BOSTON – The Golden State Warriors clinched their fourth NBA title in eight years by defeating the Boston Celtics 103-90 tonight at TD Garden.
After scoring just 16 points in Game 5, Stephen Curry scored 34 points for the Warriors, who returned to the top of the NBA mountain after having the league’s worse record just two seasons ago following five straight trips to the Finals.
Curry shot 12-for-21 from the field, including six three-pointers, to go along with seven assists and seven rebounds while being named Finals Most Valuable Player.
“God is great,” an emotional Curry said postgame. “The ability to be on this stage and play with amazing teammates against a great Boston Celtics team that gave us everything to try to get to the finish line…this one [championship] hits different for sure, just knowing what the last three years have meant.”
Andrew Wiggins added 18 points, and Jordan Poole scored 15 points off the bench.
“Man, it feels good. It feels amazing,” said Wiggins. “You put in so much work, so much time, to make it here, and you know, the end result is becoming a champion. So, there’s nothing like it. So now I’m going to celebrate like crazy.”
Draymond Green, who joined Dale Davis as the only players to foul out in three Finals games, nearly had a triple-double in the championship clincher finishing with 12 points, eight assists, and 12 rebounds. Green was 0-for-12 from three-point range this series before drilling two from downtown tonight.
Klay Thompson scored 12 points but finished 5-for-20 from the field.
“I saw it in the beginning of season,” said Thompson. “People called me crazy. I said championship or bust, because I saw how we came out of the gate, 18-2. And playing just that Warriors brand of basketball that made us so successful, and then knowing I was going to be inserted in that, I knew we had a chance to do something special, and here we are. It’s so incredible. Wow.”
Curry, along with Thompson, Green, and Andre Iguodala earned their fourth championship. The first three championships came in 2015, 2017 and 2018. The Warriors join the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls as the only franchises to win four championships within an eight-year span.
For Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, tonight’s win earned him his ninth championship overall after winning five as a player. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kerr is the sixth head coach in league history to win four championships, joining Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach, John Kundla, Gregg Poppovich, and Pat Riley.
“I think this one [championship] may have been the most unlikely from the standpoint of where we’ve been the last couple of years,” Kerr said. “A lot of unknowns, the injury to Klay, Draymond at the end of the year, Steph at the end of the year. A lot of young guys, a new core, or a new group around our core, I should say…But it takes a full team effort to do this, and we just had a great group who do get it done.”
Jalen Brown led the Celtics with 34 points, Al Horford scored 19 points and Jayson Tatum added 13 points on a rough shooting night finishing 6-for-18 the field. Boston committed 22 turnovers, which dropped them to 1-8 this postseason when committing 16-plus turnovers. The Celtics were 3-0 in elimination games this postseason heading into Game 6.
“I learned so much during this playoff run,” said Brown. “Coming from not playing last year after wrist surgery, coming into this year’s playoffs just being grateful for the opportunity. Stings to come up short, but there’s a lot to learn and the future is bright.”
Boston jumped out to an early with a 14-2 lead in the first quarter behind a strong frenzied crowd at TD Garden. Golden State unfazed, engineered a 35-8 run that stretched into the second quarter that saw them lead by as much as 22 points. The Warriors outscored Boston 27-17 in the frame and carried a 53-39 into the third quarter.
“It’s going to hurt. It will hurt for a while,” said Celtics head coach Ime Udoka. “Probably that stuff never goes away. I’ve lost one before. That was part of the message. Let it propel us forward, the experience. Growth and progress that we made this season. Obviously, getting to your ultimate goal and fall a few games short is going to hurt. There are a lot of guys in there, very emotional right now.”
The Celtics battled back, going on a 16-4 run in the third quarter to cut Golden State’s lead to 76-66 entering the fourth quarter. Boston did get the Warriors lead under single-digits after Jalen Brown’s three-pointer with 5:33 left to play, but Golden State never trailed the remainder of the game.
Photo by Warriors/Twitter