The Golden State Warriors are world champions for the second time in three seasons, and they owe it to one of the most massive offseason additions in NBA history.
Led by first-year Warriors forward and former NBA MVP Kevin Durant, Golden State held off LeBron James and the resilient visiting Cleveland Cavaliers, winning Game 5 of the 2017 NBA Finals by a 129-120 margin.
Here are three big takeaways from the Warriors' win.
1. Durant does it all.
Whether you like his move from Oklahoma City to Oakland or not, Kevin Durant left no doubt as to who the NBA Finals MVP recipient would be. On Monday, he became the first player since Shaquille O'Neal in 2000 to score 30 points in five consecutive NBA Finals games.
Durant neutralized LeBron James' typical insane numbers by going a ridiculous 14 of 20 from the field for 39 points, along with seven rebounds and five assists. He was the most consistent player for the Warriors throughout the series, and him or not, you've got to give the man his due.
Along with Durant, the Warriors' superior bench play was a major factor in their Game 5 victory. They outscored the Cavs' bench by a 35-7 margin, including 28-4 through the first three quarters.
Leading the way was the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, former Arizona Wildcats standout Andre Iguodala. The 13th-year pro poured in 20 points on 9 of 14 shooting, and he made multiple momentum-changing baskets in the game.
LeBron James could have been the 2015 Finals MVP despite his Cavaliers losing the series. His numbers were that good: 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game.
Well, LeBron's performance in this year's Finals may have topped that, as he became the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double in a Finals series. His 41 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists on Monday were among his best-ever postseason performances. But it just wasn't nearly enough against an absurdly talented Warriors team.