LEBRON BRINGS CLEVELAND ITS TITLE

The Cleveland Cavaliers made history. LeBron James delivered a NBA Championship in a thrilling Game 7.

In a Finals series decided in the last minute of seven contests where the momentum swung back and forth, where the only certainty was that it would who came up biggest when it mattered most, the Cavs held off the Golden State Warriors 93-89 to take the franchise’s first title.

“Cleveland, this is for you,” said a tearful James, who delivered on the promise he made when returning to his home area two years ago, earning MVP honours and the third – and greatest – crown of his career.

“I set out a goal two years ago to bring a championship to this city. I gave everything I had, my blood, my tears, my heart into this game.”

The Cavaliers became the first team ever to overturn a 3-1 deficit to dethrone the Warriors, who missed critical open shots in the fourth quarter on their home floor.

James had 27 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists and three blocks in playing 47 of the 48 minutes with Irving, who put Cleveland ahead for good with a three-pointer with 53 seconds left, rode shotgun.

Golden State, however, will rue the lead blown and under-performance at the close of an historic campaign when they won a record 73 games in the regular season but could not quite finish it off.

Lots of what-ifs, notably Draymond Green’s Game 5 suspension and miscues by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson that had previously been cast-iron bankers all year long.

“It’s not a good feeling,” Curry said. “At home in the fourth quarter, I felt like we could go for that dagger punch and didn’t really put any pressure on the defense getting to the paint and trying to force the issue that way, and really just kind of settled too much.

“That’s something that is tough to kind of swallow with the opportunity we had in front of us.”

Down and out barely a week ago, Cleveland soaked up the wild ride of varying line-ups, minor tweaks and small plays that ultimately came up big.

But most of all, they had James, who inspired his team-mates with a performance for the ages, surely the finest of his career, one that solidified his own legend.

“For me, when I came up here after we lost Game 4 at home, I said, hey, listen, we’ve got to take one possession, one game at a time. We’re going to Golden State, so we’ve got to fly home anyways, so why not have another game?

“And I believed in that. And my guys believe in me as their leader every single day. I preach to them every single day. I’m their leader, and they allow me to lead those guys every single night. I was just true to that.

“I believed, and nobody else believed besides the other 14 guys and our coaching staff and our fans. So it’s just going out and executing and putting things together and making plays, and we were able to do that.”

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