Featuring a stellar performance from veteran Klay Thompson, the golden state warriors eliminated this Thursday the Dallas Mavericks 120-110 (aggregate 4-1) and will play their sixth NBA Finals in the last eight years.
Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, the Warriors’ iconic trio of leaders, will fight for his fourth ring against the Miami Heat or the Boston Celtics.
No team had made as many appearances in the NBA Finals since Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, who they achieved six championships between 1991 and 1998.
The first game of the Finals will be played on June 2 at the Chase Center in San Francisco (California). Over there 18,000 fans They celebrated on Thursday in style the victory against Luka Doncic’s Mavericks (28 points). The team never managed to put the victory at risk.
After a two-season desert trek, in which they finished last in 2020, the Warriors are one step away from retaking their dynasty. Many considered their supremacy ended in 2019. That year they fell in the Finals against the Toronto Raptors and Kevin Durant left for the Brooklyn Nets.
“This is a group that no one thought was going to come back here,” Draymond Green stressed after the Warriors-Dallas game. Klay Thompson He went through two catastrophic injuries. Steph Curry broke her hand and two years ago we won just 15 games. But this team kept fighting every day and here we are. We’re back”.
Stephen Curry, the soul of the team, stayed on Thursday in 15 points and 9 assists. However, he ended up being recognized with the first MVP (Most Valuable Player) award of the final, named after the legendary Magic Johnson.
“It’s a blessing to be back where we belong, the FinalsCurry said to shouts of “MVP” from his fans. “We know that this is not the final goal, but we have to celebrate it for everything we have been through these last three years.”
Curry, Thompson and Green, who are between 34 and 32 years old, won their three rings (2015, 2017 and 2018) against LeBron James’ Cavaliers.
In his other two trips to the Finals, the Warriors lost in 2016 against the Cavaliers and in 2019 against the Raptors. That was a convulsive eliminator in which Thompson and Durant suffered serious injuries.
On a night of enormous emotions in San Francisco, the biggest ovations went to Klay Thompson, the player who symbolizes the struggle of the Warriors to get back to the top.
This relentless shooter suffered two consecutive devastating injuries that kept him out for two and a half years until he returned to the court in January surrounded by doubts about his performance.
Thursday came his moment of redemption with a stellar performance of 32 points and 8 triples that underscored the Mavericks.
“I dreamed about this every day. Last year around this time I was starting to jog again,” Thompson recalled. “All those long days they told me it would be worth it and then it was hard to see. Now I can feel that it is paying off.”
The team’s fourth key player, Steve Kerr, added to his astonishing 18-game winning streak as a coach in the Western Conference.
“For our team, especially the main group, Dray and Steph, Klay, Loon (Kevon Looney), Andre (Iguodala), doing this six times in eight years… I don’t even know what to say,” Kerr admitted. “It takes an enormous amount of skill, determination and work. I couldn’t be more proud.”
“A big step”
The Mavericks, who won Tuesday at home and avoided a series sweep, They fell to the knee in a fifth game that began to break down with several three-pointers in a row by Thompson in the second quarter.
Dallas, which caused the big upset by eliminating the favorites Phoenix Suns in the last playoff, showed pride in a frantic closing of the third quarter. At that moment Doncic led a 15-0 run That brought them closer to 10 points.
But the Warriors sped up early in the fourth quarter and kept Dallas from getting any closer as they ran out of gas.
«Congratulations to the Warriors. Obviously they were better but I am very proud of my team, “said Doncic, enshrined in these playoffs as a new superstar in the NBA with averages of 31.9 points and 9.9 rebounds.
“Nobody counted on us here,” he stressed. “We are a very young team and this year we took a big step.”