Written by Scott Davis at Business Insider.com
The Golden State Warriors avenged their 2016 Finals collapse with a 129-120 championship-securing win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 on Monday night.
The title was the Warriors’ second in three years and potentially marks the beginning of a dynasty.
After going up 3-0 in the series, and 15-0 in the postseason, the Warriors ran into a Cavs team with perhaps more fight left than anyone expected. Following a Game 4 trouncing in Cleveland, the Cavs once again gave the Warriors a test in Game 5, buoyed by the one-on-one magic of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and some hot shooting from J.R. Smith.
But in the fourth quarter, leading by five, the Warriors turned to the man they brought in to get them back over the hump: Kevin Durant. He was nearly flawless in Game 5, scoring 39 points on 14-of-20 shooting with seven rebounds and five assists.
He wasn’t alone, of course. Stephen Curry chipped in 34 points on 10-of-20 shooting with six rebounds and 10 assists. The Warriors also got a huge game from Andre Iguodala off the bench, as he contributed 20 points in 38 minutes and dutifully locked down Irving and James.
In the process, the Warriors may be looking at the beginning of a dynasty. They face a big offseason, with the free agencies of Durant, Curry, Iguodala, and Shaun Livingston. But Durant is reportedly willing to take less than the max to re-sign with the Warriors. If that happens, the Warriors will not need cap space to re-sign Iguodala and Livingston. And Curry, after years of being underpaid, will be eligible for a max contract worth approximately $205 million over five years.
The Warriors have a core of four All-NBA stars, in their primes, eligible to be locked up long term. Odds are, this is not the last we see of them.
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