It’s hard to separate these warriors from the iterations that immediately preceded them. The 15-win group in 2019-20 was riddled with injuries, most notably Stephen Curry and Clay Thompson. Last year, the team again lacked Thompson, and once again missed the playoffs.
That’s why, ahead of this year’s finals, Curry expressed his appreciation for returning to the sport’s biggest stage. “You look up and all the work you’ve put in over the past two years has paid off,” he said. “All of these things are just built into the context of what happened after Game 6 of the 2019 Finals. And here we are again. So it’s something special.”
On Thursday night, teammates surrounded Curry with tears in their eyes near the Golden State bench as the final signal sounded, ending this year’s Finals as the Warriors won Game 6 against the Celtics 103-90 to clinch the NBA title. -22. The hard work has certainly paid off. While no confetti fell from the ceiling of Boston’s TD Garden onto the arena’s famous flooring, history has made history once again.
With 34 points on 12 of their 21 star guards, the Warriors captured their fourth title in eight years and seventh title for the franchise, one spot ahead of the Bulls. Curry deservedly was named the most valuable player of the series, he was the first time he received such an honor.
“This shot is definitely different,” he said after Game 6, “just knowing what the last three years have meant, what it’s been like, from injuries to the changing of the guard in the roster, passing Wiggs, our young boys carrying the belief that we can come back to this stage and win, even if it didn’t make sense to anyone, when we said it, it all matters.
“And now we have four championships.”
No, not only did Golden State win Game 6 because of their past experience in the Finals, but an early 14-2 road deficit didn’t faze the Western Conference champions. Instead, after taking what turned out to be Boston’s biggest hit, the Warriors slowly found their rhythm. They trailed 22–18 with 2:28 to play in the first quarter before blowing up in a 21–0 streak, the longest in Finals history in 50 years. Golden State led by five after the first quarter and by 15 early in the second. This would have been their advantage over the dressing room at halftime.
Before Game 6, Celtics coach Ime Udoka noted that periods of offensive stagnation had plagued his team throughout the series. Such a struggle was partly due to the problems associated with basketball. On Thursday, after three previous losses to the Warriors, Boston was down 17.7 points on average. He scored 12 points in the first half of Game 6 and 23 per game, the team’s most since 22 October. general.
The Celtics by no means dropped the locker room exit. But with 6:12 to play in the third quarter, Curry returned to his team’s bench, scoring his fifth triple of the competition, extending his team’s lead to 22. In doing so, he pointed to his right ring finger as if he knew another decoration was on the way.
Al Horford’s old-fashioned 3-pointer cut Golden State’s lead to just nine with 44.1 left in third. And while the Celtics didn’t concede their opponent in the fourth round, the battle-tested Warriors never caved in.
Celtics defenseman Jaylen Brown scored three of his team’s 34 points with 5:41 left in the final period to cut the Warriors’ lead to eight, but the Cs didn’t get any closer. As a result, Boston, previously undefeated in three games in a row since December, broke such a series.
Only four current Warriors were on the team that defeated the Cavaliers in the ’15 Finals, the first in the team’s dynastic run: Curry, Thompson, forward Andre Iguodala, and forward Draymond Green, who said he came to realize that such deep post-season runs are not good. promised and should be taken for granted. The four-time All-Star forward struggled for most of this year’s series but had his best performance in the ’22 Finals on Thursday night with 12 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists.
“He’s cocky and he’s who he is, but when you need him, he shows up,” Iguodala said. “And tonight, that triple-double warning was right there.”
As did striker Andrew Wiggins, who ended the team’s fourth win with 18 points, the latest in a string of stellar performances.
“I just wanted to prove everyone wrong,” Wiggins said. “Now I’m the world champion.”
Golden State have won three of their last four titles on the road. But the environment did little to embarrass the Warriors during the 48-minute bout or during the on-court celebration that followed. Curry said he knew before the win what the nerves would be in Game 6 on Thursday. Thompson, who finished with 12 points, confidently stated that this would require the most effort they had put in all year.
“It doesn’t matter what each of us does individually,” he said before the victory. “The main goal is just to win one game.”
They did just that. And along with that, the Warriors, who won the title that coach Steve Kerr called almost the most unlikely, became champions again.
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