NBA

Warriors Beat Celtics 103-90 To Win 4th NBA Title In 8 Years

Jun 17, 2022, 9:35 AM

Golden State Warriors - 2022 NBA Finals...

Stephen Curry #30 and Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors celebrate after defeating the Boston Celtics 103-90 in Game Six of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden on June 16, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

BOSTON (AP) — The Golden State Warriors are NBA champions once again, topping the Boston Celtics 103-90 on Thursday night for their fourth title in the last eight seasons.

Stephen Curry scored 34 points and was named the NBA Finals MVP as the Warriors claimed the franchise’s seventh championship overall. And this one completed a journey like none other, after a run of five consecutive finals, then a plummet to the bottom of the NBA, and now a return to greatness just two seasons after having the league’s worst record.

“We found a way to just get it done,” Curry said after the Warriors accepted the championship trophy and celebrated on the court.

With tears in his eyes and hoarse with emotion, Curry struggled to speak as he explained what allowed the Warriors to capture their latest crown.

“It’s part of a championship pedigree, our experience,” he said. “We built this for 10-11 years. That means a lot when you get to this stage.”

For Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, it’s a fourth championship. The first three rings came in 2015, 2017 and 2018, when Golden State was dynastic and made five consecutive trips to the finals.

“They’re all unique, they’re all special,” coach Steve Kerr said of the multiple titles. “This one might have been the most unlikely. … It takes a group effort to get it done and we had a great group.”

Injuries, including ones that sidelined Thompson for 2 1/2 years, and roster changes changed everything. But this season, with Thompson returning around the midway point, the Warriors were finally back.

Back on top, too. Champions, again, denying the storied Celtics what would have been their record 18th championship, one that would have allowed Boston to break a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most in league history.

This tale for the Warriors ended much differently than what was their most recent finals appearance against Toronto in 2019, one that saw Kevin Durant tear his Achilles tendon in Game 5 and then Thompson tear his ACL in what became the Raptors’ title-clincher in Game 6.

The aftermath of that loss was exacerbated by Durant’s decision to leave that summer in free agency to join the Brooklyn Nets and Thompson’s own Achilles injury while rehabilitating his knee injury.

“It all paid off,” Thompson said. “It was dog days, a lot of tears shed. … You knew it was a possibility, but to see it in real time. … It’s crazy.”

It thrust a Golden State team into a rebuild that became a reload. The Warriors used their two-year hiatus from the NBA’s biggest stages to retool their roster – adding a past No. 1 draft pick in Andrew Wiggins, who excelled in his first finals, along with another rising star in Jordan Poole.

“This one hits different for sure knowing what the last three years meant, what it’s been like,” Curry said. “Injuries, the changing of the guard, rosters, the young guys. … Now, we got four championships. Me, Dray, Klay and Andre.

“Finally got that bad boy,” Curry added, referring to the MVP trophy. “It’s special. … Everybody mattered in that process.”

Yes, it all clicked.

For Kerr, it’s a ninth championship overall after winning five as a player. He’s the sixth coach to capture four titles, joining Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach, John Kundla, Gregg Popovich and Pat Riley.

Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 34 points but Jayson Tatum finished with just 13, shooting just 6 of 18 from the field. Boston also committed 22 turnovers, dropping to 1-8 this postseason when committing 16 or more.

It was just the fifth defeat in 22 title-series appearances for Boston, which turned its season around to have a chance at this crown. Boston was 25-25 after 50 games, then went on a tear to get to the finals and nearly claim what would have been just the franchise’s second championship since 1986.

It was the third consecutive season where things were affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and while things were closer to normal, pictures and video of the championship celebration will serve as a forever reminder that the virus was still an issue.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver could not be at the game because he remained in the league’s health and safety protocols related to the virus. The redesigned Larry O’Brien Trophy – the golden souvenir given to the NBA champions – was presented to the Warriors by deputy commissioner Mark Tatum instead.

Boston trailed by as many as 22 points but battled back and cut the deficit to eight. A Jaylen Brown 3-pointer made it 86-78 with 5:33 to play, but the Warriors never relinquished the lead.

“Just couldn’t withstand their runs,” Celtics center Robert Williams said. “Messing up. They played harder and won tonight.”
Curry sent Boston fans streaming toward the exits with his sixth 3 of the night to give the Warriors a commanding 15-point lead, 96-81 — then clasped his hands against face as he ran back down the court, signaling an end to Boston’s hopes of extending the series.

“We’ve had so many great players,” Kerr said, “but Steph, ultimately is why this run happens.”
___
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

NBA

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson celebrates an in-season tournament win highlights...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes Player Highlights: Utah’s Other Veterans In 2023-24 Season

Although Lauri Markkanen and Collin Sexton stole the show for Utah, some other Jazz veterans played key roles in the 2023-24 season.

2 days ago

Bronny James Utah Jazz 2024 NBA Draft...

Chandler Holt

Utah Jazz Reportedly Have Interest In Working Out, Drafting Bronny James

According to Yahoo Sports, the Utah Jazz have expressed interest in working out Bronny James and selecting him in the 2024 NBA Draft.

3 days ago

Quin-Snyder-Dejounte-Murray-Atlanta-Hawks...

Andrew Seligman, AP

Hawks Win NBA Lottery In Year Where There’s No Clear Choice For No. 1 Pick

The Hawks won the NBA draft lottery, landing the No. 1 pick and a potential cornerstone player in a year where there’s no clear-cut choice.

7 days ago

Glen Davis Boston Celtic NBA insurance...

Associated Press

Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis Sentenced To 40 Months For Defrauding NBA Insurance Plan

Glen Davis was sentenced to 40 months in a federal prison for his participation in a scheme that defrauded an insurance plan for NBA players.

10 days ago

Frank-Vogel-Phoenix-Suns-NBA...

Kellan Olson, Arizona Sports

Head Coach Frank Vogel Fired By Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns have fired head coach Frank Vogel after one season, the team announced Thursday afternoon.

10 days ago

Nikola Jokic - Denver Nuggets...

TIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball Writer

Nikola Jokić Wins Third Career NBA MVP Award

Nikola Jokic was announced Wednesday night as the NBA's Most Valuable Player — his third time winning the award in the past four seasons.

11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Give-A-Thon

The KSL Sports Zone, KSL 5 TV, FM100.3, 103.5 The Arrow, and KSL NewsRadio have teamed up to raise money for the kids being served by Primary Children’s Care!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Warriors Beat Celtics 103-90 To Win 4th NBA Title In 8 Years