For the fifth time since 1999, the San Antonio Spurs are the champions of the NBA and this victory may be the sweetest of all.
Last season, the Spurs suffered one of the most devastating defeats in the history of the NBA Finals. After five hard fought games, the Spurs took a 3-2 series lead. In game 6, the Spurs led by five with just 28 seconds left, but after a LeBron James three-pointer, Kawhi Leonard made just one of two free throws. Then, Ray Allen hit a three from the corner and the Heat eventually won in overtime 103-100. The Heat then defeated the Spurs 95-88 in game 7 to clinch their second straight title.
The Spurs made it their mission to atone for last season by winning the title in 2014. During the regular season, the Spurs were the league’s best team, finishing with a record of 62-20 and clinching home court advantage throughout the postseason. They got a scare in their first round matchup with the Dallas Mavericks, but ultimately won the series in seven games. They then cruised past the Portland Trail Blazers in five games in the second round before holding off the the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games in the Western Conference Finals.
The Heat rolled through the Eastern Conference to set up the rematch. After the two teams split the first two games, the Spurs cruised to blowout victories in each of the next three games. On Sunday night, the Spurs closed things out with a 104-87 victory.
Below you can watch the Spurs’ championship ceremony where they were presented with the Larry O’Brien Trophy and Kawhi Leonard was presented with the Finals MVP award.