Golden State Warriors: Six plays that broke LeBron James’ spirit

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Stephen Curry
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Stephen Curry /
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6. Andre Iguodala’s game-saving strip

The Golden State Warriors signed Andre Iguodala after their 2013 playoff run. They beat Iguodala’s Denver Nuggets in upset fashion. After falling the San Antonio Spurs in six games in the second round, the Warriors went out and re-tooled with Iguodala.

Two years later, he was hoisting the Finals MVP trophy as he celebrated his first NBA championship. He wasn’t the best Warrior in the series–that was Stephen Curry. Iguodala earned the Finals MVP because of his work guarding LeBron James.

He started the last three games of the series and did his best to contain James. He forced him to be inefficient, something James doesn’t like. Iguodala established himself as the most well-equipped defender to put on the future Hall of Famer.

Two years later, that held true. A healthy Iguodala can serve as great resistance to James. He proved that in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

With the chance to tie the game with just under 13 seconds left, the Cavaliers inbounded the ball to James in the corner. He tried to get separation from Iguodala to get the space to shoot the three. As he rose up, Iguodala went to his patented swipe and poked the ball away from James without fouling him.

It was a risky play for Iguodala, but he knew exactly what he was doing. It’s a play that he has perfected. After facing off against James in three straight NBA Finals, Iguodala had the timing down just right.

James thought he was free. And, when Iguodala stripped the ball away from him, he kicked the Warrior in the groin. In case you were keeping count at home, Iguodala and the Warriors did not lobby to the league for a suspension.

He was bested.