BOSTON — For the fourth time in eight years, the Golden State Warriors were crowned champions when they eliminated the Celtics 103-90 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals Thursday night.
The Warriors won their first title since 2018 and became the first team to climb from the NBA’s worst record to a championship in three seasons. They were the league’s worst 15-50 in 2019-20. Golden State also became only the second team in NBA history to win a championship on Boston’s home court, joining the 1985 Los Angeles Lakers.
Stephen Curry secured Finals MVP honors by scoring 34 points on 12-of-21 shooting in Game 6, including 6-of-11 from 3-point range. He added seven assists, seven rebounds and two steals.
But Thursday night’s title win was a testament to the depth of the Warriors and the number of players who could climb on any given night.
Draymond Green played his best game of the series, scoring 12 points in 5-of-10 shooting, catching 12 rebounds and recording eight assists with two steals and two blocks. He also hit two 3-pointers after missing his first 12 tries of the series. At the other end, however, he struggled. With Green as their main defender, the Celtics shot 9-of-17 off the ground.
Andrew Wiggins continued his strong streak with 18 points, six rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks. Jordan Poole added 15 points from the bench while Klay Thompson scored 12. Gary Payton II only had six points but finished with a net rating of plus 18.
Up to this point, the Warriors have struggled to complete the series this postseason. Heading into Game 6, Golden State was 0-3 in away games, and the Celtics were 3-0 as they faced elimination.
It looked like the same fate would await both early on as Boston took a 14-2 lead after four minutes. But what transpired over the next nine minutes dictated the game and ultimately propelled the Warriors to their seventh doubles. Digit comeback win this postseason. That’s been the strongest of any team in the past 25 postseasons (the 2011 and 2012 Miami Heat both had seven).
With about a minute and a half left in the first quarter, Green hit his first 3-pointer of the series to pull the Warriors within one. Curry followed with a 3-pointer to give the Warriors their first lead. Poole rounded off that sequence with a 29-foot-3 pointer on the next trip.
The Warriors beat the Celtics 35-8 from the middle of the first quarter to the middle of the second, including a 21-0 run that lasted four minutes.
As the Warriors continued to soar, the Celtics fans who made TD Garden one of the hardest arenas to play sank quietly into their seats and the traveling blue and gold fans grew louder and bolder.
The Celtics made several pushes. They even cut the Warriors’ lead to nine towards the end of the third quarter.
Boston continued to make timely shots in the fourth and kept within range. But the Celtics couldn’t get any closer. The Warriors forced stops, then kept hitting shots, and when it came time to knock out the Celtics, they did.
The Warriors stormed the pitch after time was up, with players like Curry, Green and Thompson finally getting back the feeling they’d experienced many times before, while younger players like Wiggins, Poole and Payton II were experiencing it for the first time.
It was a moment that came full circle for Golden State, who won their first title since 2018 and fourth since Steve Kerr became head coach in 2014-15.
Two years after questions about their dynasty arose, the Warriors proved they were still a force. After missing the playoffs twice in a row, they are champions again. Having had the worst record in the league two years ago, they are the best team in the NBA.