NBA Finals

Stephen Curry, Warriors close out Celtics for 4th title in 8 years

Stephen Curry, Warriors close out Celtics for 4th title in 8 years

TOP GUNS. Warriors star Steph Curry defends Celtics counterpart Jayson Tatum.

Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Steph Curry and the Warriors return to the top, just two seasons after finishing with a league-worst record

Stephen Curry scored 34 points and the Golden State Warriors returned to NBA glory with a 103-90 victory over the host Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the Finals to win their first championship in four years.

Andrew Wiggins scored 18 points and Jordan Poole added 15 as Golden State won its fourth title in eight seasons.

“I’m so proud of our group,” an emotional Curry said after the win, adding, “… at the beginning of the season nobody thought we would be here except everybody on this court.”

The Warriors came out on top just two seasons after finishing a league-worst 15-50 after injuries to both Curry and Klay Thompson, who scored 12 on just 5-of-20 shooting in the finale of the best-of-seven finals on Thursday, June 16 (Friday, June 17, Manila time).

Both stars were in good health and on top of the world in Game 6, standing side by side during a team hug after the final buzzer. Draymond Green contributed 12 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists for the Warriors, who won despite shooting 41.3% from the field.

“We were so far away from it,” Curry said.

“We hit rock bottom with injuries and the long road of work ahead and trying to fill in the right pieces and the right guys. You can’t ever take this for granted because you never know when you’re going to get back here.”

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 only blemish on the Warriors’ day was brief, when they trailed 14-2 after four minutes following a 12-0 run by the Celtics. Boston led 22-16 late in the first quarter before the Warriors erupted for a 21-0 run to take a 37-22 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining in the half.

When Curry drilled three three-pointers in the first six minutes of the third quarter, Golden State pushed its lead past the 20-point mark at 72-50. Curry shook his head in the affirmative and began pointing to his ring finger.

The Celtics finally pulled within single digits at 74-65 on a three-point play by Al Horford with 44.1 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 three-pointer with 3:17 remaining for a 96-81 lead.

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After an opening-round sweep of the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs, the Celtics went just 4-6 on their home court the rest of the way.

“It’s gonna hurt, and it’ll hurt for a while. That stuff never goes away,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. “That was part of the (postgame) message: Let it propel us forward after the experience and growth and progress we made this season.”

It is the seventh title overall for the Warriors franchise, which was founded in Philadelphia in 1946 as one of the original members of the Basketball Association of America.

The Warriors also captured the league’s first championship in the 1946-1947 season. –