LeBron James led Cleveland Cavaliers to first ever championship in epic win over Stephen Curry's Warriors 93-89. Cleveland had the lead by four points early in third quarter as they fought to win Game 7.
Teams remained closely locked in battle for championship as Warriors power forward, Draymond Green, dominated the court and led his team with 32 points. But the Cavaliers overtook the Warriors in the final nail-biting moments of Game 7 even after James got hurt.
James carried his team through the series and finished with 27 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds in Game 7.
The win marks Cleveland's first championship in any sport in 52 years since the Browns won the NFL title in 1964. Cleveland's win makes them first team in history to win an NBA championship after falling behind 3-1 in the Finals.
LeBron James and the Cavaliers have won their first NBA title, making it also the city's first championship in any sports in 52 years, in an epic battle against Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.
James delivered on a promise from two years ago to bring a championship to his native northeast Ohio, and he and the Cavs became the first team to rally from a 3-1 finals deficit by beating the defending champion Golden State Warriors 93-89 on Sunday night to end a 52-year major sports championship drought in Cleveland.
The Cavs star almost single-handedly carried his team back into this series and finished with 27 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds as the Cavs captured their first championship in franchise history and gave their city its first major sports winner since the Browns won the NFL title in 1964.
An emotional James fell to the floor surrounded by his teammates after their epic battle ended.
Only seconds earlier, he went down in pain with 10.6 seconds left after being fouled by Draymond Green while going for a dunk, then came back out to make the second of two free throws.
But James and his relentless, never-count-them-out Cavaliers pulled off an improbable NBA Finals comeback, and Cleveland is title town again at long last.
The teams remained neck-in-neck and tied for much of the fourth quarter as both teams played their hearts out in one of the most watched NBA Finals games in history.
An emotional James was awarded a much-deserved MVP as his teammates and fans cheered him on, saying that he is the 'greatest player' in the NBA.
'I'm happy to be a part of history,' James said, then added, 'I'm home. I'm home. ... I'm at a loss for words. This is unbelievable.'
In a testy series of blowouts — and a few blowups — the winner-take-all Game 7 provided the thrilling finale with James as the finals MVP disarming two-time reigning MVP Curry and his record-setting Warriors.
'Cleveland! This is for you!' James bellowed in his postgame interview before being announced as finals MVP.
President Barack Obama congratulated the Cavaliers and the city of Cleveland on their win in a tweet: 'What a game and what a series for the @Cavs. Happy to see @KingJames bring it home for Cleveland!'
LeBron James and the Cavaliers have won the city's first championship to end Cleveland's 52 years of hurt in an epic battle against Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors
James holds the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy after defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7
James and Kyrie Irving celebrated after defeating the Warriors 93-89 in Game 7. Irving scored 26 points to cap his brilliant finals, including a 3-pointer over league MVP Curry with 53 seconds left
The 2016 NBA Champions pose for a team photo with the NBA Finals Championship Trophy after defeating the Golden State Warriors in NBA Finals game seven at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California
James speaks to media with his children Lebron James Jr (left) and daughter Zhuri James (right) following the 93-89 victory against the Golden State Warriors
Curry answers questions during a post-game press conference after their Game 7 loss
The Cleveland fans rejoice at a watch party outside of Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio after the Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Championship Game
Fans celebrated outside after James led his team to victory over the Golden State Warriors. The win marks the first time the city has won a championship in 52 years
Thousands of fans were celebrating all around Cleveland after the Cavs kept their promise to bring home a championship
Fans decked out in Cavalier gear continued to celebrate in the streets of their beloved city after the history making win
Cavalier fans were dancing in the street as they watched the final nail-biting moments of Game 7 that led to a championship for Cleveland
A woman holds up a poster of the Cleveland Cavaliers during a watch party after the Cavs beat the Warriors
A Cleveland fan held a sign that read: 'The 52-year drought is over!' And anther held up a sign thanking the Cavaliers for their win
Cleveland Cavaliers fans celebrate in the street after the Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors to win the 2016 NBA Championship
Men and women of all ages celebrated in the streets moments after the Cleveland Cavaliers clinched their victory
Fans held up their fingers signaling that their team is number one after the Cavs defeated the Warriors
The celebration has just begun for the city of Cleveland as their team captured the 2016 NBA Championship for the first time
Fans hold their hands in the air as they celebrate Cleveland's victory
President Barack Obama congratulated the Cavaliers and the city of Cleveland on their win in a tweet (pictured)
After four successful seasons in Miami, James came back to the Cavs and vowed to win the title this franchise and championship-starved city so coveted.
Cleveland did it after a coaching change, with Tyronn Lue taking over in January for the fired David Blatt.
'We made history tonight,' Lue said. 'Cleveland, Ohio, we're coming back, baby!'
Kyrie Irving scored 26 points to cap his brilliant finals, including a 3-pointer over MVP Stephen Curry with 53 seconds left.
JR Smith, who finished the game with 12 points and four rebounds, gave a touching tribute to his father during a post-game interview with media.
'I've been playing this game fortunately for me since I was three years old, that's one of the reasons why this game is so special to me and today is so special to me because it's Father's Day.
'My dad put the ball in my crib.'
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS OF BASKETBALL STAR LEBRON 'KING' JAMES
LeBron James was selected as the number one overall draft pick at the age of 18. The basketball super star has numerous accolades:
-3 × NBA champion: 2012, 2013, 2016
-3 x NBA Finals MVP: 2012, 2013,2016
-4 x NBA Most Valuable Player: 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013
-NBA Rookie of the Year: 2004
-NBA scoring champion: 2008
-2 × NBA All-Star Game MVP: 2006, 2008
-12 × NBA All-Star: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
-3 × Olympic medalist: Gold: 2008, 2012 Bronze: 2004
-Only player in NBA history to post at least 2,000 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists and 100 steals in four consecutive seasons
-Only player in NBA history to post at least 2,000 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists in a single season for at least seven seasons
-One of two players in NBA history to win NBA MVP, Finals MVP and an Olympic Gold Medal in the same year. Includes Michael Jordan
-Youngest player to ever record a triple double in the playoffs at 21 years old.
Smith reflected on how important his family is to him in an emotional interview. 'My family is the biggest inspiration in my life,' he said.
'My dad is easily one of my biggest inspirations to play this game.' Smith then went on to give his father a hug following his touching speech.
And the celebrations began soon after the Cavs team went to their dressing room following their win. A video posted to their Facebook page shows them popping bottles of champagne as they jump around and celebrate.
Even power forward Kevin Love for the Cavaliers did his best Stone Cold Steve Austin impression as he chugged beer while wearing an Austin 3:16 shirt.
The Cavaliers received congratulations from some A-list celebrities who had their eyes on the game.
NBA legend Magic Johnson said that James has 'sealed his legacy as one of the five greatest players to ever play this game'.
Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Tyra Banks also commended James and the Cavs for their historic win.
Thousands of Cavalier fans ran out into the streets, some danced while others yelled after their team won the 2016 NBA Championship.
Throughout the game they cheered outside of the arena hoping their team would end their 52-year drought without a title.
And at one point several thousands of them were biting their nails as the game remained neck-in-neck throughout the fourth quarter.
Police reported that one fan was pushed over a second deck railing during a fight with another fan moments after the Cavaliers beat the Warriors.
The fan, a man in his early 20s, was in critical but stable condition at a local hospital after falling from the second deck to the first deck, apparently after another fan pushed him, according to Mercury News.
It was not known what started the fight, which began after the Warriors loss to the Cavaliers in a tense Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
The Golden State Warriors were shockingly defeated keeping them from capturing a repeat championship after a record-breaking season.
But despite their loss, Golden State gave the Cavaliers a run for their money.
Golden State's power forward, Draymond Green, out-performed his teammates and his opponents as he helped keep his team in the lead for much of the first half.
LeBron James received congratulations from NBA legend Magic Johnson. He dubbed James as one of the five greatest players to 'ever play this game'
Singer, Lady Gaga, tweeted her congratulations to the team and called James a 'homegrown champion'
Tyra Banks tweeted about James' emotion as he fell to the floor overcome with tears moments after the Cavs won
And Justin Timberlake said: 'LeBron did it. Everybody be quiet'
Throughout the competitive series, the league MVP averaged 23.5 points per game, which is down almost 8 points from his regular season total. In the series he was shooting only 42 per cent from the field and he got more turnovers than assists
James was awarded the MVP as his teammates and fans cheered for him. 'I'm happy to be a part of history,' James said after accepting the MVP trophy. 'I knew what we were capable of'
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving is defended by Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson during the first half of Game 7
Despite their loss, Golden State gave the Cavaliers a run for their money. Golden State's power forward, Draymond Green, out-performed his teammates and his opponents as he helped keep his team in the lead for much of the first half
The teams remained neck-in-neck and tied for much of the fourth quarter as both teams played their hearts out in one of the most watched NBA Finals games in history
|Kevin Love, who has been maligned for much of this series, grabbed 14 rebounds and had 9 points for Cleveland|
Cleveland's first five baskets came from five different starters, everyone getting involved early. Golden State's Klay Thompson finished with 14 points for his team
Green had 32 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, but the Warriors' record-setting season ended without the only prize this close-knit 'Strength In Numbers' crew cared about from way back in the beginning — through the record 24-0 start as Coach of the Year Steve Kerr was out, Curry's second consecutive MVP campaign, and the 73 regular-season wins to break the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' mark.
They might always be remembered as one of the best teams ever that couldn't close it out.
The Cavs staved off elimination twice to force Game 7 back at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors went up 2-0 with a pair of lopsided wins to start this series.
Game 1: Golden State 104-89 Cleveland
Game 2: Golden State 110-77 Cleveland
Game 3: Cleveland 120-90 Golden State
Game 4: Cleveland 97-108 Golden State
Game 5: Cleveland 112-97 Golden State
Game 6: Golden State 101-115 Cleveland
Game 7: Cleveland 93-89 Golden State
This marked the first NBA game decided by five points or fewer since May 11, Golden State's 125-121 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 5 of the second round.
With its 100th postseason victory, Cleveland became just the fourth team to win an NBA Finals Game 7 on the road.
The winner-take-all Game 7 may be the closest the NBA has ever gotten to replicating the NFL's Super Bowl as the competitive series was the second-most watched in NBA championship history with an average of 18.5 million viewers throughout the first six games.
Game 6 also proved unlucky for Steve Kerr and Curry as they both let their frustrations get to them.
Each was fined $25,000 by the NBA for separate incidents. Kerr, the league's coach of the year, was fined for publicly criticizing officiating after the game, which Cleveland won 115-101 to force a deciding Game 7 in the title series.
Curry was fined for throwing his mouthpiece into the stands after fouling out of the game.
He launched the mouth piece at a supporter in the front row as he argued the call and was thrown from the court for the first time in his storied career.
Curry apologized to the fan he hit before leaving as Cleveland fans cheered.
After Game 6, Curry's furious wife Ayesha accused the game of being 'rigged for money'.
She quickly backtracked and deleted the tweet, but only after it had already been shared 84,000 times.
Ayesha Curry was also mercilessly trolled on Twitter after posting a contrite message following the Cavaliers' win.
She's become known for her controversial tweets, but after the Cavaliers claimed victory, she was surprisingly contrite.
In a message posted shortly after Game 7 ended, she wrote that she was 'proud' of the players and described the season as 'insane'.
But despite remaining neutral, the 27-year-old mother-of-two was mocked relentlessly by basketball fans.
Ayesha Curry was also mercilessly trolled on Twitter after posting a contrite message (pictured) following the Cavaliers' win
A Golden State Warriors fan holds up photos of Golden State Warriors forward Green and Curry, with Curry's daughter Riley, and a photo of Cleveland's LeBron James
Warriors forward Harrison Barnes drives between Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson (left) and guard JR Smith during first half of Game 7
Warriors center Festus Ezeli and Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson go for rebound during the first quarter in Game 7
Cleveland fans went wild as their beloved Cavaliers brought home a history-breaking championship
Cavaliers fans congregate outside Quicken Loans Arena during a watch party for Game 7
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Quicken Loans Arena where they were watching Game 7. Tens of thousands of fans are celebrating their team's epic win
Downtown Cleveland shutdown as fans continued to gather to cheer for the beloved Cavaliers as they won the 2016 NBA Championship
Cleveland fans have their eyes on the prize as they cheered for their beloved LeBron James who made their wish come true as he led their team to a championship
Cleveland Cavaliers fans celebrate during a watch party at Quicken Loans Arena for Game 7
Fans cheer during a watch party for Game 7 of the NBA Finals between the Cavs and Golden State
|Vicki Bolanz, from Barberton, Ohio, holds up a sign as she watches Game 7 during a watch party|
Fans react to a play during the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Finals Game Seven watch party at Quicken Loans Arena
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (left) and Ciara (right) watched as players warm up before Game 7 of basketball's NBA Finals as Game 7 could be an epic battle between Curry and James
Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade was spotted at Game 7 showing support for his former teammate and friend LeBron James
Comedian and actor Dave Chappelle was also spotted at Game 7 between the Cavs and the Warriors