Andre Iguodala came up huge for the Warriors to win the title

ESPN proudly announced Tuesday the 2017 NBA Finals between Golden State and Cleveland on ABC was the most-watched NBA Finals since 1998, according to Nielsen.

Maybe Thompson or Curry would have hit those shots if Durant never came to Golden State; maybe the Warriors would have won the title without him; maybe Durant didn't actually alter National Basketball Association history in any meaningful way.

The Warriors won the 2015 National Basketball Association championship but failed to repeat past year after blowing a 3-1 finals lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Cavaliers forward LeBron James had a game-high 41 points and guard Kyrie Irving hit tough shots all night, but defensive breakdowns by Cleveland led to easy baskets late in the game for the Warriors, igniting a deafening crowd. They could become beatable if the rest of the roster fails to fill roles, but the play of their four All-Stars will make them advance deep into the playoffs. "And I did that from day one, and I just tried to stay with that". "I have no reason to look back at what I could have done or what I shouldn't have done or what I could have done better for the team". "I don't believe we're a super team here".

On Monday night at Oracle Arena, Durant had 39 points-the difference-maker in the Finals as teammate Draymond Green had predicted-and walked off as Finals MVP.

"Golden State (was) the best team this year", James said.

"There was never any question in my mind that this was going to work", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of the addition of Durant to a Curry-led core that already was good enough to make consecutive Finals.

"He's had an awesome career, but he just took it to the next level", coach Steve Kerr said.

Some reports have suggested James, the best player on the planet, may head to California to join the Lakers or Clippers in 2018, likely bringing talented players along in an effort to topple the Warriors if the Cavaliers fall short again next year. The Warriors won a league-record 14 consecutive games during this year's playoffs and went 16-1 overall in the postseason.

It also created lofty expectations for Durant, with many onlookers saying his move would be a failure if the Warriors did not go on to win a title in their first season together. While James hasn't seen a dropoff in play yet, it's growing clear that he needs more help to get over the hump and beat the Warriors.

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