Oakland (USA): Just as Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci has the Mona Lisa and German composer Ludwig van Beethoven his Fifth Symphony, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James now has his immortal work — Sunday's Game Seven of the NBA Finals.
Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James (centre) holds his team's Larry O’Brien NBA winners trophy and his own Finals MVP trophy after the 93-98 victory over Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the NBA Finals in Oakland, California yesterday. The Cavs won the best-of-seven Finals 4-3
Record triple double
James (31) completed a virtuoso performance by scoring 27 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and passing off 11 assists to power Cleveland over the Golden State Warriors 93-89 and capture the best-of-seven series 4-3.
James' statistical triple double, double-digit effort in three categories, was only the third in NBA history in a finals seventh game, joining those of Los Angeles Lakers stars James Worthy in 1988 and Jerry West in 1969, and his seventh career triple double in the finals, one shy of the record. James sealed his place in the pantheon of NBA legends.
Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James is airborne as he makes a shot. Pics/AFP
"I watched Beethoven of right now, LeBron James, compose a game. He had a freaking triple-double in Game Seven of an NBA Finals. Our whole team is etched in history," Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving said.
The Cavaliers are the first club to trail 3-1 and rally to win the finals — dethroning reigning champs Warriors en route and spoiling their record 73-win season.
James averaged a NBA Finals high of 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists and was a unanimous choice as NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, having also won the award when leading Miami to the NBA crown in 2012 and 2013. He matched Shaquille O'Neal, Magic Johnson and Tim Duncan as a three-time finals MVP, with only six-time winner Michael Jordan having taken it more.
In the process James guided his home-region Cavaliers to their first NBA crown, ending a 52-year drought of major sports championships and making good a 2014 vow he made on his return from Miami. "Cleveland, this is for you," James screamed on court after the frantic final.
Golden State star guard Stephen Curry, the NBA scoring champion and unanimous pick for his second consecutive regular-season NBA MVP award, hailed James. "He played pretty great basketball, made some timely shots. A huge reason they got it done," Curry said.
Number of years it took Cleveland to win their first major sports championship — the NBA title on Sunday
Cleveland Cavaliers' star LeBron James' average points per game in the seven-game NBA Finals
Number of NBA Finals' MVP LeBron James has won (2012, 2013, 2016)