BOSTON (AP) — The Golden State Warriors are once again NBA champions, outscoring the Boston Celtics 103-90 Thursday night for their fourth title in eight seasons.
Stephen Curry scored 34 points and was named the NBA Finals MVP as the Warriors clinched seventh overall in the franchise championship. And this one completed a journey like no other, after a streak of five straight Finals, then falling to the bottom of the NBA, and now returning to greatness just two seasons after the worst record in the league.
“We found a way to just do it” Curry said after the Warriors accepted the championship trophy and celebrated on the court.
With tears in his eyes and husky with emotion, Curry struggled to speak as he explained what had enabled the Warriors to win their final crown.
“It’s part of the championship pedigree, our experience.” he said. “We have been building this for 10-11 years. It means a lot when you get to this stage.”
For Curry, Clay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, this is the fourth championship title. The first three rings came in 2015, 2017 and 2018, when Golden State was dynastic and reached the final five times in a row.
“They are all unique, they are all special” coach Steve Kerr talked about several titles. “Perhaps that was the most unlikely. … It takes a group effort to do that, and we had a great group.”
Injuries, including two-and-a-half-year outs for Thompson, and roster changes changed everything. But this season, with Thompson back about halfway through, the Warriors are finally back.
Top again too. The champions are once again denying the legendary Celtics what could have been their record-breaking 18th championship, allowing Boston to break the tie with the Los Angeles Lakers and become the most in league history.
This story for the Warriors ended very differently than their last final against Toronto in 2019, when Kevin Durant tore his Achilles tendon in Game 5 and then Thompson tore his cruciate ligament in what was a decisive Raptors victory. in Game. 6.
The fallout from that loss was exacerbated by Durant’s decision to leave that summer as free agents to join the Brooklyn Nets, and an Achilles Thompson injury rehabilitated a knee injury.
“It all paid off” Thompson said. “Those were dog days, a lot of tears were shed. … You knew it was possible, but see it in real time. … This is madness.”
This pushed the Golden State team into a makeover that turned into a reboot. The Warriors used their two-year hiatus from major NBA tournaments to retool their roster, adding a former first draft pick in Andrew Wiggins, who scored in his first Finals, and another rising star in Jordan Poole.
“This hit is definitely different, knowing what the last three years have meant, what it’s been like,” Curry said. “Injuries, changing of the guard, squads, young guys. … Now we have four championships. Me, Dray, Clay and Andre.
“Finally Got This Bad Boy” Curry added, referring to the MVP trophy. “It’s special. … In this process, everyone mattered.”
Yes, everything clicked.
This is Kerr’s ninth championship after five victories as a player. He is the sixth coach to win four titles, joining Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach, John Kundla, Gregg Popovich and Pat Riley.
Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 34 points, while Jason Tatum finished with just 13, shooting only 6 of 18 from the field. Boston also had 22 turnovers, falling to 1-8 this postseason with 16 or more passes.
It was just Boston’s fifth loss in 22 title streak games that turned the season around and gave them a shot at that crown. Boston was 25-25 after 50 games and then tearfully made it to the Finals and nearly won what could have been the franchise’s second championship since 1986.
This was the third season in a row that the global COVID-19 pandemic has affected the situation, and although the situation was closer to normal, the photos and videos of the championship celebration will serve as an eternal reminder that the virus is still a problem.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver could not attend the game because he remained on league health and safety protocols related to the virus. The revamped Larry O’Brien Trophy—a golden memento given to the NBA champions—was instead given to the Warriors by Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum.
Boston trailed by as much as 22 points, but bounced back and reduced the gap to eight. Jaylen Brown’s three-pointer made it 86–78 with 5:33 left in the game, but the Warriors held on to the lead.
“Just couldn’t stand their runs” Celtics center Robert Williams made the announcement. “Confusion. Today they played harder and won.”
Curry sent the Boston fans to the exits with his sixth 3rd of the night to give the Warriors a 15-point lead, 96-81, and then folded his hands in front of his face as he ran back down the court, signaling the end of Boston’s hopes. about the extension of the series.
“We had so many great players. Kerr said, “But Steph is ultimately the reason this run is happening.”
The Warriors went 19 of 45 from the three-point line. … Improved to 20-1 when Green makes a 3-pointer.
Boston’s 13-point loss marked the first non-square final. … Former Celtic Ray Allen, a member of Boston’s last championship team in 2008, was sitting by the court. Hall of Famer Robert Parish was also in attendance.
Mileage and response
The Celtics opened fire using the energy of TD Garden’s deafening crowd to take a quick 14–2 lead.
Golden State held their own and responded with a 35-8 streak that stretched into the second quarter on their way to a 22-point lead. The Warriors beat the Celtics 27–17 during that period to take a 54–39 lead in the second half as some Celtics fans booed the home team as they left the court.
Boston fought back in the third, but the Warriors found their range from behind the arc, connecting six triples in the quarter.