Stephen Curry can finally add a Finals MVP to his resume after helping lead the Golden State Warriors to their seventh NBA championship.
Behind a big night from Curry and another stingy defensive effort, the Warriors defeated the Celtics 103-90 in Game 6 at TD Garden on Thursday. Shortly after the confetti fell, Curry was announced as the winner of the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award.
“It means we won. It means we took advantage of the opportunity of getting back here,” Curry said on stage after being serenaded by MVP chants from his teammates. “I hear the chatter. We hear all the chatter. At the end of the day, it’s about what we do on the floor. Ain’t got to talk about it. Just go and do it.”
Curry received all 11 votes from the media to win the award.
Curry has accomplished just about everything in his career, but the Finals MVP trophy had eluded him. In the Warriors’ previous three title runs, Kevin Durant won twice and Andre Iguodala notched the other.
“We were so far away from it — we were here for five straight years and got three of them, then you hit rock bottom with injuries, and the long road of work ahead,” Curry said. “You never take this for granted because you never know when you’re going to be back here, and to get back here and get it done means the world.”
Curry can add the trophy to his Western Conference Finals MVP, which the league rolled out for the first time this season. He entered the Finals as the favorite to win the trophy, despite the Warriors being slight underdogs in the series. He was even money to haul in the award, followed by Jayson Tatum at +180.
Curry joins an elite club of seven other players who have won MVP of the Finals and regular season and have earned a scoring title. The others are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Wilt Chamberlain.
Curry was an absolute weapon for most of the series, making the Celtics pay every time they gave him an inch. His 43-point outing in Game 4 was his signature performance, but Curry cooked up some massive games night in and night out. It started right away, with Curry starting Game 1 by hitting six triples in the first quarter — tied for the most in playoff history since 1996-97, per FiveThirtyEight.
He had a rough shooting performance in Game 5, failing to make a 3-pointer for the first time in his postseason career. However, Curry bounced back in the clinching game with 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting, including a 6-of-10 mark from beyond the arc.
Curry Taunts Boston Crowd During Game 6
Of course, Curry provided a little extra for the crowd in Boston during his hot night in Game 6, pointing to his finger during the third quarter to gesture that he was ready for his fourth championship ring. He also did the “goodnight” celebration late in the fourth quarter with the Warriors pulling away.
Curry and the Celtics fan base went back and forth during the series, with the two-time MVP ratcheting things up a bit when he wore an “Ayesha Curry CAN Cook” shirt to his postgame presser — a response to a sign that went viral from a Boston bar. With this being Curry’s sixth Finals appearance, he was able to have some fun with the situation.
“I’m the petty king so I know all about everything. I use it as entertainment and just have fun with it,” Curry said prior to Game 6. “There’s a lot at stake when it comes to winning championships.
“Maybe back in the day — the first year, first two years — maybe things catch you off guard just because it’s so new. You wonder how these narratives come up, all the distractions pop up here and there. I think the more you get into these environments, the more you use it as entertainment, fun, embrace it.”
Warriors Trio Add to Dynastic Run With Title
The appearance in the Finals was the sixth for the Warriors in eight years. The victory gave them four titles around the core of Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Curry, who don’t appear to be going anywhere any time soon as the franchise continues to add pieces around them.
The trio knows they’re fortunate for being able to keep the core together this long and have continued success in an ever-changing league.
“You know, we built this thing from the ground up, and when you build something from the ground up, that’s your baby, and I think for us, we all appreciate each other and we understand what each of us brings to the table,” Green said prior to Game 6. “It stretches far past what we have accomplished on the basketball court. You’re talking bonds, those bonds will last forever. We are linked and connected together forever.”