Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James win NBA championship: photos

Updated

As the clock wound down and the buzzer sounded, LeBron James fell to the ground and let the emotion pour forth. After leaving Cleveland to win two championships with Miami, James returned with a specific goal in mind: “I came back for a reason,” James said after the game. “I came back to bring a championship to our city.”

On Sunday night, for the first time in franchise history, the Cleveland Cavaliers were NBA champions, defeating the Golden State Warriors in game seven of the NBA Finals and bringing the city of Cleveland its first major sports title since 1964. It wasn’t the only history made in these finals. The Cavaliers became the first team to rally from a 3-1 series deficit, with James leading the way with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists in the final game. It was one of the most unbelievable performances in NBA finals history — all while his team was considered the underdog in their match up with Golden State, which had a record-setting 73-win season. James was unanimously voted finals MVP. 

A view of the opening tip-off in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, Calif. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty)
A view of the opening tip-off in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, Calif.
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty
Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives with the ball against Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, Calif. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty)
Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives with the ball against Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, Calif.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty
Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after scoring against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, Calif. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty)
Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after scoring against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, Calif.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty
LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives for a layup against the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, Calif. (Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez/Pool/Getty)
LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives for a layup against the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, Calif.
Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez/Pool/Getty
Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts to a play in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, Calif. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty)
Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts to a play in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, Calif.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty
Fans fill a parking garage with in view of Quicken Loans Arena during the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Finals Game Seven watch party on June 19, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty)
Fans fill a parking garage with in view of Quicken Loans Arena during the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Finals Game Seven watch party on June 19, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty
Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots a three-point basket late in the fourth quarter against Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, Calif. (Ezra Shaw/Getty)
Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots a three-point basket late in the fourth quarter against Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, Calif.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty
LeBron James #23 and Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate after defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, Calif. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty)
LeBron James #23 and Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate after defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, Calif.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty
Fans react to a play during the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Finals Game Seven watch party at Quicken Loans Arena on June 19, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty)
Fans react to a play during the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Finals Game Seven watch party at Quicken Loans Arena on June 19, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty
Fans react to a play during the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Finals Game Seven watch party at Quicken Loans Arena on June 19, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty)
Fans react to a play during the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Finals Game Seven watch party at Quicken Loans Arena on June 19, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty
LeBron James #23 and Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate after defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, Calif. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty)
LeBron James #23 and Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate after defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, Calif.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty
LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers holds the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy after defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, Calif. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty)
LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers holds the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy after defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, Calif.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty

Cleveland, LeBron James, Photography and Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James win NBA championship: photos

Updated