• Kurtis Tatkenhorst

June 19- LeBron James Leads the Cavaliers to their First NBA Title in 2016

Updated: Jun 20, 2020

2016- On this day in Sports History, LeBron James led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first NBA Title in 2016. The Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in the winner-takes-all Game 7 to win the series 4-3.

The Warriors, who won the NBA Title in 2015, had a seven point lead going into halftime. The Cavaliers would trim the lead and entered the fourth quarter down one point. With 4:39 left in the game, the score was tied 89-89. With the NBA Championship on the line, neither team scored again for almost four minutes. Kyrie Irving broke the tie with a three pointer to give the Cavaliers a 92-89 lead with 53 seconds left. The Cavaliers held on for the lead and became NBA Champions for the first time. LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. Kyrie Irving scored 26 points and Kevin Love added 9 points with 14 rebounds. Draymond Green led the Warriors with 32 points and 15 rebounds. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson struggled from the three point line as they went a combined 6-for-24.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James grew up in Akron, Ohio which is just outside of Cleveland. The Cavaliers drafted him with the first pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. He became an NBA star with the Cavaliers and won multiple NBA MVP awards. They made the NBA Finals but, at the time failed to win Cleveland’s first NBA Title. In 2010, LeBron decided to sign with the Miami Heat which made the local Cavaliers fan’s feel betrayed. In four seasons with Miami, LeBron made the NBA Finals every year and won two NBA Championships. In 2014, LeBron decided to come back to Cleveland and sign with the Cavaliers and hopefully bring Cleveland their first NBA Championship.

In 2016, the Cavaliers made it back to the NBA Finals. The Warriors won the first two games of the series and then went on to win Game 4 to take a 3-1 lead in the series. The Cavaliers faced elimination in Game 5, 6, and 7 as they had to win each game to win the title. They’d go on to win each game and be the first team to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals.

Getty Images

Finally, on this day in 2016, LeBron led the Cavaliers to winning a NBA Championship. He was named the NBA Finals MVP after averaging 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 8.9 assists per game. It was the first NBA Championship in the franchise’s history and the first professional sports championship in Cleveland since 1964.


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Sources:

Carroll, Rory. “LeBron Delivers on Promise, Leads Cavs to NBA Title.” Reuters, Reuters, 20 June 2016

“2016 NBA Finals - Cavaliers vs. Warriors.” Basketball Reference


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