LeBron James played the last three games of the NBA Finals with a severe right hand injury. By declining his player option for $26.2 million next season, Durant would have two options.
Durant averaged 28.8 points in the series, along with 10.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists. James finished with 23 points before being taken out with four minutes left in the game.
Windhorst pointed to James' unwillingness to shoot from distance later in the series as evidence of how his hand injury affected his play. The Warriors are 8-18 ATS in their last 26 games following a win and 1-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
Durant becomes the 11th player to win Finals MVP twice, joining six-time victor Michael Jordan, three-timers Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan and LeBron James, and two-timers Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, Willis Reed and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
After outscoring opponents in that period by 199 during the regular season and 141 to that point in the playoffs, they beat the Cavs 25-13 Friday night, ending it up 86-65.
It was the fourth year in a row the Warriors met Cleveland in the finals. Then, in the last minute, game Durant's big shot, and the Cavs just didn't have enough gas in their tank to stop the Warriors.
Kevin Love added 13 points and nine boards, but shot 4-of-13. And if you want to reach back to a long-ago era, the Boston Celtics of the 1950s and 1960s.
The health of James' hand likely would not have had much affect on the outcome of the series, a four-game sweep by the Warriors.
The speculation over James' future has garnered plenty of attention these past few days, and Cavaliers fans wanted to give their hero a huge welcome ahead of Game 4. It was a rough way for them to go out, especially after how close Game 1 was.
These Warriors took the league by storm in 2015, jumping to the front of the line to claim the franchise's first title in 40 years with a lovable group of players that no one (including the Warriors themselves) quite understood were starting a revolution.
Yet after falling behind 3-2 to the Rockets in the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors prevailed, sparked by their unparalleled talent but also a sense of historical understanding.
Even the greatest player in the game had to marvel at Kevin Durant's performance on Wednesday night - calling his fellow MVP alum an "assassin" after his Game 3 performance.
Brown was working his 17th NBA Finals. Golden State won the game 110-102.