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Elliott Stern

It was war – war on the floor.

And the Cleveland Cavaliers came away with the final victory.

So the Cavaliers are celebrating their first-ever NBA championship and Cleveland’s first major sports championship in 52 years, since the Cleveland Browns won the NFL championship back in 1964.

Does that diminish the Golden State Warriors’ record-setting, 73-win season?

No.

Wasn’t it one of the greatest collapses of all time?

Yes.

Golden State is now in the record books for being the first team to lose the NBA Finals after blowing a 3-1 series lead.

I wonder just how much two-time MVP Stephen Curry's injuries really impacted his play. He had a few great moments but the Warriors' leader didn't appear to be his usual superstar self.

Going into Game 7, the teams were not only tied at 3-3 but they were also tied in scoring 610-610 through the first six games.

Down the stretch, with the championship on the line, it was Cleveland's Superstar OLeBron James that led the championship charge.

Going 73-9 during the regular season was a remarkable achievement.

The Warriors broke the seemingly unbreakable record of Michael Jordan’s legendary Chicago Bulls.

In the 1995-96 season, Jordan’s Bulls went 72-10.

The Bulls blew through the playoffs, knocking out the Miami Heat, N.N. Knicks and Orlando Magic on the way to a showdown with the Seattle Supersonics in the NBA Finals.

The Sonics were a formidable foe, having finished their regular season with a 64-18 record. The Sonics were also one of the few teams to beat the Bulls in the regular season, going 1-1.

And Seattle did manage to beat the Bulls twice in the Finals but still went down to defeat 4-2 to earn Jordan and Co. their fourth championship in six years. They’d add two more title in the next two years.

So this year’s Warriors failed the Jordan test.

They remind me more of the 2007 New England Patriots.

The Pats, my hometown team, rolled through the season going 16-0.

That set a record for the most wins ever in the regular season.

The 1972 Miami Dolphins were a perfect 14-0 in the regular season, then won three straight playoffs game including their Super Bowl victory over the Washington Redskins to finish 17-0.

After the NFL lengthened the season to 16 games, the Pats were the first and so far only team to win them all.

Much like the Warriors, the Patriots had broken a seemingly unbreakable record.

By beating Jacksonville and San Diego in the playoffs, New England improved to 18-0, breaking Miami’s record.

All they needed was one more win over the N.Y. Giants, a team that finished the regular season with a pedestrian 10-6 record, to claim their place as the best NFL team of all time.

But in the Super Bowl, the Patriots couldn’t protect a late 4-point lead. A miracle catch by David Tyree followed by a touchdown catch from Eli Manning to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds left and the Patriots suffered one of the greatest upsets of all time.

These days, people remember the Super Bowl collapse more than the 18-0 record the Pats brought into that game.

And that, I feel, is what people will remember about this year’s Warriors.

The 72-win Bulls finished in style.

The 73-win Warriors finished in the dumps. They’re likely to be remembered more for their playoff collapse than their regular season record.

Can the Warriors rebound from this heartbreaking loss?

Will they rebound and begin a new march toward a dynasty?

LeBron James’ Cavaliers have the momentum and James is, after all, a regular in the NBA Finals.

The ball is in Golden States’ court. 

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Senior Sports Reporter