The Golden State Warriors ended their 40-year wait for a championship and ensured that the city of Cleveland's title drought would last at least one more year.
Five Warriors scored in double figures as Golden State defied LeBron James's 32-point, 18-rebound effort to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-97 Tuesday to capture the NBA's greatest prize for the first time since Rick Barry led them to the 1975 title.
Stephen Curry and Finals MVP Andre Iguodala each finished with 25 points, while Draymond Green recorded a triple-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. For Cleveland, Timofey Mozgov (17 points, 12 rebounds), and Tristan Thompson (15 points, 13 rebounds) notched double-doubles, but the absence of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love proved too much for the Cavaliers to overcome.
"This was awesome," Iguodala said. "We talked about staying strong, stay with it. That was Coach's motto the whole playoffs. Stay with it. They kept fighting. This is unreal."
Golden State head coach Steve Kerr became the eighth head coach in NBA history to collect a championship in his first year, adding to the five he won as a player with the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs.
After falling behind by two points early in the third quarter, the Warriors took control with Curry, the league's MVP, and Iguodala leading the way.
They outscored the Cavaliers 28-18 in the third quarter, quieting a rocking Cleveland crowd and opening a lead even the brilliant James couldn't overcome.
Golden State allowed the Cavaliers to creep within eight points in the fourth before unleashing a flurry of 3s to ensure they would be taking the Larry O'Brien Trophy back to California. Curry's step-back 3 made it 78-68, and after the Cavs closed within seven on J.R. Smith's trey, Iguodala, Curry and Klay Thompson each drained one in a span of 81 seconds to make it 89-75.
Iguodala added another long shot for good measure before he strutted back on defense holding out three fingers on each hand.
He could have shot an index finger into the air at that point -- Golden State is No. 1.
James returned from Miami to deliver a title to his home region, but the 30-year-old, left to do most of the work by himself after All-Stars Irving and Love were injured in the postseason, came two wins shy of giving Cleveland its first pro sports championship since 1964.
They city's three pro teams -- the Cavs, Browns and Indians -- have gone a combined 144 seasons without one of them winning it all.
James was replaced in the final seconds, but before he left the court, the four-time MVP shook hands with Curry and offered congratulations to Kerr and the rest of the Warriors.
"The sacrifice every guy made from Andre and David (Lee) stepping away from the starting lineup, we just played," Kerr said. "And they were all in it just to win. That's all that mattered. This is an amazing group of guys."
This series, which opened with two overtime games in Oakland, flipped when Kerr employed a small lineup in the fourth quarter of Game 3 and the Warriors nearly overcame a 20-point deficit before losing.
Kerr stuck with revamped lineup in Game 4, giving Iguodala a start, switching Green to center and benching the ineffective Andrew Bogut. The move was as golden as the Warriors, who finished with 83 wins, the third-highest single-season total in history.
Only the 1995-96, and 1996-97 Bulls won more, and Kerr was on both of those teams.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.