The 2016 NBA Finals was the championship series of the National Basketball Association (NBA) 2015–16 year and conclusion of this 2016 playoffs. The Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the defending NBA champion and Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors 4–3 in a rematch of the 2015 NBA Finals. It was the 14th rematch of the previous NBA Finals in history, and also the very first Finals since 2008 in which the number one seed in each summit met. It was the second right rematch in back-to-back years, as the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs played in 2013 and 2014.
Golden State, which made home-court advantage with setting the NBA regular season wins record (73–9), jumped into a two –0 lead to the series while documenting the largest combined margin of victory (48) through two games in NBA Finals history. Cleveland returned home and responded using a 120–90 win in Game 3, but the Warriors won Game 4 to take a 3–1 series lead. The Cavaliers won the following 3 games to become the first team in Finals history to successfully overcome a 3–1 shortage. It also marked the first time since 1978 that Game 7 has been won by the road team.
For the first time since 2004, a new scheduling format has been assessed for the Finals. In previous decades, the Finals were played at a Thursday–Sunday. On the other hand, the league changed its scheduling to make sure an excess day off for both teams, which need to journey from 1 town to another during the series. This, along with the designated travel day, took place after Games 2, 5, 4, and 6.
The triumph from the Cavaliers was the first major professional sports championship won by a team based in Cleveland since 1964, and the first-ever championship won from the Cavaliers franchise. NBA Finals MVP winner LeBron James propelled the Cavaliers to the historic recovery. James had a great Finals performance, becoming the first player in NBA history to lead all players at a playoff series in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks
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