7 takeaways as Steph Curry and Warriors beat Celtics to win NBA title

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“Every possession has a purpose. It seems the other dressing room has realized that.”

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Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors celebrates against the Boston Celtics. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Here are the takeaways as the Warriors defeated the Celtics 103-90 in Game 6, ending an impressive Finals run.

1. Before we get to the Celtics (and I promise you we will), we probably need to have a real conversation about where Steph Curry lands in the top 10 (because he’s unquestionably one of the top 10 players ). He breaks the game in a way that no one has broken before him and no one has broken since, even though the 3-point shot takes over the game. He’s the greatest shooter we’ve ever seen, and no one is close, but he’s also an elite ball handler, an elite passer, an elite finisher and an increasingly solid defender. . He is a flawless offensive basketball player who holds his ground on the defensive end.

And in the end, Curry scored 34 points in Thursday’s closing game against the Celtics, including six 3-pointers. For six games he continued to bend and augment the Celtics’ league-best defense until they crumbled.

That’s what happens when you take on a superstar who is still at the peak of his powers, even at 34, because there’s no denying what Curry just did. He may not have had his best regular season, but he led the Warriors through the playoffs and decimated a very tough opponent in the Finals.

“We have four championships,” Curry marveled at his post-match press conference. “God is awesome, the ability to be on that stage and play with amazing teammates against a great Boston Celtics team that gave us everything to try and get to the finish line.

“This one hits different for sure.”

Give Steph Curry her credit — all of it. He has now won four titles, and while many people want to take credit for two of them, the team he had around him this year should more than make up the difference.

2. Once again, turnovers and offensive rebounds were a major issue for the Celtics on Thursday. As a team, they finished with a staggering 22 turnovers and the Warriors grabbed 15 offensive rebounds – several of which resulted in 3-pointers from Jordan Poole and Curry. After a late third-quarter run that cut a big lead to 10, the Celtics started the fourth with another turnover.

As great as Curry has been in this series, there’s no denying how far the Celtics have thrown the ball — and possibly the series — far.

“Every possession is useful,” said Robert Williams. “It seemed like the other dressing room realized that; We did not do it. They had meaning in everything they did.

3. Jayson Tatum ended a disappointing performance in the Finals with 13 points on 6-for-18 shooting and five turnovers. The Warriors got a hold of him and seemed to push him out of his comfort zone.

Jaylen Brown played hard and kept the Celtics alive with 34 points on 12-for-23 shooting, but he too struggled with five turnovers as the Celtics offense crumbled.

Brown was asked about his message for Tatum after the game.

“I just gave her a hug, man,” Brown said. “I know it was a tough last game. I know, obviously it was a game that we felt like we could have won. It stings that we didn’t play to our potential. This game, the last game for us.

“But that’s how it is. You have to learn from it and move on. As tough as it is, it’s been a great year, a great journey. At the start of the season, nobody thought we’d be there. Two games away from doing something special.

“Everyone is like, ‘Man, we really could have done this, we really had the opportunity. Yes, we did. It just wasn’t our time.

4. Udoka expects Tatum to learn from his experience – Tatum shot well from 3-point range at 45.5%, but he shot 36.7% overall as the Warriors choked him out inside the arch.

“You’re a first-team All-Star, All-NBA guy for a reason,” Udoka said. “That’s just the beginning of how you’re going to be kept and how much attention you’re going to get. One thing that he’s always done throughout the season was see several different covers and understand. He did that throughout the first series. He was a tough. Very consistent team that did certain things to limit him and make others pay.

“For him it’s just about continuing to grow and understanding that you’re going to see that the rest of your career. This is just the start.”

5. Robert Williams was asked what he needs to do to come back healthy next year and if he needs any other procedures.

“Rest,” Williams said simply.

6. Al Horford made his first Finals appearance, and he tried to keep the Celtics alive in the second half – he scored 12 of his 19 points in the third quarter and went 4 for 5 from the field, 3 for 4 from three. But the Warriors punished the Celtics greats with their quick, skilled guards throughout the series.

“It’s tough,” admitted Horford. “Obviously for me, looking at this great opportunity before us, it just wasn’t for us this year. We fought really hard.

“I feel like we can hold our heads up high. We gave everything we could. For my part, I look forward to next year. It’s a great summer for us as a team, individually, to improve, to improve and to take ourselves to another level.

7. For the Celtics – and their fans – this loss will hurt a lot… a lot. It should. Endgames don’t happen often, and when they end in defeat, you can’t help but wonder if an opportunity has been missed forever.

“Probably this stuff never goes away,” Udoka said. “I’ve already lost one. It was part of the message. Let it propel us forward, experience. The growth and progress we’ve made this season. Obviously, reaching your ultimate goal and missing a few matches is going to hurt. There are a lot of guys in there, very emotional right now. …

“Just don’t come back in the same way as the players, the coaching staff. Let that fuel you through the offseason into next year.

But as the summer wears on, fans (and, frankly, the Celtics themselves) should remember what they have in this squad – a largely homegrown group of likeable players who have improved dramatically over their tenure. career. Tatum, Brown, Williams, Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard should all be around for a while. Al Horford should be back next year. The Celtics are in a position to have a run again, and next year they can be judged for what happens to their core going forward.

For now, the Celtics were a behemoth that turned the season around and made a deep run. They’re Eastern Conference champions who fell short (admittedly disappointingly) against one of the greatest players of all time who put an exclamation mark on a dynastic run.

The loss might make celebration impossible, but this team has received great appreciation from everyone who has paid attention all season.

“We know how it feels to get to this point,” Tatum said. “Like Smart said, getting here and not accomplishing it is tough. You don’t want to feel like this anymore, but you want to come back here.

“So to answer your question, yes, it’s going to power us.”

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