At last! Cleveland's fans rejoice in first Cavaliers title

CLEVELAND -- They laughed. They hugged. They cried.

This was unfamiliar territory for Cleveland sports fans, celebrating a real-life championship team. But after over five decades of heartbreak -- which included The Drive, The Shot, The Fumble and The Decision -- they were finally rewarded for their undying loyalty.

Behind Akron's LeBron James and sidekick Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers snapped Cleveland's 52-year championship drought by becoming the first team in NBA history to rally from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals to capture the title.

On Sunday night, Cleveland defeated defending champion Golden State 93-89 in Game 7 at Oracle Arena with Irving delivering the game-winning 3-pointer with 53 seconds remaining. The final buzzer sounded a short time later, and a euphoric celebration began.

"I can't wait to get back home," said James, who delivered on his promise to get a title for supporters in Northeast Ohio two seasons after returning to Cleveland.

The Cavaliers are scheduled to arrive in Cleveland around 12:30 p.m. ET Monday, with a huge crowd of fans expected to greet them as they emerge off the plane with the Larry O'Brien Trophy. On Wednesday, Cleveland will host a parade, one that has been planned for a lifetime.

More details about the parade and celebration were expected Monday, according to city officials. It's unclear if Quicken Loans Arena will be the site for any of Wednesday's events because of preparations that are ongoing in advance of next month's Republican National Convention.

More than 20,000 Cavs fans gathered inside and outside Quicken Loans Arena to watch the game on the Jumbotron.

This is their forever moment.

"This is a miracle," said John Polance, 70, of Mogadore, Ohio. "For LeBron to come back and deliver us this championship, he deserves everything he gets."

Polance was in college at Bowling Green when the Cleveland Browns won it all in 1964. He listened to that game on the radio. This, he said, was better.

"Dear God, thank you so much," Ann Domeck said.

"I have tears in my eyes," said Kevin Hodge, a 34-year-old barber from Cleveland Heights.

Tickets for the watch party were sold out in a couple of minutes.

Alec Wilson, 18, received a pair from his mother, who got them from the secondary market, where they were fetching a couple hundred dollars each, and went with his father. The two had a Father's Day they will never forget.

"I'm in disbelief," said Wilson, of Youngstown, Ohio. "LeBron should be on Mount Rushmore."

As fans hit the streets after the title game, rumors swirled that a fire truck had been stolen in Cleveland. The police department dispelled that.

Police reported a few arrests by 1 a.m. ET and a car with its windshield smashed. But no major problems were reported at that time.

Some police officers even high-fived with fans in the street as two mounted officers watched over the celebration near the arena.

One officer was hit by a car and suffered a leg injury, according to police. The officer was treated at a hospital and released, and police said they were still looking for the driver.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.