Stephen Curry is used to the feeling of winning. It is one that has defined his spectacular career. However, watching him to sink to the court in tears in the final seconds of the Golden State Warriors' Game 6 victory over the Boston Celtics, it was clear Curry was not used to being quite so overcome by triumph.

The Warriors' 103-90 win at TD Garden, sealed by Curry's 34-point blitz, secured their fourth NBA title in eight seasons and, as Golden State revelled in returning to the mountaintop, it was tough to disagree with co-owner Joe Lacob's assessment that this one was the most meaningful.

Curry's outpouring of emotion upon the final buzzer illustrated as such, the Warriors' hoisting of the Larry O'Brien Trophy capping a remarkable journey for a team many believed had reached the end of their time in the sun.

Two seasons ago, with Kevin Durant having departed for the Brooklyn Nets and Klay Thompson starting the first of two injury-enforced seasons on the sideline following the torn ACL he suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals series with the Toronto Raptors, the Warriors had the worst record in the league at 15-50, a hand injury suffered in the fourth game of the campaign severely restricting Curry's involvement.

There was agony in 2020-21 as an MVP calibre season from Curry ended with defeat in the play-in tournament, Thompson again a spectator, this time with a torn Achilles that kept him out until January 2022.

Even with Thompson's return on the horizon, few anticipated the core of Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green to dazzle on the Finals stage in 2022, the Warriors' decision to hold on to the draft assets they accumulated rather than packaging them to acquire a fourth star met with scepticism in plenty of corners.

Those sceptics have now been silenced. While the faith in the blend of youth and experience and the unqualified success of the trade for former number one overall pick - and Golden State's second-best player in these Finals - Andrew Wiggins, played major roles in shutting up the critics, it was Curry who ultimately sealed the lips of Golden State's doubters.

Doubters have been a bewildering constant during Curry's career, even as he has blossomed into the greatest shooter in NBA history, one whose seemingly unlimited range has revolutionised the game of basketball.

Curry's resume has long since been sparkling and he has continued to embellish it. Prior to the Finals, he already had three NBA titles, two MVPs (the second of which made him the league's first unanimous winner) and the all-time record for three-pointers.

Still, there was never a shortage of observers who would respond to those list of achievements with "Yeah, but..."

"Yeah, but Kyrie Irving got hurt in 2015", "Yeah, but he won two rings after they signed Durant", "Yeah, but he doesn't have a Finals MVP".

Finally, the sceptics can no longer rely on their extremely pedantic excuses to deny Curry's position among the all-time greats, which is firmly secured after a Finals in which he was the dominant force.

Curry averaged 31.2 points per game, almost 10 full points more than his nearest challenger, Jayson Tatum (21.5), and his 31 three-pointers were comfortably the most by any player in the series. He averaged five assists per game - only Tatum (7) and Green (6.2) had more, while he was also third in average plus-minus (5.8). The two players ahead of him on the list, Kevon Looney (8) and Gary Payton II (7), averaged 21.7 and 18.6 minutes per game in the series respectively, Curry spent 37.5 minutes per game on the court.

The devastating offense provided by Curry, who supplements his devastating deep shooting by attacking the rim for lay-ups with the same remarkable consistency, was undoubtedly the decisive factor in the series. Indeed, Curry's production and the attention it forces defenses to commit to him had the Celtics bereft of ideas of how to stop the Warriors by Game 6, Golden State at one point in the first half going on a 21-0 scoring run that marked the longest in the last 50 years of Finals history.

Curry's 'gravity' cannot be overstated, the Warriors' supporting cast continuing to reap the benefits of the additional space the threat posed by their star point guard creates.

With Curry on the court in the Finals, the Warriors averaged 111.9 points per 100 possessions. That dipped to 90.1 points when he was off the floor. Their field goal percentage with Curry in the lineup was 47.1, compared to 34.9 with him on the bench.

Illustrating his effectiveness both beyond and inside the arc, the Warriors hit on 38.3 per cent of their three-point field goal attempts and averaged 42.2 points in the paint per 100 possessions with Curry in the team. Without him, they connected on 30.9 per cent of threes and put up 21.5 points in the paint per 100.

The Warriors' point differential in the Finals per 100 possessions with Curry on court was plus-7.6. In his absence, it was minus 6.2, a swing of 13.8 points in a series where Golden State's average margin of victory in their wins was... 13 points.

That plethora of evidence left Curry as the only, and indeed unanimous, selection for Finals MVP, moving him into exalted company.

Curry is the sixth player to have won four NBA titles, multiple league MVP awards and a Finals MVP. The other five are LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Tim Duncan. Among players to have won at least two titles, he is second for points averaged in championship-clinching games (32.5). Only Jordan (33.7) stands above him.

The territory Curry occupies is shared by undisputed basketball legends, and he knows his previous doubters now do not have the qualifiers with which to dispute his legacy.

"I hear all the narratives," Curry said. "You hear everything about what we [as a team] are and what we aren't, and what I am as a player and what I'm not. I have a hard time figuring out what they're going to say now, so this is pretty special."

The reasons used by those who sought to keep Curry out of the NBA's pantheon of all-time greats have always been dubious at best. Now, after a career-defining Finals performance, they are non-existent and, regardless of what else he achieves before he retires, his place is reserved for good.

Stephen Curry did not need to be named MVP in the NBA Finals to cement his reputation as an "all-time great", according to Draymond Green.

However, Curry went out and made sure he could add the honour to his glittering array of accolades anyway, and Golden State Warriors team-mate Green said it had been "a long time in the making".

Curry had 13 points in the fourth quarter in Thursday's 103-90 championship-sealing win over the Boston Celtics, to finish with 34 points (12-of-21 shooting, six-of-11 from three), seven rebounds and seven assists.

Across the six-game series, the 34-year-old Curry averaged 31.2 points, six rebounds and five assists, earning the MVP award that had previously eluded him.

"When you look at a guy like Steph Curry, to have the season and the career that he's had, it is amazing," Green said.

"To stamp that with a Finals MVP – I know he said it doesn't matter, and it doesn't matter... still Steph Curry, still an all-time great. But to add that to your resume as a competitor, you want that.

"For him, well deserved. It's been a long time in the making. But he left no doubt, left no doubt, and he carried us, and we're here as champions."

The Warriors clinched their fourth NBA championship in the past eight years, sealing a 4-2 series success with their Game Six win in Boston.

 

Asked how many more championships Golden State might add, Green said: "I'm not sure. I don't like to put a number on things and say we can get five, or we can get six.

"We're going to get them until the wheels fall off. And that's our goal, to compete at this level every year."

Green, who had 12 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, commended the Warriors defense for keeping the Celtics at bay.

"We have always spoke about our defense, and it's been a constant for us," Green said.

"But when you have such a sexy offense, and guys shooting the ball like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole, it's always going to be sexier, and people are always going to appreciate that more. We beat this team because of our defense. Did they score a hundred points tonight?

"That's four out of six games they didn't score a hundred points? We beat them because of our defense, and that's always been a constant.

"You don't win a championship without a great defense. We know that. We understand that. We pride ourselves on defense and ultimately understanding that our defense will allow our offense to flourish."

Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka declared "the future is bright and we're just getting started" after the NBA Finals series defeat to the Golden State Warriors.

The Celtics led the Warriors 2-1 in the series before relinquishing fourth-quarter leads in both Game 4 and Game 5, and ultimately came unstuck in the penultimate match.

Stephen Curry registered 34 points (12-of-21 shooting, six-of-11 from three), seven rebounds and seven assists as Golden State recorded a 103-90 win in Game 6 to secure an unassailable 4-2 series lead.

That meant the Warriors lifted their fourth NBA Championship in just eight years, and seventh overall, as Boston's 14-year wait for an NBA Finals series win continued.

Udoka guided the Celtics to their first Eastern Conference title in 12 years, though, and he believes Boston have reason to be optimistic in the future.

"We learned a tremendous amount about each other as a staff and them learning what we wanted and vice versa. That's the message to the guys tonight," he said.

"This is just the start. A foundation has been set. We can kind of hit the ground running next year. Let's get healthy and all be on the same page.

"Now it's a matter of taking that next step. What I did say to the group was there are levels. You can see the difference in Golden State, a team that's been there, been together for a long time.

"The core group, it's been 10 years now. We've seen what we can achieve. It hurts we fell short of that.

"But what I did say is the future is bright and we're just getting started, so let's all come back better from this experience."

Udoka has experienced the pain of losing in NBA Finals before after he was an assistant San Antonio Spurs when they succumbed to defeat against the Miami Heat in 2013.

The Nigerian admitted the loss will hurt for a while, but called on Boston to use it is as a learning experience.

"It's going to hurt. It will hurt for a while. Probably that stuff never goes away. I've lost one before," he added. "That was part of the message. Let it propel us forward, the experience.

"Growth and progress that we made this season. Obviously, getting to your ultimate goal and falling a few games short is going to hurt. There are a lot of guys in there, very emotional right now.

"The message was we thanked them for the effort and the growth and everything they allowed us to do coaching-wise this year.

"The biggest message was learn from this, grow from it, take this experience and see there is another level to get to.

"Just don't come back the same as players, coaching staff. Let this fuel you throughout the offseason into next year.

"Let's not be satisfied. It's not guaranteed you're going to be here. The East is getting tougher every year. They'll come back better. We will as a staff as well."

Jayson Tatum was left with a "terrible feeling" after the NBA Finals series defeat as he called on the Boston Celtics to "take it up another level".

The Celtics struggled against Stephen Curry in Game 6, the Golden State Warriors winning 103-90 after he posted 34 points, hitting six-of-11 threes, while adding seven rebounds and seven assists.

That helped the Warriors to an unassailable 4-2 series lead and fourth NBA Championship in just eight years, while Curry claimed his first NBA Finals MVP award.

Golden State were 2-1 down in the series at one point, but a three-game winning run meant Boston's 14-year wait to win the NBA Championships continued.

Tatum expressed his frustrations after the match as he admitted the Celtics fell short of expectations.

"It's hard. It's hard getting to this point. It's even harder getting over it, the hump, and win it. It's been a long journey, a long process," the Boston star said.

"Being with this group, the things we've overcome throughout the season, getting to this point. Just knowing how bad we wanted it, coming up short. It's a terrible feeling.

"That's what I took from it: it's tough. You got to take it up another level to do what we want to do.

"We all could have done things better. I feel like I could have done a lot of things better. But, like we said, we competed, we tried all season, all playoffs."

Marcus Smart was speaking alongside Tatum and vowed that the Celtics will bounce back stronger after the experience of the Golden State defeat.

"For us, it's just hard-nosed, it's who we are," Smart added. "We're a family. We take and accept every challenge head on no matter the outcome, no matter the advantages we have or disadvantages.

"We're going to take it full-heartedly. The guys came out here and competed. We could have [given] up, but we didn't. I think that shows the foundation that we have here.

"We see what we're capable of. We got a taste of it. We want the whole thing. I know for a fact that we're going to be back a different team. We're going to put in the work. But this one's going to hurt."

Steve Kerr admitted he was still in awe of Stephen Curry after his starring role in the Golden State Warriors' NBA Finals success.

The Warriors beat the Boston Celtics 103-90 in Game 6 to seal an unassailable 4-2 series lead and claim a fourth title in eight years.

Kerr, who also won five championships as a player, has been at the helm for all of those successes, but he has not lost the ability to be impressed by the feats of his star players.

And nobody has played a greater role in this season's triumph than league and Finals MVP Curry.

"He does [still inspire awe], because what he does at his size is so different from the traditional greats in this league," Kerr said of the 34-year-old.

"I've said it so many times, Steph reminds me so much of Tim Duncan. Totally different players. But from a humanity standpoint, talent standpoint, humility, confidence, this wonderful combination that just makes everybody want to win for him.

"And I'm obviously thrilled for everyone in that room, and a lot of people had a big hand in this, but I think the thing with Steph is, you know, without him, none of this happens.

"That's not taking anything away from Joe [Lacob] and Peter's [Gruber] ownership, because they have built an incredible organisation.

"Bob Myers, hell of a GM. Our players, we have had so many great players, but Steph ultimately is why this run has happened. Much like Timmy in San Antonio.

"So I'm happy for everybody, but I'm thrilled for Steph. To me this is his crowning achievement in what's already been an incredible career."

Curry averaged 31.2 points, six rebounds and five assists in the Finals to earn the first Finals MVP of his career.

He put up a team-high 34 points in Game 6 on 12-of-21 shooting, hitting six-of-11 threes while adding seven rebounds and seven assists.

Curry also became the first player to ever win a unanimous league MVP and a unanimous Finals MVP.

Asked what distinguished this title from the rest, Kerr added: "They are all unique, they are all special. I think this one may have been the most unlikely just from the standpoint of where we've been the last couple years.

"A lot of unknowns, the injury to Klay [Thompson], Draymond [Green] at the end of the year, Steph at the end of the year. A lot of young guys, a new core, or a new group around our core, I should say.

"But it's really special to see guys like Wiggs [Andrew Wiggins] and Loon [Kevon Looney] and Gary Payton, just how far they have come, the impact they made, Jordan Poole, the same thing.

"I know I'm going to forget people but it takes a full team effort to do this, and we just had a great group who do get it done."

Golden State Warriors icon Stephen Curry took the time to sit back and soak in the journey from Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals to Thursday's Game 6, championship-sealing win against the Boston Celtics.

Curry, who averaged 31.2 points, six rebounds and five assists in the Finals to earn the first Finals MVP of his career, scored a team-high 34 points in Game 6 on 12-of-21 shooting, hitting six-of-11 threes and adding seven rebounds and seven assists.

It is the Warriors' fourth championship in the past eight seasons, with Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and coach Steve Kerr there for all four.

Speaking to the media while still wearing his goggles from the champagne celebrations in the locker room, Curry pushed back on the first question being about his elusive Finals MVP.

"Forget that, we're champs," he said. "We've got four championships.

"God is great, the ability to be on this stage and play with amazing teammates against a great Boston Celtics team that gave us everything to try to get to the finish line… this one hits different for sure.

"Knowing what the last three years have meant, and what it's been like. From injuries, to a changing of the guard with the roster, 'Wiggs' [Andrew Wiggins] coming through, our young guys. Carrying the belief that we could get back to this stage and win, even if it didn't make sense to anybody when we said it.

"All that stuff matters, and now we've got four championships. Me, Dray, Klay and Andre – and I finally got that bad boy [motioning to Finals MVP trophy] – it's special, man. Special.

"All the work that went into it, all the faith and belief, everybody in that locker room that's getting to spray champagne around the locker room – everybody mattered in that process. I'm proud of everybody."

Curry was superb down the stretch in the close-out win, scoring 13 of the Warriors' 27 fourth-quarter points, and he was overtaken by emotion as the finals seconds ticked down.

Touching on what was going through his head, he said it was thoughts of the long road back to the top after the 2019 Finals ended in devastating fashion, with a loss and serious injuries to Thompson and Kevin Durant.

"These last two months of the playoffs, these last three years, these last 48 hours, every bit of it has been an emotional rollercoaster, on and off the floor," he said.

"You're carrying all of that on a daily basis, trying to realise a dream and a goal like we did tonight – you get goosebumps just thinking about all those snapshots and episodes we went through to get back here.

"That's why I said this championship hits different – that's why I've got so many emotions, and still will – because of what it took to get back here. 

"When we started this season, there was a lot of conversation about who we were as a team, and what we were capable of, and I clearly remember some experts and talking heads putting up the big zero for how many more championships we'd have going forward.

"We hear all of that, we carry it all, and you try to maintain your purpose and not let it distract you, but you carry that weight, and to get here, it all comes out."

He added: "It was definitely overwhelming – it was surreal – just because you know how much you went through to get back to this stage.

"Me personally, my workouts from the offseason last year when we lost the play-in tournament, it's been a year and six days since I started the process of getting ready for this season – and it all paid off.

"I didn't know how it was going to happen, I didn't know what the environment was going to be like, but it hits different.

"Out there on the floor – I mean, I didn't even know [my dad] was down there – and I saw him, and I just lost it… I just wanted to take in the moment."

Curry also became the first player to ever win a unanimous league MVP and a unanimous Finals MVP, further cementing his legacy as one of the greatest players to ever lace them up.

The Golden State Warriors secured their fourth NBA Championship in the past eight years with a 103-90 away win against the Boston Celtics in Game 6.

With the win, the Warriors secured a 4-2 series win, coming back from a 2-1 deficit to rattle off three of the next four, including two road wins in Boston.

While the night ended in Golden State celebrations, the start was all Celtics, jumping out of the gates to a 14-2 lead.

The Warriors kept in touch, and then went on an explosive, game-winning run late in the first quarter, turning a 22-16 deficit into a 37-22 lead with a 21-0 run.

Golden State's defense rose to the occasion, out-playing the Celtics' league-best defense, holding the home side to 17 points in the second quarter to lead 54-39 at half-time.

The Celtics did not lay down, launching their own run late in the third quarter, closing the term on a 16-4 run to cut the lead down to 10 as Al Horford willed his side back into the game. Horford had 12 points, six rebounds and a block in just the third quarter.

Down the stretch, with the Warriors needing to steady, it would be their superstar who would stand up. 

Stephen Curry had 13 points in the fourth quarter to finish with 34 points (12-of-21 shooting, six-of-11 from three), seven rebounds and seven assists.

His performance capped off a series where he averaged 31.2 points, six rebounds and five assists, earning him the first Finals MVP of his Hall-of-Fame career.

Andrew Wiggins was the Warriors' second-best player all series, and he produced one of the best defensive games of his career in Game 6, holding Jayson Tatum to just 13 points on six-of-18 shooting, while taking four steals and blocking three shots.

Wiggins also added 18 points on seven-of-18 shooting, with six rebounds and five assists. With the performance, he scored at least 17 points in five of the six Finals games, and averaged a team-high 8.8 rebounds per game in the series.

Jaylen Brown was the Celtics' brightest star, scoring 34 points on 12-of-23 shooting, but he also had five turnovers, which was a theme for the hosts.

The Celtics committed 22 turnovers as a team – seven more than the Warriors – after committing 18 to Golden State's seven in their Game 5 loss. During the regular season, Boston averaged 13.6 turnovers per game.

The Golden State Warriors have won the NBA championship, with a 103-90 victory in Game 6 at the TD Garden on Thursday, sealing a 4-2 series win against the Boston Celtics.

It was the Celtics who started hot in front of their home fans, starting the game on a 14-2 run, but the Warriors fought back to a 22-16 deficit, and from there launched a game-winning 21-0 run. The Warriors used that run to jump ahead 37-22, and the Celtics were never able to trim the lead to below eight points the rest of the way.

Stephen Curry secured his first ever Finals MVP with a team-high 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting, going six-of-10 from long range, while also adding seven rebounds and seven assists.

However, where the Warriors won Game 6 was on the defensive end, forcing 21 turnovers and holding Jayson Tatum to just 13 points on six-of-18 shooting.

Andrew Wiggins was terrific, finishing with four steals and three blocks as he made Tatum's life miserable, and he added 18 points on seven-of-18 shooting. 

It is the Warriors' seventh NBA title in their history, and their fourth in the past eight seasons.

Thursday's win completed an impressive turnaround from 2-1 down in the series to a 4-2 victory after winning the last three contests, including two in Boston.

Head coach Steve Kerr – who won five NBA Finals rings as a player for the Chicago Bulls (three) and San Antonio Spurs (two) – has now won the same number as a coach, all with the Warriors.

 

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka trusts in Jayson Tatum to stay aggressive while facilitating the team, heading into Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday.

The Warriors have largely been able to restrict Tatum's scoring output on the way to taking a 3-2 series lead, with the Celtics now needing a win on home court on Thursday to save their season.

Tatum has averaged 23.2 points per game on 37.3 per cent shooting from the floor in this series, compared to the 27.8 points on 44.1 per cent in the preceding three series, despite an improvement to 47.5 per cent from beyond the arc against the Warriors.

More pertinently, however, his ability to feed teammates has diminished after setting a new career-high with 13 assists in Game 1.

Speaking to the media ahead of Game 6, Udoka believes the Eastern Conference Finals MVP and three-time All-Star can find the necessary balance to keep the series alive.

"From a scoring standpoint at times this whole series, not only in the fourth quarter, he's missed some things that he usually makes," Udoka said. "But we do want him to be aggressive and find that balance, as he's done all year.

"With Golden State specifically, they are trying to take him out of actions at certain times in the game, but it's on him to read that in positions where, understanding he's going to be doubled and be the bait at times and get everybody else involved.

"We have to make them pay as far as that. So, I wouldn't say his fourth is not as good or as bad as some of the other quarters. We want him to be aggressive and make the right read, which he's done all year."

On the other end, Boston's defensive approach on Stephen Curry changed in Game 5, but it freed up space for Klay Thompson.

The Celtics were much more aggressive guarding Curry coming out of the pick-and-roll in Game 5, but averaging 17.3 points on 35.8 per cent shooting in the opening four games, Thompson scored 21 points on an even 50 per cent. Thompson also shot five-of-11 from three, making up for Curry and Andrew Wiggins combining to shoot zero-of-15 from distance.

For Udoka, that is also a matter of balance.

"We don't feel we're as good as we had been in the first few games in other areas," he said. "Obviously, Curry got a ton of the credit for the shots he was making early, but our physicality and some of our adjustments we made on him were better.

"But we don't want to lose sight of everything else we've done well which is off-ball actions, whether he slips to the basket or Thompson, you saw our first two or three possessions, we had slips for layups to the basket.

"It was something we had taken care of well throughout the series as well as getting to Thompson. I think we lost the rope a little bit there."

The Dallas Mavericks entered this offseason with a need at center, and potentially filled that void by acquiring Christian Wood from the Houston Rockets in exchange for four players and a draft pick.  

Wood, 26, was the Rockets’ leading scorer and rebounder this past season with 17.9 points and 10.1 boards per game. He was one of just nine players to average at least 17 points and 10 rebounds, joining the likes of Philadelphia's Joel Embiid, Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo and two-time MVP Nikola Jokic of Denver. 

Heading to Houston in the deal are Boban Marjanovic, Trey Burke, Sterling Brown and Marquese Chriss – all of which figure to fill reserve roles, at best – as well as the 26th pick in this year’s draft. Acquiring those players provides Houston with roster flexibility by trading one big contract for numerous smaller contracts, and gives them three first-round picks this year, adding to their selections at number three and 17.

Adding Wood gives Luka Doncic the frontcourt running-mate he has desired since the departure of Kristaps Porzingis, and he projects as the most dynamic pick-and-roll partner the Slovenian superstar has ever played with, playing in a system heavily focused on pick-and-roll offense. 

Wood will be joining his seventh NBA team in his seventh season, but after failing to stick with the 76ers, Hornets, Bucks and Pelicans, he really started to shine in 2019-20 with the Detroit Pistons, leading to a sign-and-trade to the Rockets and a three-year, $41million payday.

In his first season with Houston, he scored a career-best 21 points per game to go with 9.6 rebounds. Wood has also become a capable outside shooter, connecting on 131 3-pointers this season to match his total from the previous two seasons combined.  

The Mavericks were eliminated by the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, marking their deepest playoff run of the Doncic era.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr highlighted Klay Thompson's gradual improvement in these NBA Finals as critical for his side, heading into a possible close-out game against the Boston Celtics on Thursday.

Thompson has come up with big plays on both ends of the court, particularly on the defensive end down the stretch without Draymond Green, as the Warriors evened up the series on the road in Game 4.

Along with his ability to defensively hassle multiple players in this series, Boston's altered coverage on Stephen Curry allowed Thompson space to hit important shots in Game 5, scoring 21 points on 50 per cent shooting as the Warriors took a 3-2 series lead. On a night where Curry and Andrew Wiggins shot a combined zero-of-15 from long-range, Thompson was crucial, hitting five-of-11 three-pointers.

Speaking to media ahead of Game 6, Kerr believes Thompson has been able to grow into the series on both ends of the floor.

"The last couple of games he's looked great defensively," Kerr said. "I think there's been times earlier in the playoffs where he's looked really good as well, but I do think he's improved as this series has gone on.

"I thought those two shots and then Jordan's [Poole] two threes at the end of the third quarter [of Game 5] were the biggest shots of the game. They had seized momentum and Klay's two at the top of the key were just massive."

In each of the three previous series in the playoffs this season however, the Dubs have failed to close out on the first opportunity, dropping games on the road in Memphis and Dallas, as well as at home to the Denver Nuggets.

Irrespective of Game 5 being the first time the Celtics have dropped consecutive games in these playoffs, the 56-year-old insisted that it is simply difficult to win in those situations, and his side will have to be at their best to claim the NBA title on the road.

"I just think, it's the NBA," Kerr said. "You've got talented teams, you've got talented players you're going against. You're in somebody else's building and it's just not easy to close anybody out in the playoffs.

"There's not a common thread, we're just going to have to play really well to win to close out."

Stephen Curry has vowed to "keep shooting" in Game 6 after his all-time streak of 233 successive games with a 3-pointer came to an end against the Boston Celtics.

The Golden State Warriors beat the Celtics 104-94 at Chase Center on Monday to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven NBA Finals series.

Curry has played a huge part in the Warriors' drive for a seventh championship, but the 34-year-old endured an off day in Game 5 as he went 0-for-9 from three-point range.

He had 16 points overall and laid on eight assists in what was a below-par showing, with Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson stepping up to help secure the pivotal victory.

Historically, when a seven-game series is tied at 2-2, the winner of Game 5 has gone on to win the series over 82 per cent of the time.

Curry, who scored 43 points in the Game 4 triumph in Boston, is confident he will respond in the best way possible in Thursday's Game 6.

"I'll keep on shooting. It's very simple," he said. "I'm not afraid to go 0-for-whatever because I'm going to keep shooting and taking shots that you normally feel like you can make. 

"And I've responded well when I've had games like that from the three-point line. But I don't think I've ever been happier after a 0-for-whatever type of night.

"Knowing the context of the game, the other ways you tried to impact the game and the fact that you had four guys step up in meaningful ways to help us win offensively.

"So all that stuff matters. Yeah, there's a fire burning and I want to make shots, but the rest of it is about how we win the game, and we did that."

 

Curry has made 285 three-pointers this season, 23 more than next best Buddy Hield, with an average of 25.5 per game through his 64 appearances in 2021-22.

And after digging deep as a team to pick up the win, Draymond Green believes team-mate Curry's off-day could work in the Warriors' favour when the teams reconvene.

"Whether Steph gets 43, 10, four, or whether he finishes with 16-for-22 shooting, a win is a win," Green said.

"Obviously, we have spoken about helping him, and I don't think he's been out there helpless, like that's the narrative.

"But everybody's doing their part, and tonight, a night that he didn't have it going, we found offense elsewhere, and that's kind of what it's been.

"On the same token, if he's got it going, we're going to be heavy Steph Curry. That's just what it is. 

"The whole notion of this guy doesn't have help, well, you've got 43, he's going to keep shooting, and we're going to do all that we can to get him shooting it.

"It was huge. Now, that's good for us. He was 0-for-9 from three. He's going to be livid going into Game 6, and that's exactly what we need."

Jayson Tatum has admitted that the Boston Celtics need to 'focus' on their game and avoid refereeing distractions following defeat to Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA finals. 

Andrew Wiggins starred in the victory that put the Warriors 3-2 up in the best-of-seven series, but Tatum outscored him in the game, putting up 27 as the Celtics went down 104-94. 

The Celtics' slow start proved to be costly, with the third quarter their best display, with decisions from the referees clearly irritating the team.

Tatum insisted those distractions must be ignored heading into Thursday's win or go home Game 6, though. 

"I mean, you saw it. I wasn't in all of those conversations. I didn't hear everything that was talked about," Tatum said.

"But in those situations, especially on the road, regardless if we feel like calls are going our way or not, just in those moments we just got to be better not letting distractions, things like that, distract us.  

"Down one going into the fourth quarter, just got to focus on what's important at the time. That's on all of us. We'll regroup and bounce back. I'm sure of it."

Despite the odds being against them, Tatum remains confident the Celtics can salvage the series with two games to play.

"You know, I've said it before: You better be confident, right? We ain't got to win two in one day. We just got to win one game on Thursday," he added.

"We've been in this situation before. So it's not over. Got to win on Thursday. That's all we got to worry about right now."

Draymond Green described Andrew Wiggins as a player you want in the big occasions after his star turn in Game 5 of the NBA Finals put the Golden State Warriors on the cusp of championship glory.

Wiggins contributed 26 points and 13 rebounds, while Klay Thompson had 21 points as the Warriors scored a 104-94 win against the Boston Celtics on home court to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

It was a particularly valuable contribution from Wiggins in the context of an off night for superstar Stephen Curry, who had scored 43 points in the Game 4 triumph in Boston.

Curry had 16 points and laid on eight assists but surprisingly went 0-for-9 from three-point range, ending his record run of at least one three in a postseason game at 132, and ending his streak of regular and post-season combined at 233.

Green concedes Wiggins has had to grow in stature with the Warriors but says he is now the kind of player to excel on the big occasions.

"I think he started to feel it out, but coming into this year, he was an All-Star starter for a reason," Green said.

"He defended very well. He scored the ball very well and really just plugged right in. Like it wasn't like 'oh, you need to call a set for him every time'. He's kind of been getting it. He's continued to do that.

"I think the bigger the challenge has been that we've thrown in front of him, the bigger he's responded. You want a guy like that, when the stage gets big, they respond and play their best basketball, and that's what he's been doing."

Wiggins was able to reflect on a special moment, and said the celebrations from the likes of Klay Thompson at his performance were a sign of the "love" among the roster.

"It's something I dreamt about for sure, being in the league, and this is the ultimate stage. It doesn't get bigger than this. I was out there being aggressive. It was a good game," Wiggins said.

"That's [the celebrations] love. That's what makes it all work. We all support each other, and we want to see each other do good and succeed. That's why we're here."

Asked how he earned the respect of his team, Wiggins added: "Before I even got here, they have been great.

"You know, things that worked for them. And I feel like I'm pretty easy going, so I just came in here and hoop. I'm playing basketball, and I'm playing hard, and I feel like people respect that. And I'm just trying to win. 

"At the end of the day, no matter what it takes or whatever they need from me, I'm here to help them win."

The Golden State Warriors showed their championship pedigree in Monday's 104-94 home win against the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

With the win, the Warriors have taken a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven. Historically, when a seven-game series is tied at 2-2, the winner of Game 5 has gone on to win the series over 82 per cent of the time.

While it has been all Stephen Curry for the Warriors up this point, Game 5 was a true team performance as Curry struggled.

It started on the defensive end for the Warriors, holding the Celtics to just eight points in the first nine minutes of action on the way to a 27-16 opening frame.

Andrew Wiggins had seven points in the first quarter, and backed it up with another nine in the second, clearly the Warriors' best player in the first half as they won the second frame 24-23 to head into half-time leading 51-39.

A classic Warriors third quarter would have put the game to bed, but it was the Celtics' turn to flip the game on its head, starting the second half on a 10-0 run.

The road team would hit six-of-eight three-pointers in the period to pull ahead 74-72 in the closing stages, before a running heave from Jordan Poole banked in off the backboard to beat the buzzer. Replays showed the ball left Poole's fingertips with 0.1 seconds remaining on the clock, giving the Warriors a one-point lead.

Poole's launch ignited the crowd, and they carried that momentum in the opening stages of the fourth, starting the quarter on a 10-0 run of their own to take a stranglehold on the contest.

In the biggest moments, Wiggins did not cede the floor to Curry, scoring 10 points in the last quarter, capped off with an emphatic slam dunk.

Wiggins finished with a team-high 26 points on 12-of-23 shooting, backing up his career-high 16 rebounds in Game 4 with another 13 rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot.

Averaging 34.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists in the first four games, Curry went ice cold from long range as the series returned to Golden State, going seven-of-22 from the field and a shocking zero-of-nine from deep for his 16 points and eight assists.

It was the first of Curry's 133 career playoff games that he has not made a three-pointer, and breaks a streak of 233 consecutive total games without hitting one, and a streak of 38 straight playoff games with multiple makes.

Incredibly, Curry and Wiggins combined to shoot zero-of-15 from long range, but they received some crucial shooting performances from Klay Thompson (five-of-11 from three, 21 points) and Jordan Poole (three-of-six from deep, 14 points in 14 minutes).

Gary Payton II also played a big part in the win, coming off the bench to score 15 points on six-of-eight shooting, ripping away three steals and providing a game-changing presence on the defensive end of the floor.

Ultimately, the Warriors played playoff-proven, winning basketball. They finished with six combined turnovers as a team, with just four coming from the starters, and hit 86 per cent of their free throws (13-of-15).

For the Celtics, their big three of Jayson Tatum (four turnovers), Jaylen Brown (five) and Marcus Smart (four) combined for 13 of their side's 18 total turnovers, while they shot 67 per cent from the free throw line (21-of-31).

Tatum was the visiting side's top performer, finishing with 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting, going five-of-nine from long range, adding 10 rebounds and four assists, although he did miss four of his six free throws.

The Warriors now have a chance to close out the series – and secure their fourth championship in eight seasons – when they head to Boston for Game 6. If the Celtics are able to win Game 6, Game 7 will head back to Golden State.

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