BOSTON — Steph Curry has his NBA Finals MVP trophy.
Missing out in 2015 when Andre Iguodala won in a controversial ballot and in 2017 and 2018 when Kevin Durant won the award, Curry won the 2022 Finals MVP hands down.
There was no doubt this time.
Curry had 34 points, seven assists and seven rebounds as the Warriors won their fourth title in eight seasons with a 103-90 victory over Boston in Game 6 on Thursday.
Curry, 34, was the unanimous selection from the Finals MVP voters. And this was not a pity vote or Finals MVP lifetime achievement award. He earned it in this series.
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“I remember where I started and just the whole journey,” Curry said earlier in the series. “You remind yourself of that every day. The fact that from high school to your first All-Star Game, like it’s a journey, and everything that had to go right in your life and on the court for that to happen. Never let myself get too big-headed on that front. That’s how I live my life.”
And whether it was necessary or not for Curry’s legacy to have a Finals MVP on his resume, he has it now, and that storyline is obsolete. Curry buried it with his scoring and shooting.
“He’s our engine offensively,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said earlier in the playoffs. “Everything revolves around him. We got a lot of great players around him and guys who fit well together. It all starts with Steph. He just creates so much havoc for the defense.”
In the six-game series against the Celtics, Curry averaged 31.2 points, six rebounds and five assists and shot 48.1% from the field and 43.7% on 3-pointers.
He scored at least 30 points in five games, including a series-high 43 points in Game 4, the second-highest scoring output in his Finals career. His 43-point, 10-rebound performance made him just the fifth guard in Finals history to record at least 40 points and 10 rebounds, and he is the only second point guard to do it.
Curry, who was also the Western Conference finals MVP, became the first player to make at least five 3s in four consecutive Finals games and his 25 3s through Games 1-4 are the most 3s of any four-game span in the Finals.
Curry’s scoring was necessary against the league’s best defense: 34 points in Game 1, 29 in Game 2, 31 in Game 3 and 43 in Game 4. When Curry wasn’t scoring at such a prolific rate – just 16 points in Game 5 – he had eight assists and two steals.
“You know, him, one of the most resilient, toughest guys I’ve ever played with,” Green said. “You know, the way defenses guard him, they are constantly grabbing, and he just continues to play. He don’t make much of it. He just continues to do what he does. You know, it just says a lot about his toughness and his competitive nature and what it truly means to be a winner.”
Curry is the face of the franchise — and might be the rare superstar in today’s NBA who spends his entire career with one team.
“A very important part of what we do here, and have from day one, is a setting of a certain culture,” Warriors owner Joe Lacob told USA TODAY Sports at the start of the Finals. “That culture is based on some experiences that I have had, that (co-owner) Peter Guber has had, over many, many years in business. It translates to the business of basketball. That culture involves revolves around a certain type of people being in your organization that are committed, that are really good people, that will train really super hard. They don’t let off their foot off the gas. That care about the community. Just so many factors that are important about the culture here.
“Steph is the ultimate culture guy. I mean, we recognized that way early on. We’re very fortunate.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Steph Curry earns Finals MVP trophy after leading Warriors to title