The 2007 NBA Championship Series — Cavaliers and Spurs


By Ron Griffitts

Contributing columnist

In June 2007, the Cleveland Cavaliers (50-32), appearing in their franchise’s first NBA finals, met the San Antonio Spurs (58-24) for the NBA championship.

Cleveland was coached by Mike Brown and defeated the Washington Wizards (4-0), New Jersey Nets (4-2) and the Detroit Pistons (4-2) to get the finals. They were led by 22-year old LeBron James (27.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 6.0 apg), Larry Hughes (14.9 ppg), Drew Gooden (11.1 ppg, 8.5 rpg), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (11.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and Anderson Varejao (6.7 rpg).

The Spurs were coached by Gregg Popovich with P. J. Carlesimo, who spent years as the head coach at Seton Hall, as one of his assistants. They dispatched the Denver Nuggets (4-1), Phoenix Suns (4-2) and the Utah Jazz (4-1) to get the finals.

They were led by Tim Duncan (20.0 ppg, 10.6 rpg), Tony Parker (18.6 ppg, 5.5 apg) and Manu Ginobili (16.5 ppg, 3.5 apg).

Game one was at the A T & T Center in San Antonio and in the first quarter the Spurs got out to an early lead and led 20-15 after one quarter of play. Each team scored 20 points in the second quarter and the Spurs led 40-35 at the half and made a run in the third quarter to go up 64-49 and on to an 85-76 win to go up 1-0 in the series.

In his first finals’ game LeBron James was only 4 of 16 from the field for 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. The Spurs were led by Tim Duncan with 24 points/13 rebounds and Tony Parker with 27 points.

The Spurs momentum continued in game two with a 103-92 win to go up 2-0 in the series. LeBron did better with 25 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists but as a team they made only 40.7% of their field goal attempts.

Tony Parker paced the Spurs with 30 points, Manu Ginobili added 25 and Tim Duncan had 23 points.

Game three switched to the Quickens Loan Arena for the first ever NBA finals game in Cleveland.

The Cavaliers played much better and led after the first quarter 18-16. San Antonio led at the half 40-38 and hung on in a tight game to win 75-72. Bruce Bowen had 13 points for the Spurs, Tony Parker had 17 and Tim Duncan had 13.

For Cleveland, LeBron James had 25 points, 7’ 3” Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 12 points and 18 rebounds while Drew Gooden had 13 points and 12 rebounds while Sasha Pavlovich added 13 points for the Cavs as the Spurs went up 3-0 in the series.

On the face of elimination, the Cavaliers played their best game of the series as again they led after the first quarter 20-19 only to fall behind 60-52 after three quarters. They however went on a 30-23 run in the fourth quarter to come up one point short in an 83-82 Spurs’ win as San Antonio won the NBA title.

Manu Ginobili led San Antonio with 27 points and Tony Parker had 24 while Tim Duncan pulled down 15 rebounds.

LeBron led Cleveland with 24 points and 10 assists, Drew Gooden added 11 points and 11 rebounds and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 13 rebounds.

Tony Parker got the series MVP award and the Cavaliers were back in 2015 and the Spurs in 2013.

LeBron James went on to play in eight more NBA finals, winning four NBA titles and being named the finals’ MVP four times.

Statistics for this article were from basketball

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