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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry shoots in front of Cleveland Cavaliers' Jeff Green during the second half of Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Cleveland.

Saturday, June 09, 2018 1:00 am

NBA Finals

Curry takes championship over Finals MVP

JANIE McCAULEY | Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. – Before the NBA Finals began, Stephen Curry could only chuckle at how long it took for someone to inquire about how badly he wants to add a finals MVP to his decorated résumé. 

Maybe a minute passed.

Curry has earned two NBA MVPs, set the single-season 3-point record and captured three championships. He doesn't need the finals MVP, another title will do just fine.

And he got his third title as teammate Kevin Durant won his second straight series MVP.

“It took to the second question of my first media availability, so I'm pretty sure that narrative's going to take life, as it has since 2015,” Curry said before Game 4. “But it doesn't make or break my career or whatever you want to say looking back. If we win this championship and I don't win finals MVP, I'm going to be smiling just as wide and just as big.”

If he had edged out KD, Curry would have join the ig names of LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone and Tim Duncan as players with a pair of NBA MVPs and a finals MVP.

Instead, he will settle for a second straight victory parade.

“It's part of my motivation to try to get back to this stage because I want more championships,” he said. “But I've never really highlighted the individual type (honors) – even before my regular-season MVPs, I've never even really attacked it as if that was the goal, per se.”

Still, the undersized point guard out of Davidson has defied the critics. Curry knows how much he has meant for the franchise during this four-year stretch.

And this might have been the toughest one yet for Curry, even counting all those losing seasons early in his career, plagued by multiple injuries and so much missed time. He was even out for the entire first round of the playoffs.

Curry's steady shot has been inconsistent, too.

As he always does regardless of whether they're going in, Curry has kept firing 3-pointers.

He reached a mind-boggling 0 for 9 Wednesday before finally making one from deep against the Cavavliers – just three days after knocking down a finals-record nine from beyond the arc.

That frustrating Game 3 performance epitomized Curry's topsy-turvy season.

“I'm going to play aggressively, confidently, with that right energy and motivation to help my team win,” Curry said. “And usually when I'm in that mindset, good things happen, whether that means it's a finals MVP or not, who cares, but I'm going to be playing like it, for sure.”  

Curry proved that in Game 4, shooting 12 of 24 from the field, including 7 of 14 from beyond the 3-point arc to score a game-high 37 points.