In Game 6 of the 2015 NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 10597 to win the franchise its first title since 1975. The championship capped off a then franchise-best 67-15 regular season, followed by an exceptional 16-5 run through the playoffs.
Down 2-1 to Cleveland after the first three games, first-year Warriors coach Steve Kerr proved to be an expert tactician in making the most crucial adjustment of the series: benching starting center Andrew Bogut in favor of Andre Iguodala.
For the first time in 40 years, the Golden State Warriors are NBA Champions. Here’s an all-access pass to the Warriors series-clinching Game 6, highlighted by a team-high-tying 25 points from Finals MVP Andre Iguodala – and capped off by an inside look at the long-awaited celebration.
Iguodala hadn’t started a game all season until Game 4 of the Finals, but his insertion lit the fuse to three straight wins, with the average margin of victory being 14 points.
Kerr’s chess move opened up the court for The Splash Brothers, Steph Curryand Klay Thompson, along with Draymond Green, Leandro Barbosa, Harrison Barnes and Shaun Livingston, putting Cleveland big man Timofey Mozgov in disadvantageous matchup situations. The smaller, faster, ball-sharing, 3-point splashing defensive juggernaut caused problems that Cleveland, who was missing the services of the injured Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, proved unable to solve.
Iguodala made the most of his opportunity, punctuating an exceptional two-way performance throughout the series with 25 points, five rebounds and five assists in Game 6 to take home the Finals MVP trophy.
Curry also had 25 points to go along with eight assists and six rebounds and Green added a triple-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the series-clinching victory.
Take a look back at Steph Currys amazing playoff run that ended in a championship for the Golden State Warriors About the NBA: The NBA is the premier professional basketball league in the United States and Canada.
“[The Finals MVP] could have gone to Steph, it could have gone to LeBron,” Kerr said as the confetti dropped and the champagne popped. “It’s really fitting that the award went to Andre because he sacrificed his starting role from the first game of the season. He had never come off the bench once in his entire career, and he sacrificed to make Harrison better, to make our bench better. … It set the tone for everything we were able to accomplish. It feels like full circle to me that Andre received the award.”
LeBron James put together a string of remarkable performances throughout the series, averaging 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists in what many regard as among the greatest all-around individual performances in Finals history.
Only three players in the previous 30 years had tallied at least 36 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in a Finals game. Thats what James AVERAGED FOR THE ENTIRE SERIES!!!
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At the beginning of the season, Iguodala was not thrilled with coming off the bench for the first time in his career. But when The Warriors blazed out of the gate to a 212 start, he took pride and ownership in his new role. Kerr limited his minutes in the regular season because he wanted him fresh for the playoffs.
And in the critical moments when he team needed him the most in the Finals, he emerged from Golden State’s deep pile of long, fluid and versatile defenders to take center stage.
He couldn’t stop The Giant, aka LeBron, but he added enough to his team’s tapestry to help deliver a championship that Bay area fans had been waiting on for 40 years. And in the process, the Warriors emerged as the greatest team of the modern era, and one of the best the league has ever seen.