The Golden State Warriors are NBA champions once again, beating the Boston Celtics 103-90 on Thursday night, claiming their fourth title in the last eight seasons.
Stephen Curry scored 34 points and was named the NBA Finals MVP as the Warriors won the franchise’s seventh overall championship. And this one has completed a journey like no other, following a run of five straight finals, then a fall to the bottom of the NBA, and now a return to greatness just two seasons after holding the league’s worst record.
For Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, it’s a four-time championship. The first three rings came in 2015, 2017 and 2018 when Golden State was dynastic and made five consecutive trips to the finals.
Injuries, including those that sidelined Thompson for two and a half years, and roster changes changed everything. But this season, with Thompson returning midway through, the Warriors are finally back.
Back to the top too. Champion, again, denying the celebrated Celtics what would have been their 18th championship record, which would have allowed Boston to tie the Los Angeles Lakers as the greatest in league history.
That story for the Warriors ended very differently than what was their last Finals appearance against Toronto in 2019, one that saw Kevin Durant tear his Achilles tendon in Game 5 and then Thompson tear his ACL in what became the deciding title. of Raptors in the game. 6.
The fallout from that loss was exacerbated by Durant’s decision to leave that summer in free agency to join the Brooklyn Nets and Thompson’s own Achilles injury as he rehabilitated his knee injury.
Pushed a Golden State team into a rebuild that became a reload. The Warriors used their two-year hiatus from the NBA’s biggest stages to reorganize their roster – adding a number 1 pick in the previous draft, Andrew Wiggins, who excelled in his first Finals, along with another rising star, Jordan Poole.
Everything clicked. For Golden State coach Steve Kerr, it’s a ninth overall championship after winning five 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. Al Horford added 19. Jayson Tatum finished with 13 points but hit just 6 of 18 from the field. Boston also committed 22 turnovers, dropping to 1-8 this postseason by committing 16 or more.
It was just the fifth loss in 22 games in the series by Boston, which turned their season around for a shot at the title. Boston was on a 25-25 record after 50 games, then went into desperation to reach the finals and nearly win what would only be the franchise’s second championship since 1986.
It was the third straight season that things were affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and while things were closer to normal, photos and videos from the championship celebration will serve as a forever reminder that the virus was still an issue. .
NBA commissioner Adam Silver was unable to be at the game because he stayed on the league’s health and safety protocols related to the virus. The redesigned Larry O’Brien Trophy – the golden souvenir given to NBA champions – was presented to the Warriors by Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum.
Boston trailed by up to 22 points, but managed a 16-4 in the third quarter to reduce the deficit to 76-66 as they entered the fourth.
A 3-point shot by Jaylen Brown made it 86-78 with 5:33 to play, but the Warriors never relinquished the lead.
Warriors: It was 19 of 45 on the 3-point line. … Improved to 20-1 when Green makes a 3-pointer.
Celtics: Former Celtic Ray Allen, a member of Boston’s last championship team in 2008, sat on the court. The Robert Parish Hall of Fame was also in attendance.
A RACE AND A ANSWER
The Celtics stormed out, harnessing the energy of a deafening TD Garden crowd to open up a 14-2 early lead.
Golden State was unfazed and responded with a 35-8 run that stretched into the second quarter en route to building a 22-point lead. The Warriors outscored the Celtics 27-17 in the period and took a 54-39 lead in the second half when some Celtics fans booed the home team as they left the court.
Boston struggled in the third, but the Warriors found their reach beyond the arc, connecting in six 3s in the fourth.
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