OAKLAND (California) (REUTERS) - LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 on Sunday to win their first National Basketball Association championship and complete a remarkable comeback unlike any seen before.
With the victory over the top-seeded defending champions, the Cavaliers became the first team to rally from a 1-3 series deficit in the best-of-seven NBA Finals and win the title.
The win also ends decades of heartbreak for the city of Cleveland, which had not won a professional sports championship since the 1964 Cleveland Browns of the National Football League.
For James, who dropped to the court in tears after the final buzzer, the win not only marks his third championship following a pair of wins with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, but it fulfills his promise to deliver a title to his home state.
Facing elimination in each of their previous two games, James carried the Cavs back from the brink as they became only the third team to force a Game 7 after falling behind 1-3 in the championship round.
For the Warriors, who had a record 73 wins during the 82-game regular season, Sunday's defeat marked the first time since November 2013 that they have lost three consecutive games.
The Warriors were in complete control of the series but were ultimately undone by the disappearance of their high-octane offence, a one-game ban to defensive stalwart Draymond Green, a season-ending injury to rim-protecting centre Andrew Bogut and defensive specialist Andre Iguodala dealing with a balky back.
James was named the Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals.It marks the third time he has captured the award after winning it with Miami in 2012 a nd 2013.