NBA Finals: Golden State Warriors end 40-year championship drought

  • Golden State Warriors fans celebrate during a watch party as the Warriors win game 6 of the NBA Finals against Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena, in Oakland, California.
  • Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry celebrates winning in game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • A fan celebrates while the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers play in game 6 of the 2015 NBA Finals on June 16, 2015 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. 
  • Golden State Warriors fans Rani Zahdeh and Will Faraghan celebrate during a watch party for game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena. 
  • Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors celebrate their 105 to 97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in game 6 of the 2015 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 16, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. 
  • People celebrate outside Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., June 16, 2015. 
  • Golden State Warriors fans celebrate in the courtyard after a watch party for game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena. 
  • Golden State Warriors fans stand on a bus as they celebrate their team’s 2015 NBA Finals win on June 16, 2015 in Oakland, Calif. 
  • Fireworks explode in downtown Oakland, Calif., after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-97 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to win the championship, June 16, 2015. 
  • Golden State Warriors fans celebrate their team’s 2015 NBA Finals win outside of Oakland City Hall on June 16, 2015 in Oakland, Calif. This is the first championship win for the Warriors since 1975. 
  • Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James shakes hands with Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry during the fourth quarter of game six of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. 
  • The members of the Golden State Warriors hold the championship trophy as they celebrate winning the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland, June 17, 2015. 
  • Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors celebrates with his daughter, Riley, after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Six of the 2015 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 16, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. 
  • Draymond Green, David Lee, and Andrew Bogut of the Golden State Warriors celebrates with team owners Peter Guber and Joe Lacob and the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy. 
  • Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors, celebrates winning the Larry O’Brein Trophy after Game Six of the 2015 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, June 16, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. 
  • Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors celebrates in the locker room after the Golden State Warriors win Game Six of the 2015 NBA Finals at The Quicken Loans Arena, June 16, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. 
  • Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors celebrates winning the 2015 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Quicken Loans Arena on June 16, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. 
  • Golden State Warriors players celebrate with Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy after winning the Game Six of the 2015 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, June 16, 2015. 

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The NBA might just have witnessed a historic changing of the guard.

Despite a valiant, record-setting performance by LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the fresh-faced Golden State Warriors won this year’s NBA Finals in a 105-97 game 6 victory on Wednesday. 

Led by regular season MVP Stephen Curry and veteran bench player Andre Iguodala, the Warriors were able to largely neutralize James’ supporting cast, which was already depleted thanks to costly injuries to all-stars Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. The Warriors’ win is the franchise’s second since moving to the West Coast, and the Oakland-based team hadn’t won it all for exactly 40 years.

That championship team, led by underhanded free-throw shooting sensation Rick Barry, predated Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, answering machines, the Internet and much more.

Of course, for Cleveland, the defeat was particularly bittersweet. The loss came on the Cavaliers’ home court after a season filled with hope due to James’ decision to return to the team from his hometown which first made him famous. The city has not won a title in any professional sport since 1964, and the Cavaliers were widely seen as their best hope to end the suffering.

Still, it’s hard not to feel heartened by the ascent of Curry and company. The pint-sized point guard has become a breakout star thanks to his credible play and adorable 2-year-old daughter Riley, who managed to upstage him at press conferences during the playoffs.

No matter what team you were rooting for – this finals will go down as one of the most riveting in years, and NBA fans are licking their chops for a potential rematch next season.

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