Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry was named Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals on Thursday after leading his team to a 4-2 triumph over the Boston Celtics in the championship series.
Curry secured his fourth title, but it marked the first time in seven Finals appearances that he captured one of the few accolades previously missing from his resume.
"This one is different, for sure," Curry said after the Warriors beat the Celtics 103-90 for the title.
Curry scored 34 points, pulled down seven rebounds and handed out seven assists. His series average of 31.2 points, six rebounds and five assists per game marked his best numbers in a Finals.
"Without him, none of this happens," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Curry's contribution to four titles in eight years. "Steph ultimately is why this run has happened. I'm happy for everybody, but I'm thrilled for Steph.
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 were dynastic and made five consecutive trips to the finals.
“They’re all unique, they’re all special,” 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 two-and-a-half years, and roster changes changed everything. But this season, with Thompson returning around the midway point, the Warriors were finally back.
Jaylen Brown scored 34 points and Al Horford added 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Celtics, who were making their first NBA Finals appearances since 2010. Boston last won the championship in 2008.
Celtics star Jayson Tatum was held to 13 points on 6-of-18 shooting.
"We've still got a lot to learn as a group and individually," Brown said. "As much as we may have grown and turned our season around, we still have to learn a lot about the game of basketball.
"It stinks to come up short, but the future is bright."
The Celtics did pull within single digits, at 74-65, on a three-point play by Horford with 44 seconds remaining in the third, and the Warriors were up 76-66 heading into the final quarter.
The Celtics never got inside of eight points the rest of the way as they were done in by 23 turnovers. Curry sealed the victory on a 3-pointer with 3:17 remaining that gave Golden State a 96-81 lead.