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In Stephen Curry’s crowning achievement, Warriors win fourth NBA title in eight years

The Golden State Warriors beat the Boston Celtics, 103-90, in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on June 16. (Video: ESPN via AP)
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BOSTON — Stephen Curry swished a deep three-pointer midway through the third quarter, backpedaled down the court and allowed himself a quick indulgence.

As the Boston Celtics called a timeout to gather themselves, the Golden State Warriors star turned to the sideline and pointed at his right ring finger. There were 18 minutes left, but Curry was sure his fourth championship was already in hand.

11:27 p.m.
Headshot of Jerry Brewer
Jerry Brewer: The Celtics have now surpassed 100 turnovers in six games. If this is the end, they’ll look back at all their mistakes, many of them unforced, and wonder what could have been.But thinking long term, this isn’t simply a problem that maturity and emphasis will solve. Boston does not have a primary playmaker on offense. And that’s a hard piece to go out and get, especially when you are a fully-built team with max-salary players and no cap room. It will be interesting to see what more Boston Coach Ime Udoka and GM Brad Stevens can do to solve the one big hole on this roster. As close as the Celtics are to a championship, it’s hard to see them reaching their full potential without an offensive floor general.
Jerry Brewer, Sports columnist
11:23 p.m.
Headshot of Michael Lee
Michael Lee: Had he been able to go through Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Playoff Jimmy Butler and Stephen Curry, Jayson Tatum would’ve completed the kind of run for which legends are made. These Finals were expected to be a coronation for Tatum, the 24-year-old, first-team all-NBA performer. He would either win, or have the type of performance that would let the world know how nice he is. Instead, this series has showed Tatum how much more he needs to grow. Tatum made strides as a playmaker this season but needs to improve as a finisher. And he has to find a way to make the game easier on himself by driving the ball with more force — seeking dunks or fouls, not finesse. He was in his own head this series, believing that greatness is related to aesthetics. Kobe Bryant is his idol but degree of difficulty isn’t rewarded with extra credit. If he wants to return to this stage, end up on the other side, and fulfill the promise of being a superstar, Tatum will need to simplify his game. And keep growing.
Michael Lee, Sports enterprise reporter focusing on the intersection of gender, diversity and how sports shape our society.
11:04 p.m.
Headshot of Michael Lee
Michael Lee: After he dropped 26 points and flexed in Game 1, then turned 36 the next day, Al Horford has played as if he had nothing left to give. He had 11 in the Celtics’ Game 3 win but had been a non-factor in the other three losses. But in the third quarter, Horford played as if he hasn’t given up on his best shot at that elusive ring. He did his best Stephen Curry impression, draining three three-pointers, and sent a Curry shot into the stands. His effort helped the Celtics whittle a 22-point lead down to 10 points. But the Celtics are still waiting for Jayson Tatum to take them home.
Michael Lee, Sports enterprise reporter focusing on the intersection of gender, diversity and how sports shape our society.
10:58 p.m.
Headshot of Jerry Brewer
Jerry Brewer: Stephen Curry is one quarter away from his first NBA Finals MVP. There’s no question he has been the best player in this series, and if the Warriors finish this game, Curry will have four championships and the one legacy award missing in his trophy case.Because some critics have exaggerated a few lows during Curry’s six Finals appearances, there’s a misconception that he hasn’t played like an all-time great with regularity in the championship round. It’s a myth. He tends to have one bad game in every Finals, such as Game 5′s clunker in which he missed all nine of his three-pointers and finished with an inefficient 16 points. But for the most part, he’s been very good throughout his career in the Finals, and the amount of attention he commands from defenses is the foundation upon which Golden State has built a dynasty. It transcends numbers, but against the Celtics, he has the stats to back up his immeasurable impact.This time, he had to carry the Warriors for much of the way. Now, he just needs to finish.
Jerry Brewer, Sports columnist
10:22 p.m.
Headshot of Jerry Brewer
Jerry Brewer: After a slow start, the Warriors went into parade mode for the majority of the first half mostly because their best five players — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Jordan Poole — are all playing well together for the first time in this series. They combined for 50 of Golden State’s 54 points and played off each other better than they did in the first five games. Curry, Thompson, Wiggins and Poole are already in double figures.But Draymond Green’s complete floor game may have been the most impressive thing. He has five points, five assists and seven rebounds, and he’s playing his normal spectacular defense. Against Boston, Green has made headlines because of his struggles and antics, but he’s aggressive and running the show on both ends. This is the all-star version of Green.
Jerry Brewer, Sports columnist
10:18 p.m.
Headshot of Michael Lee
Michael Lee: On Wednesday, Jaylen Brown said, “We are not scared of the Golden State Warriors.” It sounded like a bold statement of defiance. But based on their performance in the first half, the comment revealed one of two things. Either they were very afraid, or perhaps, they should’ve been more afraid of a team that arrived in these Finals with three championships in the past seven years. Warriors Coach Steve Kerr, a disciple of Gregg Popovich, has adopted the Pop-ism, “appropriate fear” to describe the way his team approaches the opposition, even when it believes it’s figured out an inferior foe. Mike Tyson once famously said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” Boston threw the first punch but the Warriors responded with a roundhouse and an uppercut and the Celtics have been wobbling ever since. Fear can be good if it inspires a focused, disciplined effort. The Celtics haven’t had that. They’ve been sloppy, panicky, and they look shook.
Michael Lee, Sports enterprise reporter focusing on the intersection of gender, diversity and how sports shape our society.
9:51 p.m.
Headshot of Jerry Brewer
Jerry Brewer: Jordan Poole has had an up-and-down Finals against Boston’s potent defense. At times, he seemed timid and bothered by the physicality. But he’s back to playing with the swagger and creativity that we’ve often seen during his breakout third season in the NBA. When Poole gets hot like this, Golden State goes to an elite level on offense.
Jerry Brewer, Sports columnist
9:46 p.m.
Headshot of Michael Lee
Michael Lee: The last time he was at TD Garden, Stephen Curry was a virtuoso, putting the Warriors on his back for game it had to have — and he had to have for the sake of his misrepresented reputation. Curry dropped 43 points in Game 4, reminding those who forgot, and perhaps enlightening those who chose to ignore that he’s had big games in the Finals before. But with the Warriors on the verge of their fourth ring, and the Celtics tossing a haymaker to start the game, Curry was chill. He didn’t try to force to action as Boston tossed bodies his direction every time he touched the ball. No, he waited. His supporting cast gained its confidence in Game 5, so he didn’t need to play hero ball. When Marcus Smart flopped, he got irritated. But he still waited. Until it was time to strike. Curry buried the three-pointer to give the Warriors the lead at the end of the first quarter and smiled as he removed his mouthpiece. He knows his squad is riding with him tonight.
Michael Lee, Sports enterprise reporter focusing on the intersection of gender, diversity and how sports shape our society.
9:39 p.m.
Headshot of Jerry Brewer
Jerry Brewer: After coming out with the appropriate energy and determination to take a 14-2 lead, the Celtics really blew an opportunity to put the Warriors in a much deeper hole. Once again, offensive execution is their problem. They were in a good groove, moving the basketball and making simple, smart decisions. Then, as the Warriors ramped up their defensive intensity, the Celtics started trying to do too much individually instead of running the system. Without a true, playmaking point guard — or a great shot creator for others at any position — the Celtics are highly dependent on running the offense and making quick decisions. They never seem to sustain their attention to detail. They should’ve been able to maintain a double-digit lead into the second quarter. Instead, they lost the lead entirely. Trying to stave off elimination at home, their first punch wasn’t powerful enough. There will be other chances, but they needed to make more of a statement early.
Jerry Brewer, Sports columnist
9:00 p.m.
Headshot of Jerry Brewer
Jerry Brewer: If Golden State wins the title tonight, the Warriors wouldn’t just be celebrating their fourth championship in eight seasons. They would be just the second team to clinch on the Boston Celtics’ home court.The old, fabled Boston Garden was demolished nearly a quarter century ago, and even though the Celtics now play at TD Garden, it still means something to go to Boston and triumph. In their previous 21 appearances in the Finals, the Celtics have allowed just one opponent to clinch the title and dance on their parquet floor. The Los Angeles Lakers did it in 1985, finally breaking through after losing their first eight Finals meetings against their rival.At the end of this 75th anniversary NBA season, it is fitting that Golden State’s modern dynasty would have the opportunity to touch a bit of history if they can join the Showtime Lakers on that list. Even with a 3-2 series lead and momentum after winning back-to-back games, the Warriors won’t have it easy. The Celtics have a 6-1 home record in Finals elimination games. Of course, most of their 17-championship history goes way back, but the atmosphere in Boston is still special. It would be quite the feat if the Warriors managed to finish the job there.
Jerry Brewer, Sports columnist
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