Messi, Neymar and Barcelona congratulate NBA champions Warriors

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When looking at how the Warriors cruised through the 2017 playoffs, it isn't hard to see why Golden State is given such a good chance to repeat.

Kevin Durant, who received the NBA Final MVP award, was the best player for the Warriors final, shining both offensively and defensively as well.

Kerr is the fourth coach in National Basketball Association history to win two championships in his first three seasons, joining Phil Jackson (1991, 1992), Bill Russell (1968, 1969) and John Kundla (1949, 1950), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

James finished with 41 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists and two steals.

History will always note that Durant's first championship came against James. With time ticking down Durant sauntered up to the arc and hoisted the shot that put the Warriors up for good over LeBron, as they moved into a 3-0 lead with a 118-13 triumph.

Durant's 28.8-point playoff career scoring average ranks fourth all-time, trailing only Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson and Jerry West and ranking just ahead of James at 28.4.

In the end, he was outscored, outrebounded and out-assisted by LeBron James.

That was the scenario for Game 5 on Monday - the Warriors' centers had been struggling to cover LeBron James and Cleveland's spread three-point offense, which helped lead to the Game 4 loss in Cleveland, and Kerr wanted to jump-start everything.

The Cavaliers aren't going down in Game 5 of the NBA Finals without a fight.

They were wildly overmatched in terms of talent and depth in this one but made it a series primarily on the backs of James, Irving and Smith.

Andre Iguodala has scored 11 of Golden State's 22 bench points.

A dominant, and tense, second quarter has the Golden State Warriors smelling a title.

With Thompson playing in his third consecutive finals, this gives Washington State their 4th straight NBA Finals appearance and three Championships over those four years. Cleveland is considered to be Golden State's biggest challenger, followed by the San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics.

During these Finals he made sure to point out the differences between the tear-it-down-and-reassemble Heat team he formed in 2010 to the championship-close Warriors that Durant hopped aboard last summer.

"I've never seen anybody like him".

On Durant, who was named Finals MVP, he added: "It's kind of insane to think about the conversation we had this summer and going into the year about how we can both mesh and gel and do what we do and be the players that we are and to see it come to life in this series was unbelievable".

"What about Stephen Curry out there?"

Kyle Korver's 3-pointer pulled the Cavaliers within 108-102 but dunks by Durant and Andre Iguodala boosted Golden State's lead to 112-102 and the Warriors kept Cleveland at bay, a Durant driving layup stretching Golden State's edge to 118-106 with five minutes remaining. And the packed crowd at Oakland's Oracle Arena got to sing along with Queen as it rained yellow-colored confetti. The Warriors went on a 21-to-2 second-quarter run.

Irving's answer, quoted in full below, is long, but speaks to an evolving relationship between the two superstars and seems to subtly acknowledge the possibility that James could leave again after next season. He averaged a triple double during the NBA Finals.

To go with Durant's numbers on Monday night, Curry had 34 points, 10 assists and six rebounds.

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