Warriors

Kevin Durant wins second straight Finals MVP

Kevin Durant wins second straight Finals MVP

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Coverage of the Warriors 2018 Championship Parade begins Tuesday at 9:30am on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming on NBCSportsBayArea.com.

The Golden State Warriors are NBA champions once again, and one Warrior is finally another Finals MVP to his legacy.

Kevin Durant won the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award for the second consecutive season. Durant averaged 31.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.7 blocks during the Finals.

He capped off the four-game sweep with a triple-double, scoring 20 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, and dishing out 10 assists. Durant is the 11th player to win the award multiple times. 

The 29-year-old earned seven out of a possible 11 votes for the award. Teammate Stephen Curry received the other four. All 11 votes shook out as follows:

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: Stephen Curry

Jon Barry, ESPN Radio: Stephen Curry

Howard Beck, Bleacher Report: Kevin Durant

Lisa Hsu, Tencent: Kevin Durant

Mark Medina, Bay Area News Group: Kevin Durant

Rachel Nichols, ESPN: Kevin Durant

Tim Reynolds, Associated Press: Stephen Curry

Ramona Shelburne, ESPN.com: Stephen Curry

Jeff Van Gundy, ABC: Kevin Durant

Joe Vardon, Cleveland.com: Kevin Durant

Jeff Zillgitt, USA Today: Kevin Durant

Game Result/Schedule
Game 1 Warriors 124, Cavs 114 (OT)
Game 2 Warriors 122, Cavs 103
Game 3 Warriors 110, Cavs 102
Game 4 Warriors 108, Cavs 85

Warriors' Steve Kerr explains what Ky Bowman can work on in Santa Cruz

Warriors' Steve Kerr explains what Ky Bowman can work on in Santa Cruz

In case you missed the news from Thursday ...

...  Ky Bowman is not in Utah to face the Jazz on Friday night because he will be making his G League debut in Santa Cruz.

The two-way guard only has 13 days left with Golden State, so the team needs to be strategic about maximizing his time in the NBA.

So what does coach Steve Kerr want to see from Bowman when he's playing for the Sea Dubs?

"What Ky can continue to work on is just his point guard mentality," Kerr told reporters after shootaround Friday. "In college he really was a scoring one. In the NBA, I think his position right now is backup point guard -- which he did a great job of with us, especially picking up the ball full court (and) being a pest defensively -- that's critical as a backup point.

"But offensively, he's got a really aggressive mindset -- which I like -- but there are still circumstances and situations where he needs to think more pass. And more strategic, rather than just score, score, score."

When D'Angelo Russell missed three games in early November, Bowman averaged 14.3 points and 5.3 assists, while shooting 53 percent from the field and nearly 42 percent from deep.

When Russell missed nine games from Nov. 17 to Dec. 2, Bowman averaged 12.6 points and 4.1 assists, while shooting 45.4 percent overall and over 42 percent from 3-point range.

But when Bowman has been the Warriors' backup point guard, his production understandably has dipped with decreased playing time in a different role.

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The Boston College product would be able to consistently put up huge scoring numbers in the G League. Nobody would question that.

But Kerr doesn't care if Bowman drops 50 points against the Sioux Falls Skyforce because he would prefer to see Bowman rack up 14 assists and six steals, and make sure the offense runs smoothly.

And in case you're curious:

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Warriors' Alec Burks expresses desire to remain with team long-term

Warriors' Alec Burks expresses desire to remain with team long-term

SALT LAKE CITY --  Warriors guard Alec Burks has known stability for much of his NBA career.

That all changed a little more than a year ago, when -- after eight seasons with the Jazz -- he spent much of last season floating between three teams in six months. Even in free agency, when players exert the most control over their destination, he technically was an employee of two teams in the span of a week.

However, while standing on the floor where he's spent most of his NBA career, he expressed interest in being with his current team long term.

"Yeah, I like it here," Burks said following shoot-around Friday morning at Vivant Smart Home Arena. "Great culture, great players, great coaching staff. I would love to."

Burks' current reality didn't seem plausible during the onset of his career. During his first five seasons, he averaged 10.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game, and that performance led to a four-year, $42 million contract in 2014. Then, his base began to crumble, as a series of stress fractures limited the wing to just 100 games over a two-year period, putting the stability of his career in peril.

Last season, Burks was traded three times, finishing the season averaging just 1.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 13 games with the Sacramento Kings. In July, Burks agreed to a deal with the Thunder, believing he'd play with Paul George and Russell Westbrook. When both were traded, he was let out of his contract, ultimately signing a one-year deal with the Warriors for basic factors.

"I just knew it was championship-oriented because they were winning so much," he said. "I could see how Steve [Kerr] coached them from afar and the way they worked."

While he's shooting just 42 percent for the season, Burks has shown an ability to score in spurts. Last month against the Grizzlies, he scored 17 of his team-high 29 points in the first half, adding eight rebounds in 36 minutes, helping the Warriors to their second win of the season.

With the Warriors in transition, Burks says he wants to be a part of their climb back to championship form.

"Now I'm a part of it, I just see how everything is laid back," he said. "They work hard, and they go about their business and have fun doing it."

While Burks sees a future in the Bay, his comfort level in Salt Lake is apparent. Just before Golden State's last matchup with Utah more than two weeks ago, Burks spent an extra 15 minutes on the floor conversing with old teammates and arena staff following his pregame workout, an ode to the stability he once had.

"I built real relationships with everybody in the arena. Not just the players but people that worked for the team. People that work in the arena," he said. "They showed me love, so I show them love back."

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Burks might have an opportunity to build that in the Bay for years to come, but as he knows all too well, that opportunity won't be promised.

"You never know in this league," he said. "You never know."