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 their 2015 NBA Finals. It was the 14th rematch of the previous NBA Finals ever, and also the very first Finals since 2008 in which the number one seed in every conference met. It was the second right rematch in back-to-back years, since the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs played each other in 2013 and 2014.
Golden State, which earned home-court advantage with setting the NBA regular season wins record (73–9), jumped to a two –0 lead in the string while documenting the biggest combined margin of success (48) through two games in NBA Finals history. Cleveland returned home and responded using a 120–90 triumph in Game 3, but the Warriors won Game 4 to take a 3–1 series lead. The Cavaliers won the next three games to become the first team in Finals history to successfully overcome a 3–1 shortage. Additionally, it marked the first time since 1978 the Game 7 was won by the road team.
For the first time since 2004, a new scheduling format has been instituted for the Finals. In prior decades, the Finals were performed at a Thursday–Sunday–Tuesday scheme. However, the league changed its scheduling to make sure an excess day off for the two teams, which have to travel from 1 town to another during the series. This, along with the designated travel day, happened after Games 2, 5, 4, and 6.
The win from the Cavaliers has been the first major professional sports championship won by a team located in Cleveland since 1964, and also the first-ever championship won by the Cavaliers franchise. NBA Finals MVP winner LeBron James propelled the Cavaliers to the historic recovery. James had a historically 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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