The Warriors made it four NBA titles in eight seasons as they defeated the Celtics 103-90 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at TD Garden Thursday night.
Golden State won the series 4-2; Steph Curry, who had a game-high 34 points, including five threes in Game 6, was named Finals MVP for the first time in his career.
After trailing 14-2 with just over eight minutes left in the first quarter, the Warriors outscored the Celtics 52-25 the rest of the half, including a 21-0 run. The Warriors led by as many as 21 points in the first half and had a 54-39 lead at halftime.
Boston got the lead to as low as eight late in the fourth but could not get any closer.
Curry, who won his fourth NBA title, averaged 31.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 5.2 3-pt FG per game in this series, and according to StatMuse, he is the first player in NBA history to average 30/5/5 and five threes in a Finals series.
“We’ve got four championships,” Curry said after the win. “This one hits different for sure, just knowing what the last three years have meant, what it’s been like from injuries to changing of the guard in the rosters, Wiggs(Andrew Wiggins) coming through, our young guys carrying the belief that we could get back to this stage and win, even if it didn’t make sense to anybody when we said it, all that stuff matters. And now we got four championships. Me, Dray(Draymond Green), Klay(Thompson), and Andre(Iguodala), we finally got that bad boy. It’s special. It’s special.”
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr says the four championships don’t happen without Curry.
“I’m obviously thrilled for everyone in that room, and a lot of people had a big hand in this, but I think the thing with Steph is, you know, without him, none of this happens,’ Kerr said. “Steph ultimately is why this run has happened. Much like Timmy(Tim Duncan) in San Antonio. So I’m happy for everybody, but I’m thrilled for Steph. To me, this is his crowning achievement in what’s already been an incredible career.”
The Warriors missed the playoffs the last two seasons, so getting back to this spot was difficult for Curry and the rest of the team. After the win, Curry was in tears, and he explained why he was so emotional.
“These last two months of the playoffs, these last three years, this last 48 hours, every bit of it has been an emotional roller coaster on and off the floor,” he said. “And you’re carrying all of that on a daily basis to try to realize a dream and a goal like we did tonight. And you get goosebumps just thinking about, you know, all those snapshots and episodes that we went through to get back here, individually, collectively. And that’s why I said I think this championship hits different. That’s why I have so many emotions, and still will, just because of what it took to get back here.”
Klay Thompson, who also won his fourth NBA title, believes Curry is an all-time great.
“I’m so happy for him to get that Finals MVP,” Thompson said. “Some bozo saying he needed it. I think he’s pretty much established what he can do, but to see him earn that, he’s one of the greatest ever, and we all followed in his lead, and gosh, that was awesome. What a series.”
Draymond Green, who added his fourth NBA title as well and had 12 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists in Game 6, added on Curry: “Steph Curry, to have the season and the career that he’s had, it is amazing. And to stamp that with a Finals MVP — I know he said it don’t matter, and it doesn’t matter in the sense of like, oh, his legacy is not quite this unless he gets that. Like, that’s garbage. Still, Steph Curry still an all-time great. But to add that to your résumé as a competitor, you want that. For him, well-deserved.”
After winning Finals MVP, Curry’s legacy is complete. Before this series, Curry was an all-time great, but now there are no doubts.
After three years away, the Golden State Warriors are back in the NBA Finals after defeating the Mavericks 120-110 in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.
Golden State won the series 4-1.
The NBA Finals begin next Thursday at Chase Center.
The Warriors last made the Finals in 2019 when they lost to the Toronto Raptors, and that was with Kevin Durant leading the way.
Durant is off in Brooklyn, who got swept in their opening round series by the Celtics, while Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green are on their way to the Finals for the sixth time in eight seasons.
After Durant left, things went south for the Warriors as they missed the playoffs the past two seasons. It’s been rough for the Warriors, but now they are back.
“The fact me, Klay, Draymond, from 2015 to now, six out of eight years having a chance to compete for a championship,” Curry, who had 15 points and nine assists and won the Magic Johnson Western Conference finals MVP, said after the win. “The feeling leaving 2019 Finals and realizing, like, we had been on an amazing journey, then got hit with a lot of adversity, some speed bumps, but never lost the faith we could get back here.”
Green, who had 17 points, six rebounds, and nine assists, added: “After being counted out, dynasty is over, all of those things. To get back here it’s fantastic. It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication and to an incredible organization. We continue to stick with it, show what we’re capable of. This one feels great. But got four more wins to get.”
Thompson missed the past two years after tearing his ACL in the 2019 NBA Finals and tearing his Achilles in 2020, and he was big-time in Game 5 as he had a game-high 32 points, including eight threes. After the game, Thompson was emotional, and he explained why.
“Just such a surreal feeling,” Thompson said. “It’s hard to put into words, really. This time last year, I was just starting to jog again and get up and down the court. Now to be feeling like myself, feeling explosive, feeling sure in my movements, I’m just grateful. All those emotions kind of rushed through me, and I thought about our training staff, I thought about Rick Celebrini, I thought about Steve, I thought about those days me and Rick were together in Santa Cruz, and I was in a terrible mood.
“We were together in the summertime. All those long days. They would tell me it would pay off. It was hard to see that at the time. Now to actually be here, I can feel it paying off.”
Golden State is back, and they are playing at a high level. Plus, they will have homecourt advantage in the Finals. In addition, the Warriors could get back Andre Iguodala and Gary Payton II.
However, they have to still win four more games. Based on the way they’re playing right now, the Warriors will be the favorites and will be tough to beat.
We will be talking sports and having fun doing it! We will discuss all things NBA Finals and more with Rider University assistant basketball coach Marlon Guild. Is the Warriors’ dynasty truly over? What happens with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson? What happens with Kawhi Leonard.
We’ll talk about it all!
Show starts tonight at 7pmest!