CHAMPS AGAIN | Golden State reclaims NBA title from Cleveland

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--They may have fell short on a full playoff sweep, but Golden State will still walk away with an NBA title.

The Warriors clinched their second NBA title in three years after dethroning erstwhile champs Cleveland Cavaliers, 129-120, in Game 5 of the Finals at the Oracle Arena in Oakland on Tuesday (Philippine Time).

Despite a relatively sluggish start, Golden State found its rhythm in the second quarter and finished it off with a huge fourth quarter run.

The Warriors found themselves trailing, 33-41, early in the second as the Cavs, who snatched Game 4 in Cleveland on Saturday (Philippine Time), looked to bring the series back to their home to continue what could be a historic comeback.

But the Warriors unleashed a 28-4 run to take a 61-45 lead and even stretched it to 17, 69-52. An 8-2 Cavs run ended the first half with a 71-60 scoreline favoring the Warriors.

Cleveland slowly chipped the lead away and was within three, 95-98, early in the fourth quarter.

But Golden State dominated the rest of the fourth quarter to finally clinch the series on its second try.

Kevin Durant made 14 of 20 shots for 39 points with seven rebounds, five assists, and one steal, while Steph Curry added 34 points with 13 assists, six rebounds, and three steals for the Warriors, who have won their fifth championship overall, their third since moving to Oakland.

Cleveland star LeBron James finished a historic NBA Finals run with 41 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists to become the first player to average a triple-double in the entirety of the championship series.

Kyrie Irving added 26 markers, two rebounds, six assists, and two steals despite needing to play with a slightly injured leg the rest of the way, while JR Smith shot 7-of-8 from deep for 25 points.

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