots to get them, finishing 4-of-14 from the floor to go with eight boards and a pair of steals.
There is no one out there who thinks that the Cavs would have won if James hadn't hurt his hand. He was 2-2 in four trips to the NBA Finals with Miami. And it's no secret that Golden State is the superior team with more overall talent and depth.
Kevin Love recalled Cleveland's Game 4 effort a year ago with backs to the wall. "It's just a testament to his character and who he is as a person and as a player". "That's my only concern".
"When you play one of the best it brings the best out of you as well", Durant said of playing against James. "He has a lot of things going on as well".
Still, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue was quick to point out that his team has already defied huge odds. So if you make a mistake, they're going to make you pay.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver marvels at how the Warriors have put themselves in this position.
These two get mentioned together because they are the definition of a long shot.
Durant becomes the 11th player to win Finals MVP twice, joining six-time victor Michael Jordan, three-timers Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan and James, and two-timers Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, Willis Reed and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Golden State will be looking to retool a roster that, despite its dominance, might require some modification. Some will try to do so in 2019.
Golden State lived up to its reputation as world-beaters in the third quarter, turning the game into a laugher.
It was Durant's 28th consecutive playoff game with 20 or more points. They will retool their roster this summer, change the look of the bench a bit. And then you've got a guy in Klay (Thompson) who could easily be on a team and carry a team, scored 40 in a quarter before. "It's always a freshness about that moment".
Nor after everything James said in his unforgettable "I'm Coming Home" essay he co-wrote with Lee Jenkins for Sports Illustrated in July 2014.