Stephen Curry has won the first Magic Johnson Western Conference finals MVP award. Curry helped lead the Golden State Warriors to a 4-1 series victory over the Dallas Mavericks by averaging 23.4 points and 7.4 assists for the series. The Warriors closed out the series on their home floor Thursday with a 120-110 win.
The victory sent Golden State back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2019, capping a three-year rebuild in which the Warriors reloaded following the departure of Kevin Durant in free agency. Their first season without him was marred with injuries as the Warriors finished with the worst record in the NBA. Last season was better, but Golden State couldn't even escape the play-in round. But now, with a healthy roster and the lessons of two lottery seasons learned, the Warriors are headed back to the mountaintop behind Curry.
There's something especially special about this award going to Curry considering his history in the Finals. He is a three-time NBA champion, but has infamously failed to win the Finals MVP award. He lost out to Andre Iguodala in 2015 and then Durant in 2017 and 2018, and when the titles were flowing, it seemed inevitable that Curry would eventually get the chance to be recognized individually for his greatness. Once the Warriors fell out of the playoffs without Curry, that inevitability turned into the possibility that he might never win an individual postseason trophy. Now, at last, that has been rectified.
Of course, there are still two major trophies left to be awarded. Curry is focused on the one he's already won three times. The Warriors will face either the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, and with home-court advantage, Golden State figures to be an early favorite. If the Warriors do manage to win championship No. 4, Curry will be in the running for that elusive Finals MVP award as well. Whether he wins it or not, any lingering doubts about his ability to lead the Warriors back to the Finals without Durant have now been erased. The guard that has dominated the past decade of Western Conference history has now fittingly won its first Conference finals MVP award.