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Warriors win NBA Finals on the back of Steph Curry, eliminating Celtics in Game 6

The Warriors (and Steph Curry) are back at the top of the NBA!

Steph Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

How does it feel Dub Nation? The Golden State Warriors have won the 2021-22 NBA Finals after defeating the Boston Celtics 103-90 in Game 6 of the series. On Boston’s home floor, the Warriors delivered a convincing series-clinching victory en route to their first NBA title since 2018.

They now have won four championships in the past eight NBA seasons.

The Celtics jumped ahead early. Aided by multiple Warriors turnovers, Boston converted their open looks and jumped out to an early 14-2 lead. With their backs against the wall, it looked like the Celtics were delivering an elite performance, ready to force a Game 7.

But then the Dubs hit back.

If there’s been any lesson from these 2022 NBA Finals, it’s been a reminder of how easily great starts can be erased. The Warriors tightened up defensively, quickly adjusting to a Celtics offense that was unusually focused on posting up in the early minutes. Boston, in turn, got sloppy. They committed several ugly turnovers and began showing lackadaisical effort on the other end.

The Warriors were not shooting anyone out of the arena on Thursday. Klay Thompson made a pair of difficult shots to get the ball rolling, but it was once again the Dubs defense, led by an excellent Draymond Green that helped them turn the tides.

Jordan Poole entered the game late in the first quarter and he was the best version of himself. He bent the Celtics' defense to his will, causing problems driving inside, and making open threes when they came his way.

As the Dubs closed in on Boston, Draymond Green knocked down an open corner three. After another stop, Steph Curry nailed a heavily contested shot of his own, and the Warriors led for the first time in the game. They had erased a double-digit lead in less than a quarter and were on the cusp of building one of their own.

Even with Curry on the bench to start the second quarter, Poole kept Golden State’s momentum going. The Warriors ultimately put together a 21-0 run that spanned quarters and sucked all the energy out of the Celtics home crowd. Boston countered and briefly cut the lead to single-digits, but the Warriors closed the half strong, ending the quarter with a 54-39 lead.

Celtics fans probably tried to convince themselves that early foul trouble had forced their best players off the floor for longer than was ideal in the first half. Well rested, a comeback was well within their sights.

But they had lost this series long ago, when Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Jordan Poole struggled through the first four games of the series, but the Warriors still emerged with the series tied at 2 because of Steph’s greatness, or when the Warriors pulled out a pivotal Game 5 victory in spite of Steph’s worst performance of the postseason.

The greatest players only need the briefest flash of light at the end of the tunnel to unlock their deepest reservoirs of greatness. Curry was banged up earlier this series and looked clearly tired throughout his inefficient Game 5, but he was now one half away from another title. As long as he made sure Golden State got across the finish line.

He did exactly that.

Boston’s desperation coming out of the half left them mistake-ridden defensively, leaving Otto Porter Jr. uncontested for multiple threes that quickly killed any of their momentum. Then, with the Celtics barely holding onto life, Curry delivered what felt like a dagger.

The Celtics, to their credit, kept their foot on the gas pedal, though. After Curry’s impressive barrage, the Dubs went cold from deep. Boston began chipping away at the lead, and an Al Horford and-one, brought them within single-digits before the end of the third quarter.

Despite the Warriors impressive runs, the Celtics refused to fold. Golden State led just 76-66 heading into the final quarter of regulation.

With Curry on the bench to start the fourth, the Warriors needed someone to step up offensively. Green had already delivered 10 points, including two made threes, but Draymond was understandably not calling his own number. The Warriors' offense was not firing on all cylinders, but Poole scored four points and Gary Payton II scored once in transition, which was enough to outscore Boston while Steph rested.

Steph returned with just over 8 minutes remaining in regulation with an 82-70 lead. He and Thompson both immediately got open looks from three, but neither could convert.

Yet, with their offense floundering, Green was a whirlwind on the defensive end. It felt like every possession Green was knocking a ball lose, blocking a shot, or stopping someone in transition. With a double-digit deficit, the Celtics needed more than a trickle offensively, but Green prevented that from happening.

Jaylen Brown briefly cut the Warriors' lead to 8, but when the Celtics countered by double-teaming Curry, Wiggins knocked down a three of his own. Still,

Curry finished 12-for-21 from the field (6-for-11 from three) with 34 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and just 2 turnovers in nearly 40 minutes of action. While Curry has deserved NBA Finals MVP honors before, it is fitting that he will win the award this year in his best statistical showing in the NBA’s championship series.

Green was masterful in his own right. While it was far from his best series, Green played a pivotal role in pushing the Dubs across the finish line on Thursday. He recorded 12 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks in one of his best performances of this season.

Poole was a pivotal scorer off the bench, scoring 15 points on 12 shots. Wiggins continued his defensive dominance against Celtics star Jayson Tatum, racking up 4 steals, 3 blocks, 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Thompson did not live up to the legend of “Game 6 Klay,” struggling to 5-for-20 from the field with 12 points, but Payton played a big role in making up for Thompson’s struggles, delivering his usual exceptional perimeter defense.

Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala have now all won four NBA titles in their career. Kevon Looney has now won three championships. The rest of the roster will be receiving their first career rings for being a part of this team.

As the Warriors organization switches their focus to the offseason, Golden State of Mind will be there to cover every step of the way. But for now, let’s enjoy this amazing season of Golden State Warriors basketball.

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