Before his Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-120 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals to claim the franchise’s second championship in three years—and his first championship—Kevin Durant was restless.
“I couldn’t sleep for two days,” he told Doris Burke after the victory. “I was anxious. I was jittery. I just wanted to lay it all out there and put in work.”
Durant and LeBron, who in this series became the first player in history to average a triple-double in the NBA Finals, shared a postgame hug.
KD and LeBron embrace after Durant captures his first championship. #NBAFinals
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) June 13, 2017
“He’s the only person that I was looking at since 2012,” said Durant, whose 39 points made him the first player since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000 to score 30 or more points in five consecutive Finals games. “He’s the only one I looked at and said, ‘He’s the only one that can look me eye to eye.’ … We battled, I told him we’re tied up now.”
After his message for LeBron, the Warriors star had one for his mother, Wanda Durant.
“We did it,” he told her after receiving the Finals MVP trophy. “I told you when I was eight years old. We did it.”