Cleveland Cavaliers 2016 National Basketball Gemstone Championship Ring
The 2016 NBA Finals was the championship series of the 2016 playoffs of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the conclusion of the 2015–16 season. The Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors 4–3 in a rematch of the 2015 NBA Finals. It was the 14th rematch of the previous NBA Finals in history, and the first Finals since 2008 in which the number one seed in each conference met. It was the second straight rematch in back-to-back years, as the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs played each other in 2013 and 2014.
Golden State, which earned home-court advantage by having the best overall record during the regular season (73-9), jumped to a 2–0 lead in the series while recording the largest combined margin of victory (48) through two games in NBA Finals history. Cleveland returned home and responded with a 120–90 win 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 deficit. It also marked the first time since 1978 that Game 7 was won by the road team. The Cavaliers also became the first team in any of the four major professional sports leagues to rally from a 3-1 deficit in the championship round since the Kansas City Royals in the 1985 World Series.
The win by the Cavaliers was the first major professional sports championship won by a team based in Cleveland since 1964, and the first-ever championship won by the Cavaliers franchise. NBA Finals MVP winner LeBron James propelled the Cavaliers to the historic comeback and secured himself into the conversation amongst the other all time greats.
For the first time since 2004, a new scheduling format was instituted for the Finals. In previous years, the Finals was played in a Thursday–Sunday–Tuesday scheme. However, the league changed its scheduling to ensure an extra day off for both teams, which have to travel from one city to another during the duration of the series. This, along with the designated travel day, took place after Games 2, 4, 5, and 6.
A number of records were set during the finals including the only team to come back from a 3-1 deficit and the largest viewing audience.