warrior vs.  Celtics score, takeaways: Stephen Curry leads Golden State to fourth NBA title in eight years

warrior vs. Celtics score, takeaways: Stephen Curry leads Golden State to fourth NBA title in eight years

warrior vs.  Celtics score, takeaways: Stephen Curry leads Golden State to fourth NBA title in eight years

For the fourth time in eight years, the Golden State Warriors are NBA champions after beating the Boston Celtics 103–90 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at TD Garden on Thursday night. After trailing 14-2 to start the game, the Warriors finally took control of things, thanks to a 30-8 run that stretched from the end of the first quarter to the second.

While the Celtics were eventually able to narrow the fourth quarter deficit to single digits, Stephen Curry and the Warriors would not be denied another championship, as they seemingly had an answer for every run Boston made on the stretch. In the end, Curry once again led the way for Golden State on the offensive side. He finished the series win with a team-high 34 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, adding another chapter to his already storied career. The rest of the Warriors were of great help to Curry as Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson all scored in double digits as well.

On the other hand, the Celtics were led by Jaylen Brown, who went all out with 34 points, seven rebounds and three assists, but unfortunately for the Boston fans it wasn’t enough to extend their season one more game. Going forward, the Celtics front office will have to figure out a way to push this group over the hump, but tonight is all about the Warriors expanding their dynasty.

1. Curry conquers Elusive Finals MVP

It was no surprise when Curry’s name was named as the winner of the Bill Russell Finals MVP award† It was even less surprising that he was a unanimous roster to win it. That’s exactly how dominant Curry’s performance was over the six-game run. His 43-point burst in Game 4 is the sole reason the Warriors managed to take a win and cut the series down to two games apiece. If it wasn’t for every bucket he made in that game, the Warriors are probably going 3-1 down this series and we’re in a very different position today.

For most of the series, the Warriors struggled to get a consistent production from guys like Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Jordan Poole, but Curry remained a constant in every win and loss. It’s not just his scoring that helped the Warriors to a title, but also the pull he has when he’s on the floor is what makes him so dangerous. Being lethal as soon as he crosses the half court, he draws so much attention from the defense, opening up opportunities for other guys on the floor. It forced the Celtics to make tough defense decisions throughout the run, whether to double Curry or play straight up, drop cover in pick and rolls or fight across the top of screens. All that confusion led to buckets for Curry and his teammates.

While Curry was the obvious choice for the award, winning it is a significant moment as it is his first Finals MVP of his career. While the future Hall of Fame warden has two regular season MVP awards to his name, and now has four championships to his name, he never won Finals MVP for any of the last three rings the Warriors won. Andre Iguodala won the honor in 2015, while Kevin Durant won it in consecutive years in 2017 and 2018.

But this time it was undeniably all Curry’s and he capped it off with a signature performance in Game 6 where he went 6 of 11 from deep into a night of 34 points, seven assists and seven rebounds. It was the fourth time in this series that Curry has scored more than 30 points, taking him to 32.5 career points per game in titles to win the title. That ranks second all-time in NBA history in closeout title games, behind only Michael Jordan, per ESPN stats and info.

2. Warriors showed how scary a team they can be

Although the Warriors blew out the Celtics in Game 2 of this series, we really never got to see the version of the Warriors in this series who can punish their opponent into submission. We saw that in the Western Conference finals on numerous occasions against the Mavericks, as well as in the first round against the Denver Nuggets, but for the most part, the Celtics held out against this powerful Warriors team.

That was until Thursday evening. Throughout all six minutes of Game 6, the Warriors put together a masterpiece of performance at both ends of the floor to outdo the Celtics. At some point in the second quarter, Golden State went on a 21-0 run to completely change the momentum of the game. It gave the Warriors a 15-point lead and from that point on, they never looked back. That run also happened to be the longest run in a finals match in the competition’s last 50 years. The previous highlight was a 20-0 run… also by the Warriors during the 2019 Finals against the Raptors.

That 21-0 run included this dynastic Warriors team. A team that prides itself on the mantra ‘strength in numbers’. It wasn’t just Curry getting to work that sparked that run. Five different Warriors players scored buckets during that run to make the Celtics giddy. It’s that kind of depth and selflessness with the ball that makes this Warriors team so hard to beat, and it showed in Game 6.

3. Celtics Couldn’t Get Their Own Way…again

If you want to look at one statistic to see why the Celtics lost this game, look at the fact that they turned the ball 22 times. For context, in the two games Boston won in this series, it averaged 12 turnovers in those matchups. In the three defeats prior to this one, it averaged 17 turnovers per game. While some teams may be able to overcome those trends, the Celtics were not one of them in this series. The worst part is the fact that many of their turnovers are casual errors, with guys like Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum simply being careless with the ball as they drifted to the edge or panicking when the defense pressured them.

Turnover aside, however, the Celtics really struggled to respond to the Warriors runs until the fourth quarter, when it was a bit too late. Tatum only scored three points in the second half after 11 in the first half, Smart went off the field only 4 out of 12 for nine points and their bench generated just six points in total. Brown was the only Celtics player to really do well tonight, but his 34 points alone weren’t nearly enough to get past a Warriors team playing their best basketball at the right time.

While this will be a tough pill to swallow during the off-season, the Celtics will once again be in the mix of championship contenders next season. This was a team that caught fire at the right time in the second half of the season, and over the playoffs repeatedly overcame adversity to get here. While it wasn’t the outcome they wanted, this experience will only help them better prepare for next season.

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