NBA: Kevin Durant powers Warriors over Cavaliers to claim championship, is named MVP of Finals

Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant attempts a shot in Game 4 of the NBA finals on June 9, 2017.
Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant attempts a shot in Game 4 of the NBA finals on June 9, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA (AFP) - Kevin Durant scored 39 points and the Golden State Warriors won their fifth National Basketball Association Championship on Monday, ripping Cleveland 129-120 to capture the Finals for the second time in three seasons.

Golden State took the best-of-seven series 4-1, reclaiming the throne they lost to the Cavaliers a year ago. The Warriors completed a 16-1 play-off run, the best post-season win percentage in NBA history.

It was also the first career title for Durant, who left Oklahoma City last July to join the Warriors amid expectations he and Golden State would fill trophy cases.

Durant became the first player with five consecutive 30-point performances in the NBA Finals since Shaquille O'Neal in 2000 and was named the Most Valuable Player of the series.

"I couldn't sleep for two days," Durant admitted. "I was anxious. I was jittery. I just wanted to put it all out there.

"We battled. But we did it. We're champions. And we're celebrating on our home court."

"These guys are so gifted and committed to each other and so unselfish," Warriors coach Steve Kerr added. "It's a combination of talent and an unselfish nature."

LeBron James scored 41 points to lead the Cavaliers. He also had 13 rebounds and eight assists, giving him a triple-double average for the Finals, an unprecedented feat.

But James, in his seventh consecutive playoff series and eighth overall, fell to 3-5 in the championship round.

Kyrie Irving added 26 points and J.R. Smith 25 in a losing cause.

The Warriors also won titles in 1947 and 1956, when the team were based in Philadelphia, and took the crown in 1975 and 2015 after moving to the San Francisco Bay area.