June 13, 2017 / 4:15 AM / 3 months ago

Warriors' Durant named Most Valuable Player of NBA Finals

June 12, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) shakes hands with Bill Russell (left) after being named the NBA Finals MVP after game five of the 2017 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) - Kevin Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors hoping to win an elusive title and on Monday he not only reached his goal but was also named the unanimous Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals.

Durant, in his first season with the Warriors, led the way in a 4-1 series win over the Cleveland Cavaliers to capture his maiden NBA title and the team’s second in three seasons.

The 28-year-old American averaged 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists in the best-of-seven Finals, which the Warriors wrapped up in five games.

To win his first NBA title, Durant had to overcome Cavaliers forward LeBron James, whose former Miami Heat team defeated Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2012 Finals.

”He’s the only person that I was looking at since 2012,“ Durant said after the game. ”I knew it was going to be a battle I just tried to challenge him ... you can’t stop the guy. But we battled.

“I told him we’re tied up now and we’re going to try to do this thing again but I‘m going to celebrate this one tonight.”

Additional reporting by Jahmal Corner; Editing by Frank Pingue

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