ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Golden State Warriors took down the Boston Celtics 103-90 in game six of the 2022 NBA Finals, winning their fourth title in eight years and their seventh championship in franchise history.
With the victory, the Warriors broke a tie with their head coach Steve Kerr and the G.O.A.T Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, who achieved six titles in the 90s; The Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers have 17 each.
Stephen Curry led the team with 34 points which helped him achieve the first finals M.V.P of his career.
Curry’s splash brother Klay Thompson suffered two significant injuries in back-to-back seasons, and now he is a four-time NBA champion.
Former Michigan State Spartans basketball star Draymond Green is a lightning rod for the dubs, who will ultimately do whatever it takes to win.
That Warriors big three tied the San Antonio Spurs big three, the big fundamental Tim Duncan, Manu Ginóbili, and Tony Parker, for most titles by a trio in the last 50 seasons with four.
What’s a splash brother without a Poole?
Boston opened the game up with a 14-2 lead behind a raucous crowd that energized the men in green.
But the Warriors withstood the early run.
Trailing 18-10 with a little over four minutes to go, nine-time champion coach (five as a player, four as a coach) coach Kerr inserted Poole, who scored his first basket at the 4:00 mark in the first quarter to pull the dubs within four.
Golden State guard Gary Payton II scored a bunny at the rim, and then the pendulum swung.
Poole banked in a 30-foot three-pointer as the warriors took a 27-22 lead with 22.2 seconds remaining to extend the Warrior’s offensive output to 11-0, which brought a sigh of disdain from the Celtic crowd as their team’s aspirations of winning a title looked grim.
The Warriors ended the first quarter on a 25-8 run (Boston led 14-2).
Kerr told the team earlier in the game that they would likely have to weather an early storm.
“We fell behind quickly, but we strung together some stops, and now we’re back in the game,” said Kerr.
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Poole nailed a contested three as the shot clock started to expire to open up the second quarter to extend the Warrior’s lead 30-22.
At that moment, Poole had scored eight points on 3-3 shooting in just five minutes, causing Celtics coach Ime Udoka to burn a quick timeout.
The timeout came as the Warriors went on a 16-0 run to take a 10-point lead. Shooting 6-9 from the field and 4-5 from long range.
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Poole nailed another three-pointer from a Green assist, opening the flood gates.
Once inserted into the game, Poole scored a quick 11 points in his first six minutes to help the warriors go on their 21-0 run. The run started at the 2:27 mark in the first quarter.
It lasted to the 9:57 mark in the second, taking a 37-22 lead, which was capped off with a quick Celtics turnover leading Poole to a fastbreak assist to Andrew Wiggins, which gave the Warriors a 15-point lead and a sea of boos from the Boston faithful that were in attendance.
The 21-0 run is the longest scoring run in the last 50 NBA Finals.
Poole is only 22 years old, and the 2022 season was the third of his young and hopefully lengthy career.
He made the jump from the NBA’s G League last season to starting in 51 games this season for the Warriors as Thompson worked his way back into the lineup.
Poole had eight games in those starts where he scored 30 or more points. During the playoffs, he had some explosive games where he took over the reins for Curry, who too was working his way back into the NBA Playoffs.
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Poole spoke about his role with a veteran latent team.
“A few years ago, we had one of the worst records in the league,” Poole said. “We went from having the worst record in the league, from all the way at the bottom, and now we’re at the top. It feels great; It’s just amazing to be here. It’s amazing to be a part of this group. It’s special.”
Poole gave some insights on how he was able to step up during the title run.
“The guys never let me settle,” Poole said. “They’ve always found something for me to get better at. They were continuously in my ear, trying to teach me something, whether on or off the court. I’m really lucky for guys to take me under their wings. They’ve given me so much knowledge. These guys are winners. These guys are champions.”
With the victory, Poole becomes the first former Michigan Wolverines basketball player since head coach and Fab Five member Juwan Howard did it back in 2013 with the Miami Heat.