For Warriors, it’s only about winning championships

Heather Diaz
June 10, 2018

LeBron James runs into an extended metaphor Friday against Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors during Game Four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on in Cleveland.

James, perhaps playing his final game for the Cavaliers, had his least productive outing of the series, recording 23 points, seven rebounds and eight assists in his eighth consecutive trip to the Finals. The 29-year-old superstar took the honor after putting together a triple-double to help complete the sweep for the Golden State Warriors in their third National Basketball Association championship in four years. With 4.7 seconds remaining in regulation, J.R. Smith rebounded what would have been a go-ahead free throw from point guard George Hill, only to dribble out the clock seemingly unaware that the game was still tied. They've gone back-to-back, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-85 on Friday night to finish off a sweep of these NBA Finals in the fourth consecutive meeting between those clubs.

Although Game 4 was down 12% in the metered market ratings from June 6's Game 3, overall, the four-game 2018 NBA Finals averaged 12.2 in metered market ratings, an uptick of 7% over ABC's traditional average for the NBA championship series.

This series could very well end up being a sweep for the Golden State Warriors, but when you take a look at the statistics there is no possible way anyone can pin this on LeBron. Will another team put together a roster to counter the competitive imbalance created the day Durant joined the Warriors?

"Whether it's opponents, whether it's different coaches panning for us, whether it's the fans, the media that hate us, it feels good when you're the team that everybody's gunning for", said Durant.

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Then the league's best team tightened the screws on Cleveland in the third quarter, outscoring the Cavs 25-13 and prompting Golden State fans to begin those drawn-out "War-eee-orrss" chants that provide a ideal musical accompaniment to their 3-point barrages.

There were still a few seconds left on the clock when the Golden State Warriors stormed off their bench to begin a celebration that wasn't guaranteed. They were a lot younger the last time I made a decision like this four years ago. As was his usual fate this season after Kyrie Irving was traded last summer, he just didn't have enough around him to really make the Warriors sweat. LeBron James has done that twice (2012 and 2016), and three others did so once: Larry Bird (1986), James Worthy (1988), and Tim Duncan (2003).

"When you make mistakes they make you pay", he said, "because they're already more talented than you are but they also have the minds behind it, too, and they also have the championship DNA". If he wants to go and get a championship, by all means go and get it.

"And then beyond that, LeBron James played all 82 games of the regular season for the first time in his 15-year career". His passive play was shocking and in the decisive third quarter it was if James was saying "do you see what I have to work with?" "It's an unbelievable feeling to come here with a mission and get the job done", Curry said.

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