Historic Collapse


The Golden State Warriors only needed to win one game. The team that had just finished the regular season with 73 wins, and 88 wins overall including playoffs, both NBA records, needed to win just once more. After the Warriors victory in game 4 in Cleveland that gave them a commanding 3-1 series lead, the series was all but over. Two of the possible remaining three games were going to be played at Oracle Arena, a place Golden State had only lost twice during the regular season, and had not lost consecutive home games all year. Golden State also needed to avoid losing three straight games, something they had not done under the Steve Kerr era. The championship was there’s for the taking. The historic season will be capped off by becoming back to back NBA champions. After all it would take an all time historic collapse to fail to win the championship.
It all started at the end of game 4. LeBron James and Draymond Green was involved in a scuffle resulting in James stepping over Green, and Green swinging his arm in the area of LeBron’s groin area. James campaigned in his post game press conference to have the league review the incident, which they did, resulting in Green being suspended for game 5. In game 5, both teams got off to a hot start, scoring 61 points apiece going into halftime. The second half was taken over by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, who both scored 41 points. Golden State hung in there though, down nine to start the fourth quarter, they trimmed it to six with a little over six minutes to go. This was what the Warriors did all year, went on runs to close out game, just like they did in the Western Conference Finals. This time they were going to make a huge run and win a championship. Instead, the Warriors went on to miss their last nine field goal attempts for the game, scoring only 13 fourth quarter points, resulting in a 15 point loss. Opportunity missed.
Game 6 started much like game 5 ended. Golden State scored a season low 11 points in the first quarter, resulting in a 20 point deficit. The Warriors, known for making huge runs themselves, knew they weren’t out of it. They trimmed the lead down to single digits in the second quarter before the Cavs went on another run themselves, resulting in a 16 point halftime deficit. After the Warriors outscored Cleveland by seven in the third, again only trailing by 9 entering the fourth, the opportunity was there. After a blistering hot fourth quarter by LeBron James and leading the Cavs to a 35 point quarter, Golden State was looking at back to back losses for the second consecutive series, something they had not done all regular season.
The Warriors were headed home for a game 7. Where they had not lost back to back home games all season. They had not lost three in a row under Steve Kerr. They had the first ever unanimous MVP. No NBA team had lost a 3-1 series lead in the history of the Finals. History was on their side. In a back and forth, grind it out game. The fourth quarter started with the Warriors holding a 1 point lead. This was it. The Warriors led, they had the reigning MVP to finish it off, they were at home, it was there’s for the taking. With 5:37 on the clock, Green had just scored to cap off a 6-0 spurt to give his team a 4 point lead.
History begins to unfold. The Warriors would score only 2 more points the rest of the way, finishing the game 0-9 shooting and going scoreless for the last 4 minutes 39 seconds. The unanimous MVP finished the all important 4th quarter shooting 1-6. The Warriors, at home, scored only 13 points once again in the final quarter of the game. Was it nerves? Was it destined for Cleveland to finally win their first championship since 1964? We all witnessed a historic Finals performance by LeBron James, who won Finals MVP. We all witnessed Kyrie Irving make a three pointer over Steph Curry with the game tied, under a minute to go. We all got to witness the city of Cleveland celebrate as if they all let out 52 years of disappointment. We all got to witness a historic collapse.

About Aaron Davis

Aaron is a staff writer and the Co-Founder of NBALEAD. He has been following the NBA for over 15 years. Graduated from Purdue University.

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