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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3. Down goes the King

Kevin Durant finally got his revenge on LeBron James. Five years ago, Durant and James went head-to-head with the championship on the line. After going up 1-0 in the Finals, James’ Miami Heat rattled off four in a row over Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder.

Despite having young teammates and a seemingly bright future, Durant couldn’t get back to the Finals. Meanwhile, James made it every year after that, winning two more in the process. Then Durant took matters into his own hands and left the Thunder for the Golden State Warriors.

The chatter leading up to Game 1 was that it wasn’t possible for Durant to best James. No matter what, the Cavaliers’ star had the advantage. He “owned” Durant.

Then the 2017 NBA Finals actually started. Though James had a very good series, Durant’s was better in every way. The Cavaliers’ star was outplayed and overmatched.

Durant left James in the dust metaphorically. In Game 1, he also did it literally. This is exemplified in the video above.

First of all, Steph Curry’s pass was not intended for Durant. Klay Thompson did not cut backdoor and the ball managed to reach his fellow MVP in the corner. James reacted late and closed out way too hard.

Durant noticed this and drove baseline. James tried to recover, but he lost his footing. Then the Warrior star slammed it down as Oracle Arena roared.

James couldn’t do anything but watch. From the ground, he witnessed Durant and his championship hope sprint past him.