Golden State Warriors beat Cleveland Cavaliers to win Championship

But none of that mattered.

In his 14th season at the age of 32, LeBron James averaged 33.6 points, 12.0 rebounds and 10.0 assists per game, and all it got him was a Game 4 victory in a 4-1 series loss to the Warriors Monday night at Oracle Arena.

James scored 41 points to lead Cleveland. After Game 5, James is a runner-up, again. LeBron scored just six third quarter points but when Smith's buried a 3-pointer late in the quarter and Cavs only trailed 98-93 entering the fourth.

The league continues to try to use the leverage of the collective bargaining agreement - salary caps and incentives - to get superstar players such as Durant to stay with their teams.

Steph Curry - after taking some criticism previous year for his Finals performance - closed things out this time with 34 points and 11 assists.

Durant has been criticized occasionally in his career for struggling in the biggest of moments, but he has been devastating in these NBA Finals. He had four total, including two on lobs from Draymond Green.

Where the Warriors rank with the all-time great teams is debatable. The singular talents of Curry, Green and Thompson fit together without diminishing one another. "I've been so lucky to be part of so many championship teams as a player and now as a coach, and it never gets old". The group was close to unstoppable in the regular season and postseason. In a most handsome and poetic finish, the Warriors, who came into Monday night's game leading the Finals series 3-1, pulled off a flawless victory and won the game with a 9 point lead, leaving no doubt that they are the champions.

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James said his emotions were "all over the place" as he tried to deal with losing the NBA Finals despite another Herculean individual effort.

Cleveland Cavaliers coach Ty Lue doesn't think his team is that far behind the Golden State Warriors.

For James, already a three-time champion, the loss puts him in rare - but not ideal - company as only the fourth player to come up short in five NBA Finals.

"We're obviously just getting started", said Curry.

Durant is not wrong. This is Kerr's seventh championship, five of those as a player and two as a head coach.

"It's a two-sided question because for me personally", James said, starting to answer the question before trailing off.

When it was all over, Curry looked back on a turning point in his approach during the season.

Durant didn't really need a hard sell that day in the Hamptons.

Their approach was methodical as they outscored Cleveland 38-23 in the second quarter with Durant and Curry doing their best MJ and Pippen imitation.

What made the Warriors unique among "super teams" is their depth; this wasn't a one- or two-man sled pull. It's not a facade. "You can talk about whatever happens on the outside, but inside those lines, I come to bring it every day". He really is like that.

"He has had an awesome career, but he took it to the next level".

"Once it hits zero and you see that excitement in their faces, it's nearly like in a lost world because you have no idea what to do", he said.

But during the 2017 Finals reports circulated saying James could head to California to join the Lakers or Clippers as a free agent in 2018. Durant can opt out and get a longer-term contract from the Warriors as well and is expected to return.

They may have to be because another reality faces James - the Warriors, who have beaten him and his Cavs twice in 3 years, are a dynasty in the making and as presently constituted they may have ended his National Basketball Association reign Monday night. Greatness is often not appreciated until we have perspective. "We were able to get them a year ago, and they went out and got one of the best players that this league has ever seen, so they did a good job of - a great job, their front office and their players, by doing that recruiting, the things that they did in the summertime, and obviously it paid dividends".

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