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Golden State Warriors Win Second NBA Title In Three Years

Golden State Warriors Kevin Durant says he couldn't sleep for two days before game five of the NBA Finals.

"I was anxious.  I was jittery. I just wanted to lay it all out there," Durant told ABC's Doris Burke in a postgame interview.

Lay it out he did.

To punctuate a finals series performance where he averaged 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists, Durant dropped 39 on the Cleveland Cavaliers and hit key shot after key shot to either extend the Warriors' lead or stop a Cavaliers' run as Golden State won the deciding game 129-120.

After the game, Durant had only praise for Cavaliers stars, Lebron James and Kyrie Irving. The two had 67 of Cleveland's 120 points.

"I never seen nothing like them two before," Durant said.

The compliment, though nice, may be inaccurate considering he and fellow former NBA MVP Steph Curry averaged more than 60 points-per-game in the finals and Curry repeatedly hit three-point bombs in the closing minutes to seal the title. 

Durant gave credit to all of his teammates, but also talked at length about James, also a former league MVP. James was with Miami five years ago when the Heat beat Durant's Okalahoma City Thunder squad for the title that year.

"He's the only person that I was looking at since 2012. He's the only one that I looked at. He's the only guy who can look me eye to eye... I knew it was gonna be a battle. I was trying to challenge he him," Durant said.

James averaged a triple double with double-figures in points, rebounds and steals during the finals.

"Can't stop the guy," Durant said. "But we battled man.  We battled and I told him we're tied up now and we'll try to do this thing again."

Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr missed portions of the season and the playoff with recurring spinal fluid problems. 

He had tears in his eyes as he hugged assistant coach Mike Brown, who filled in for him on more than one occasion.

After the finals win, Kerr thanked Brown, but also joked about coaching a squad that had two NBA MVP's and an exceptional bench.

"We had very little talent actually," Kerr said laughing, "It was mostly coaching."

Though he was joking, there is a question about the coaching tactics employed by Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue.  Lue did not call a timeout in the first half during a Warriors run that turned an eight-point deficit into a 15-point lead.

Lue also did not order his team to foul the Warriors in the final minutes, which is customary to stop the clock and give the trailing team a chance to trade three-point baskets for one or two free throws. 

Golden State's bench outscored Cleveland's bench 35 to seven. 2015 Finals' MVP Andre Iguodala scored 20. 

Kerr said the credit goes to everyone in the organization who worked together toward this goal.

"It's a combination of talent and commitment to each other and the unselfish nature of all of them," Kerr said.

As for Durant, he was awarded the Finals MVP, a year after leaving Oklahoma City to join an already flush Warriors squad.

He may be without sleep for a third-straight night. 

"I'm gonna celebrate this one tonight," he said.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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