NBA Finals Central: How Warriors scratched their 40-year itch

The 40-year wait is over in Northern California. The 51-year wait drags on in Cleveland. For the first time since 1975, the Golden State Warriors are NBA champions.

The regular season’s best team closed out the eager but outmanned Cleveland Cavaliers in six games, winning Game 6 on Tuesday night, 105-97.

The loss extends the city of Cleveland’s pro-championship drought to 144 professional seasons since the Browns won the 1964 NFL championship (before there was a Super Bowl).

The Warriors came into the series with the reigning NBA MVP in Steph Curry. And Curry did tie for the team-high with 25 points and a plus-14 rating in the closeout game. But the MVP was a surprise name — Andre Iguodala, the guy who tied Curry in points and rating in Game 6.

Iguodala had not started a game all season prior to the Finals, but walks away with an award many thought should have gone to LeBron James despite his playing on the losing team.

James, playing in his fifth straight Finals, had a series for the ages (some will likely argue the greatest Finals series ever by one player). He fell one assist shy in Game 6 of what would have been a record third triple-double in these Finals as he tried to will the Cavs to the title without injured stars Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving.

The Cavs will likely be heavy favorites in the weakened East, even if Love leaves via free agency. The Warriors have the trophy, but will once again have the loaded West to deal with in 2015-16.

But before we get to next season, take a look back at how this season’s Finals unfolded.

NBA FINALS
 
Cavaliers vs. Warriors
vs.

Time (TV) / Series result
Game 1: Thursday, June 4
WARRIORS 108, Cavaliers 100 (OT)

Warriors lead 1-0
Game 2: Sunday, June 7
Cavaliers 95, WARRIORS 93 (OT)

Series tied 1-1
Game 3: Tuesday, June 9
CAVALIERS 96, Warriors 91

Cavs lead 2-1
Game 4: Thursday, June 11
Warriors 103, CAVALIERS 82

Series tied 2-2
Game 5: Sunday, June 14
WARRIORS 104, Cavaliers 91

Warriors lead 3-2
Game 6: Tuesday, June 16
Warriors 105, CAVALIERS 97

Warriors win 4-2