Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors expanded the contours of their legend this Thursday in Boston, putting the finishing touches on their special story of overcoming and winning their fourth ring in eight years. As if that wasn’t enough, they won (103-90) in game six of the tie (4-2) and at home in front of one of the NBA’s most storied fans. Those from San Francisco walked past a few Celtics, who woke up shattered by reality at home, clothed and hungover from a missed opportunity to return so long later to the exclusive club of the chosen few.
Four years have passed since the Warriors lifted their last trophy. Four years that felt like an unfairly long bracket at the end of the game for the triumvirate of its stars: Curry, who for the first time in his career – and predictably – won the MVP trophy for Best Player in the Finals, Klay Thompson and Dramond Green.
They met as boys and have played together for a decade in which they have achieved four championships; three of them ahead of the bracket forced by the departure of Kevin Durant and by a horrific injury suffered by Thompson that left him sidelined for 31 months until his return last January. He’s not yet in the fullest of his abilities, but those helping him today were enough for his team to win a championship that, it’s not too much to stretch the imagination, he tastes particularly glorious will have. This season’s title is the franchise’s seventh, breaking ties with the Chicago Bulls and placing third on the tally (behind the Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, tied 17).
The victory underscores the greatness of Curry, a 34-year-old player who defined an era and changed the direction of a game that has in some ways adapted to his virtues as an infallible and mischievous marksman. On this Thursday, which did not start out as one of its brightest Thursdays, its legend grew a little. The Warriors guard made a disappointing start to finish as usual: top scorer, level with Celtics Jaylen Brown on 34 points and with seven rebounds, seven assists and six triples in his locker.
As the clock ticked down to the closing seconds of the game, he couldn’t help but hug his father on the sidelines. And then he told the press: “Reaching this championship is particularly exciting, so it cost us to come back here.” His trainer Steve Kerr later confirmed that none of this would have been possible without him. The trio Curry has formed with Thompson and Green over the years pays homage to the heights of some dynasties in the NBA with this win. It remains for futurologists to analyze whether this will be his last hurrah or not.
It just couldn’t be for the Celtics. In a game they only dominated by a breath early on, the Warriors prevailed against a tired local team lacking focus and ideas, brimming with fear and not knowing how to face the occasion , to contest its first final in 12 years. Nor was it encouragement that it had been 14 long years since they last won their championship.
The fans who packed the TD Garden stadium, decked out to the gills in green like the rest of a city dedicated to the Finals, began celebrating every goal, personal foul and rebound as if it were the last, and ended up fainting installed, shaking his head and even booing his own in a few moments at the end of the first half.
Curry, best player
Things were about to get even bigger than their big star, Jayson Tatum, who wasn’t done finding himself in these yet endgamesHe lost an attack ball three and a half minutes before the end of the game. The scoreboard showed a difference of 12 points and the referee whistled for steps. After that, it seemed like his people definitely lowered their arms, and some fans started queuing for the exit. Shouts of “MVP, MVP!” also began. when Curry enjoyed the possession. The TD Garden have had him as their favorite black beast for the past few weeks (with permission from Draymond Green), but at this stadium, the nobility (of basketball) are also signing on. Although it’s true that you didn’t have to be a fortune teller to bet he would win a trophy sadly named after one of Boston’s perpetual glories, Bill Russell, who has won it 11 times.
The city, one of the cities with the greatest basketball tradition in the United States, had believed that this team, made up of young players like Tatum and how he’s capable of the worst and the best in the blink of an eye, would be capable of the to return to the good old days. At least they have the comfort of the road ahead.
And that the Celtics came out very focused and in two minutes they were up 10 (12-2) in a dream start. But then players and fans woke from their sleep and chained an unbearable series of failed attacks. Before they knew it, they were five points down (22-27) at the end of the first quarter. Despite Curry being unusually off-centre, nothing came of it: it took them seven and a half minutes for him to score (a basket that also turned out to be two). In the penultimate game of those first 12 minutes, he scored, yes, one of those three-pointers of his that ignore the laws of physics.
The second quarter began like in a concave mirror with the first. Less than two minutes had passed and the San Francisco side were already 15 points ahead thanks to a 21-0 run in their favor and a Draymond Green that seemed to have finally found its place in the tie five and a half games later. With no reason to celebrate the Celtics, the stadium jumped when it was visited by Gabby Giffords, who was an Arizona congresswoman from 2007-2012. In 2011, she survived a mass shooting and has since become one of the prominent activists against gun violence in the United States, an epidemic that is once again rocking the country.
one last mirage
A time-out then seemed to bring the hosts back to life, who scored seven points for neither Warriors. But it was just a mirage. The visitors came to take a 21-point lead in the second quarter. The matter ended with a margin of 15 in his favor. And the certainty that they had done everything better in the first half without getting too disheveled in the process. They snagged 26 rebounds against the Celtics’ 17, who hit three triples (of 14) compared to their opponents’ 10 (of 23). In other words, at 13 turnovers, they went into halftime with the Celtics widest behind in NBA Finals history.
The third quarter earned the locals the name of Al Horford, who was in the first final of his career last night and was his best along with Jaylen Brown, hitting three straight threes and holding the Celts’ dying flame. They even rose from the grave and for a moment a comeback seemed possible as the hosts managed to close the gap to 10 points by the end of the third quarter. It was just one of those post-mortem reflections that add spice to any wake, but remain just that, a horror.
The final quarter showed once again that the local side arrived more tired than their opponents at this point, having shown their resilience after agonizing qualifying rounds and telling their fans not to give up hope as they suffered back-to-back defeats in games four and two in a row 5 of the finals chained, first in Boston where they really had it in their hands, and then in San Francisco.
The night ended with an image that summed it all up for the Celtics: with the stadium empty, a worker hitting an ice sculpture with a very large hammer celebrating the possibility that they would win their eighteenth ring this year. Disappointment isn’t that feeling you sit back and watch as it slowly melts away.