Warriors vs. Celtics score, takeaways: Stephen Curry leads Golden State to fourth NBA title in eight years

For the fourth time in the last eight years, the Golden State Warriors are NBA champions after coming away with a 103-90 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at TD Garden on Thursday night. After falling behind 14-2 to start the game, the Warriors ultimately took control of things, thanks to a 30-8 run that stretched from the end of the first quarter into the second.

While the Celtics were ultimately able to cut the deficit to single digits in the fourth quarter, Stephen Curry and the Warriors were not going to be denied another championship as they seemingly had an answer for every run Boston made down the stretch. In the end, Curry, once again, led the way for Golden State on the offensive end. He finished the series-clinching win with a team-high 34 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, adding yet another chapter to his already storied career. The rest of the Warriors offered Curry plenty of help as Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson all scored in double figures as well. 

On the other end, the Celtics were led by Jaylen Brown, who did all he could with 34 points, seven rebounds and three assists, but unfortunately for Boston fans, it wasn't enough to extend their season one more game. Going forward, the Celtics' front office will need to figure out a way to push this group over the hump but tonight is all about the Warriors extending their dynasty. 

1. Curry captures elusive Finals MVP

It was no surprise when Curry's named was called as the winner of the Bill Russell Finals MVP award. It was even less surprising that he was a unanimous selection to win it. That's just how dominant a performance Curry put on over the six-game series. His 43-point outburst in Game 4 is the sole reason the Warriors managed to pull out a win and tie the series back up at two games apiece. If it weren't for every bucket he made in that game, the Warriors likely go down 3-1 in this series and we're in a very different position today.

For most of the series, the Warriors struggled to get consistent production out of guys like Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Jordan Poole, but Curry remained a constant in every win and loss. It's not just his scoring that helped lift the Warriors to a title, but also the gravitational pull he has whenever he's on the floor that makes him so dangerous. Because he's lethal as soon as he crosses halfcourt, he draws so much attention from the defense, which opens up scoring opportunities from other guys on the floor. It forced the Celtics to make tough decisions on defense throughout the series, whether to double Curry or play straight up, show drop coverage in pick-and-rolls or fight over the top of screens. All of that confusion led to buckets for Curry and his teammates.  

Though Curry was the obvious choice for the award, him winning it is an important moment as its his first Finals MVP of his career. Though the future Hall of Fame guard has two regular-season MVP awards to his name, and now four championships under his belt, he never won Finals MVP for any of the last three rings the Warriors won. Andre Iguodala won the honor back in 2015, while Kevin Durant won it in back-to-back years in 2017 and 2018.

But this time around it was undeniably all Curry's and he capped it off with a signature performance in Game 6, where he went 6 of 11 from deep en route to a 34-point, seven-assist, seven-rebound night. It was the fourth time in this series that Curry scored over 30 points, and it puts him at 32.5 career points per game in title-clinching games. That ranks second all-time in NBA history in closeout title games, trailing only Michael Jordan, per ESPN Stats and Info. 

2. Warriors showed just how scary of a team they can be

Though the Warriors blew the Celtics out in Game 2 of this series, we really never got to see the version of the Warriors that can just punish their opponent into submission in this series. We saw that in the Western Conference finals on numerous occasions against the Mavericks, as well as in the first round against the Denver Nuggets, but for the most part the Celtics held their own against this potent Warriors team.

That was until Thursday night. For all but six minutes of Game 6, the Warriors put together a masterpiece of a performance on both ends of the floor to outpace the Celtics. At one point in the second quarter, Golden State went on a 21-0 run to completely alter the momentum of the game. It gave the Warriors a 15-point lead, and they never looked back from that point. That run also just so happened to be the longest run in a Finals game in the last 50 years of the league. The previous high was a 20-0 run ... also by the Warriors during the 2019 Finals against the Raptors.

That 21-0 run encapsulated this dynastic Warriors team. A squad that prides itself on the "strength in numbers" mantra. It wasn't just Curry going to work that sparked that run. Five different Warriors players scored buckets during that run to dizzy the Celtics. It's that type of depth and unselfishness with the ball that makes this Warriors team so difficult to beat, and that showed in Game 6. 

3. Celtics couldn't get out of their own way ... again

If you want to look at one stat to see why the Celtics lost this game, then look at the fact that they turned the ball over 22 times. For context, in the two games Boston won in this series it averaged 12 turnovers in those matchups. In the three losses prior to this one, it averaged 17 turnovers a game. While some teams can overcome those trends, the Celtics were not one of them in this series. The worst part about it is the fact that a lot of their turnovers are unforced errors, where guys like Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum were just careless with the ball while driving to the rim or panicked when the defense showed them pressure. 

Beyond the turnovers, though, the Celtics really struggled to respond to the Warriors runs until the fourth quarter when it was a little too late. Tatum recorded just three points in the second half after putting up 11 in the first, Smart went just 4 of 12 from the field for nine points and their bench generated just six points total. Brown was the only Celtics player who really had it going tonight, but his 34 points alone wasn't nearly enough to get past a Warriors team that was playing their best basketball at the right time. 

Although this will be a tough pill to swallow over the offseason, the Celtics will be in the mix of championship contenders once again next season. This was a team that started to catch fire at the right time in the second half of the season, and throughout the playoffs they overcame adversity on numerous occasions to get here. While it wasn't the result they wanted, this experience will only help them better prepare for next season.


Warriors NBA championship gear now available

The Golden State Warriors have won their fourth NBA title in the last eight seasons. Now, you can celebrate with championship hats, shirts, hoodies, and more. See the entire collection here.

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Season Leaders

points
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S. Curry27.4 PTS, 5.9 AST, 5.2 REB
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S. Curry27.4 PTS, 5.9 AST, 5.2 REB
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J. Tatum25.6 PTS, 6.2 AST, 6.7 REB
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J. Tatum25.6 PTS, 6.2 AST, 6.7 REB
assists
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D. Green8.0 PTS, 6.3 AST, 7.2 REB
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D. Green8.0 PTS, 6.3 AST, 7.2 REB
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J. Tatum25.6 PTS, 6.2 AST, 6.7 REB
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J. Tatum25.6 PTS, 6.2 AST, 6.7 REB
rebounds
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K. Looney5.8 PTS, 2.2 AST, 7.6 REB
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K. Looney5.8 PTS, 2.2 AST, 7.6 REB
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A. Horford12.0 PTS, 3.3 AST, 9.3 REB
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A. Horford12.0 PTS, 3.3 AST, 9.3 REB
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Full Game 6 highlights:

The Warriors trailed by double digits right out of the gate, but used a 21-0 run -- the longest in a Finals game in 50 years -- to turn the game around. They ended up taking the lead late in the first quarter, and never trailed again. Here's a look at the full highlights from Game 6, as the Warriors clinched their fourth title in eight seasons

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Wiggins: Feels "amazing" to be a champion

Andrew Wiggins wasn't exactly a bust, but he was generally seen as a disappointment given the expectations that were placed on him coming out of college. While he hasn't turned into a superstar, he showed this season that he can be a key player on a championship team. He was the second-best player for the Warriors during this series, and arguably during this entire playoff run. 

Following the game, he shared some of his emotions about finally reaching the mountaintop:

"Man, it feels good. It feels amazing. 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."

"Man, it's amazing. Just have to my family here to experience all the stuff with me, it's been great. My daughter, she's not going to remember this. She's only three. But these are memories for a lifetime. I'm so thankful for that."

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Kerr wants Curry in the Olympics

Steph Curry finally got his Finals MVP on Thursday, checking that item off his to-do list. There is still one major item missing from his resume, however: an Olympic gold medal. Curry has two FIBA World Cup gold medals, but he sat out of the Olympics in both 2016 and 2020 in order to rest. 

Come 2024, Steve Kerr, who will be head coach for that Olympics, wants him in the red, white and blue of Team USA:

"He's missing an Olympic Gold Medal [laughter], and I think he really has to focus on being on the 2024 Olympic Team. That's the last thing for his career. Sorry, I couldn't resist."

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Warriors enjoying the title

The Warriors earned their opportunity to celebrate, and were taking full advantage in the locker room after the game. The goggles were on, the champagne was flowing and Steph Curry and Co. were having a blast. Here's a look inside the celebrations. 

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Tatum doesn't expect to need shoulder procedure

During Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, Jayson Tatum suffered a shoulder injury and briefly left the game. While he returned to action and didn't miss any games during the rest of the playoffs, his shoulder was clearly bothering him. He could often be seen doubled over in pain, clutching at his shoulder and trying to shake it out. 

Only he knows exactly how much it impacted his performance in the Finals, but it certainly didn't help matters. The good news is that Tatum doesn't expect to need any procedures in the offseason. 

"No, I don't think so," Tatum said, when asked directly if he would need any work done. 

He then later declined to place the blame for his sometimes poor play on his shoulder, saying, "It was just a tough night."

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Warriors move into third place on NBA titles list

The Golden State Warriors won their fourth title in eight seasons on Thursday, and their seventh overall as a franchise. That moved them past the Chicago Bulls into third place on the NBA title list. Only the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers -- 17 each -- have more.  

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Curry: Winning this title was overwhelming

Steph Curry shared an embrace with his dad, Dell Curry, and appeared to be in tears after the final buzzer. During his postgame press conference he tried to put into words what winning this title meant to him:

"It was definitely overwhelming. It was surreal because you know how much you went through to get back to this stage, and nobody, unless you've been on that floor, you just grind day-in and day-out."

"Talking about just me personally, my workouts from the off-season last year when we lost in the play-in tournament, it's been a year and six days that I started the process of getting ready for this season. It all paid off. Didn't know how it was going to happen. Didn't know what the environment was going to be like. You imagine what the emotions are going to be like, but it hits different."

June 17, 2022, 4:54 AM
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Steph Curry highlights

Steph Curry closed things out in style, dropping 34 points, seven rebounds and seven assists on the Celtics in Game 6. He shot 12 of 21 from the field, including 6 of 11 from 3-point land, and hit a number of ridiculous shots. Here's a look at his full highlights. 

June 17, 2022, 4:49 AM
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Kerr calls this title a "crowning achievement" for Curry

Every title is great, but this one felt extra special for the Warriors after what had transpired over the past few seasons. Given Kevin Durant's departure and all the injuries they've dealt with, there was no guarantee they would even get back to the Finals with this core. Now, they've won a fourth ring in eight seasons. 

And while head coach Steve Kerr was happy for everyone, he had a special acknowledgement for Curry:

"I've said it so many times, Steph reminds me so much of Tim Duncan. Totally different players. But from a humanity standpoint, talent standpoint, humility, confidence, this wonderful combination that just makes everybody want to win for him."

"So I'm happy for everybody, but I'm thrilled for Steph. To me this is his crowning achievement in what's already been an incredible career."

June 17, 2022, 4:44 AM
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Udoka wants Tatum to learn from defeat

Jayson Tatum had some spectacular moments during this playoff run, but he struggled during this series -- especially with turnovers and finishing at the rim. A hurt shoulder obviously didn't help matters, but he simply wasn't good enough. Celtics head coach Ime Udoka wants Tatum to learn from this defeat:

"You're an All-Star, All-NBA First Team guy for a reason. This is only the start of how you're going to be guarded and the attention you're going to draw."

"For him, it's just continuing to grow and understand you're going to see this the rest of your career. This is just a start. The growth he showed as a playmaker this year and in certain areas, I think this is the next step for him. Figuring that out, getting to where some of the veterans are that have seen everything and took their lumps early in their careers."

June 17, 2022, 4:38 AM
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Warriors, Celtics, Nets favorites for 2023 title

With the 2021-22 season officially in the books, it's now time to start thinking about next season. Always quick off the mark, the sports books have already released championship odds. To little surprise, the Warriors and Celtics are among the top contenders along with the Nets, Bucks and Suns

  • Warriors: +500
  • Celtics: +600
  • Nets: +600
  • Bucks: +750
  • Suns: +800
June 17, 2022, 4:31 AM
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Curry joins elite club with Finals MVP

Steph Curry finally got his hands on the Finals MVP trophy, and in the process joined an elite club. He's now just the sixth player in NBA history to have four titles, multiple MVPs and a Finals MVP. The others are LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Duncan. Pretty good company 

June 17, 2022, 4:24 AM
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Curry unanimous Finals MVP

Curry clearly deserved the Finals MVP this year, as he averaged 31.2 points, six rebounds and five assists, while shooting 48 percent from the field and 41.8 percent from 3-point land. But after the 2015 debacle that is still talked about to this day, no voter wanted to be bold or take a chance. 

Curry received all 11 votes and was named Finals MVP in unanimous fashion. 

June 17, 2022, 4:20 AM
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Warriors first team to beat Celtics in Finals besides the Lakers

The Warriors made all sorts of history on Thursday, including becoming the first team other than the Los Angeles Lakers to beat the Boston Celtics in the Finals. Prior to this series, the Celtics were 17-3 in Finals appearances, and had only lost to the Lakers in 1985, 1987 and 2010. 

June 17, 2022, 4:17 AM
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Williams says knee just needs rest

Robert Williams III has battled through knee issues during this entire playoff run, often playing through some serious pain. Even despite being less than 100 percent, he did all he could in Game 5, finishing with 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and five blocks. 

Now, the focus turns to coming back healthy for the start of next season. The good news for Williams and Celtics fans is that his knee should be fine with some time off. During his postgame press conference, Williams said he doesn't need any further procedures, just "rest." 

June 17, 2022, 4:09 AM
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Wiggins earns a ring

Andrew Wiggins didn't quite live up to the hype surrounding him when he entered the league as the No. 1 overall pick back in 2014. But he found a home with the Golden State Warriors and blossomed into one of their most important players. There's no chance they win the title this season without him. 

He averaged 18.3 points and 8.8 rebounds during the series, while playing some strong defense against Jayson Tatum. Now, after earning his first All-Star appearance earlier this season, he has his first ring. He's now the first No. 1 pick to make their first All-Star Game and win their first title with a team other than the one that drafted them. 

June 17, 2022, 4:03 AM
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"Holy cannoli"

"Game 6 Klay" didn't make an appearance on Thursday night, as Thompson went just 5 of 20 from the field. But while he didn't have his best performance on the floor, Thompson stole the show during the trophy presentation by dropping a "holy cannoli." He is the first, and likely last, player to ever use that phrase after winning an NBA title

June 17, 2022, 3:58 AM
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Curry wins first Finals MVP

Steph Curry can finally check off one of the last major honors missing from his resume. Following the title-clinching Game 6 win, he was <em>named Finals MVP for the first time in his career</em>. He controversially missed out in 2015, while Kevin Durant took home the trophy in 2017 and 2018.

Now, at long last, it's Curry's. He was spectacular in the series, averaging 31.2 points, six rebounds and five assists, while shooting 48 percent from the field and 41.8 percent from 3-point land. Save for the first few minutes of Game 1, the Celtics' defense against him was terrific, but it didn't matter. Curry's shooting was spectacular, and carried the Warriors to the title. 

June 17, 2022, 3:47 AM
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Kerr wins 9th title

Steve Kerr won five titles as a player with the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs, and has now added his fourth as head coach of the Golden State Warriors. As a result, he has become just the seventh player or coach in NBA history to have nine championships. 

June 17, 2022, 3:40 AM
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Celtics will rue missed opportunity

The Celtics were up 2-1 in the series, and had a lead late in the fourth quarter of Game 4. If they could have just held on down the stretch of that game, they might be the ones celebrating a championship tonight. Instead, they lost three straight games and will rue a huge missed opportunity. 

Yes, they have a young, talented core, and should be in the playoff mix for years to come. But getting to the Finals is never easy, and we might look back at this series in five years as their best chance to win a title with this group. 

June 17, 2022, 3:30 AM
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Warriors win fourth title in eight years

Golden State was the dominant team for most of the game, and the Warriors are champions once again after missing the playoffs altogether the last two seasons. Curry put together a masterpiece of a performance not just in Game 6, but over the course of the series to capture his fourth ring. 

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Celtics can't stop turning the ball over

The Celtics' turnover problems were bad in Game 5, and they've somehow been even worse in Game 6. Again, the Warriors have a great defense. That doesn't explain some of the stuff the Celtics are doing out there. They have a whopping 21 turnovers, including 10 from Tatum and Brown, which the Warriors have turned into 17 points

June 17, 2022, 3:19 AM
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Curry's got the MVP within reach

Steph's been cooking all night long. He's draining 3s and discarding Al Horford 1-on-1 nearly every trip down the floor. You would think the Celtics would try to help on the best shooter in league history, because as decent of a job as Horford is doing, Curry's blowing past him every time and it's an automatic bucket every time as a result.  

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Warriors took care of business with Curry on the bench

It wasn't always pretty, and the Warriors would surely like to have a larger lead after being up by 22 points at one point, but Golden State survived the six minutes without Curry in the fourth. They're up 84-72 with just under seven minutes left and given the way Curry's shooting the ball, they should feel pretty good about their odds to finish out this game. 

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Celtics running out of time

The Celtics are still just sort of hanging around, but they haven't been able to cut into the Warriors' lead in the fourth and are now running out of time. Too many turnovers, too many missed layups and shots around the basket. It just hasn't been good enough from the Celtics all night long

June 17, 2022, 3:10 AM
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Celtics not giving up

The Celtics looked buried, and they will probably still lose, but they are not giving up just yet. They closed the quarter on a 16-4 run to cut the deficit to 10 points going into the fourth quarter. There's a long way back, but the crowd is alive again and they've at least given themselves a chance

June 17, 2022, 2:57 AM
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Warriors getting sloppy in the third

Golden State built up a 22-point lead and that's now vanished to just 12 points after a 12-2 run from the Celtics in the third quarter. Warriors have a tendency to ease up off the gas when they're up big, and this is a prime example of that. 

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Celtics getting crushed on the offensive glass

The Celtics have been bad in all aspects of the game tonight, but especially so on the glass. Time and again they've gotten an initial stop, only for the Warriors to come up with an offensive rebound that they turn into points. The Warriors' 12 offensive rebounds have led to 16 second-chance points. 

June 17, 2022, 2:50 AM
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Celtics are done

This game is all over. The Celtics had their chance early and couldn't capitalize. Now, there's no way they're coming back from a 22-point second-half deficit with the Warriors shooting like this. Their defense hasn't even been half bad, but the Warriors are in a zone and shooting with extreme confidence. The Warriors can taste the title and they won't be giving up this lead

June 17, 2022, 2:35 AM
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Curry bouncing back from Game 5

After not recording a 3-pointer in Game 5, which ended a career streak for Steph Curry, he's already made 5 of 6 on the night. He's getting more lift in his shot and he's starting to make those Curry-circus shots that we've grown accustomed to seeing from him. Warriors up 72-50 and are inching closer to a title. 

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