BOSTON (AFP, REUTERS) – Stephen Curry scored 34 points and the Golden State Warriors returned to the National Basketball Association’s perch on Thursday (June 16) with a 103-90 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the Finals.
They claimed the best-of-seven NBA Finals series 4-2 for their first championship in four years.
Andrew Wiggins scored 18 points and Jordan Poole added 15 as Golden State won their fourth title in eight seasons. The Warriors came out on top just two seasons after finishing a league-worst 15-50 after injuries to both Curry and Klay Thompson, who scored 12 on just 5-of-20 shooting on Thursday.
Both stars were in good health and on top of the world in Game 6, standing side by side during a team hug after the final buzzer. Curry, who also had seven assists and seven rebounds, was named Finals MVP after averaging 31.2 points in the six games.
“I’m so proud of our group,” an emotional Curry said after the win, adding, “… at the beginning of the season nobody thought we would be here except everybody on this court.
“We were so far away from it.
“We hit rock bottom with injuries and the long road of work ahead and trying to fill in the right pieces and the right guys.
“You can’t ever take this for granted because you never know when you’re going to get back here.”
Draymond Green contributed 12 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for the Warriors, who won despite shooting 41.3 per cent from the field.
Jaylen Brown scored 34 points and Al Horford added 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Celtics, who were making their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010. Boston last won the championship in 2008.
Celtics star Jayson Tatum was held to 13 points on 6-of-18 shooting.
The only blemish on the Warriors’ day was brief, when they trailed 14-2 after four minutes following a 12-0 run by the Celtics. Boston led 22-16 late in the first quarter before the Warriors erupted for a 21-0 run to take a 37-22 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining in the half.
When Curry drilled three three-pointers in the first six minutes of the third quarter, Golden State pushed their lead past the 20-point mark at 72-50. Curry shook his head in the affirmative and began pointing to his ring finger.
The Celtics finally pulled within single digits at 74-65 on a three-point play by Horford with 44.1 seconds remaining in the third, and the Warriors were up 76-66 heading into the final quarter.
The Celtics never got inside of eight points the rest of the way as they were done in by 23 turnovers. Curry sealed the victory on a three-pointer with 3min 17sec remaining for a 96-81 lead.
After an opening-round sweep of the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs, the Celtics went just 4-6 on their home court the rest of the way.
The Warriors are just the second visiting team to lift the trophy on Boston’s home court, after the 1985 Los Angeles Lakers.