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Cavaliers Give Cleveland First Championship in 52 Years

Cleveland Cavaliers fans celebrate after the Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Finals, Sunday, June 19, 2016, in Cleveland.

Cleveland Cavaliers fans celebrate after the Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Finals, Sunday, June 19, 2016, in Cleveland.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers won the National Basketball Association championship on Sunday night.

In the last game of the seven-game series, Cleveland defeated the Golden State Warriors, 93-89. And the victory gave Cleveland its first major sports title in 52 years.

Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate after winning the NBA title.

Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate after winning the NBA title.

The last time a team from Cleveland won a championship was in 1964. Its football team, the Browns, won the National Football League title.

For many years, Cleveland sports fans lived with disappointment and watched teams that were not very good.

For example, the Cleveland Indians baseball team lost at least 100 of 162 games four times between 1971 and 1991.

And at the end of the 1995 football season, the Browns moved to Baltimore in the state of Maryland. It was a heartbreaking moment for many Cleveland sports fans.

A new team, with the old name, returned in 1999. But the new Browns have not been very good.

But on Sunday night, when time ran out at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, the Cavaliers and all the fans could finally celebrate a championship.

Andy Borowitz is a comedian from Cleveland. He wrote on Facebook, “any other Cleveland fans having trouble adjusting to having won something?”

That is because Cleveland fans are not used to celebrating sports championships.

The victory fulfilled a promise that Cleveland’s star player, LeBron James, made to the city.

James grew up close to Cleveland in the city of Akron, Ohio. He started his career with the Cavs. But he left Cleveland to play for the Miami Heat for four seasons starting in 2010.

When James announced he would return to Cleveland in the summer of 2014, he said he would help the team win a championship.

And he did it.

James also won the series' Most Valuable Player award.

ESPN calculated there had been 146 sports seasons without a team from Cleveland winning the championship in baseball, football or basketball.

That streak came to an end.

And the celebration is just beginning. The Cavs returned to Cleveland on Monday afternoon to get ready for a parade and a big party on Wednesday.

Cleveland fans from all over the country celebrated a lifetime of waiting coming to an end.

In fact, along with the hashtag #NBAFinals and the names of the players trending on Twitter overnight, so was Cleveland.

One organization created a graphic showing three front pages from the Cleveland newspaper.

One, from 2010, showed James leaving, with the headline “Gone.” In 2014, it said “Home.” And on Monday morning it read “Believe It!”

Even President Obama, a noted fan of the Chicago sports teams, posted this on Twitter: “What a game and what a series for the Cavs. Happy to see [LeBron] James bring it home for Cleveland!”

The celebration is not until Wednesday, but thousands of Cleveland fans went to the airport to greet the team plane on Monday.

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I'm Dan Friedell.

Listen to the NBA Finals edition of VOA's Sonny Side of Sports here:

Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.

What do you think of Cleveland winning its first sports championship in over 50 years? We want to know. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.


Words in This Story

disappointmentn. the act of making someone unhappy by not being as good as expected or not doing something that was hoped for

streak – n. a period of repeated success or failure

graphicn. pictures or images on the screen of a computer, television, etc.

headlinen. the title written in large letters over a story in a newspaper

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