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The Cleveland Cavaliers jumped out to a 31-11 lead after one quarter and never looked back in their 115-101 win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
The ESPN+ series “More Than an Athlete” revealed a behind-the-scenes look at James’ postgame comments after that emphatic win: “They f–ked up. Mentally and physically. I’m telling you, they f–ked up.”
.@KingJames called it like he saw it after Game 6 of the 2016 Finals.
On ESPN+, “More Than An Athlete” takes you inside the Cavs locker room after the crucial game. https://t.co/8vE9wIaUfr https://t.co/KLgQQ2Mnjy
After taking a 3-1 series lead, the Warriors dropped Game 5 112-97 sans the suspended Draymond Green. He came back for Game 6, but the Cavs led wire to wire in a contest where the Warriors were shut out for the first five minutes. Golden State made a small run but never cut the lead to fewer than seven points in the second half.
That offensive slump rolled into Game 7, a matchup that the Cavs won 93-89 to capture the franchise’s first championship.
Cleveland pulled off a remarkable upset in one of the greatest championship rounds in NBA history, and that may serve as the greatest feat of James’ astounding career.
By the end of the 2016 NBA Finals, however, the Warriors were largely spent.
They played 43 games without head coach Steve Kerr, who was recovering from back surgery.
While they did waltz over the rest of the league en route to a 73-9 record, the pressure of trying to beat the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ record for most wins was immense.
They had also come off a grueling seven-game series win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the conference finals.
Ultimately, the result was a fairly exhausting and trying season despite the accolades, and everything seemed to come apart near the end of the Finals, as the team averaged just 95.7 points in their final three championship games.
Golden State did bounce back, however, with two championship wins in its next two seasons over the Cavs.