Celtics-Warriors score, takeaways: Golden State takes control of NBA Finals despite a bad night from Steph Curry

Celtics-Warriors score, takeaways: Golden State takes control of NBA Finals despite a bad night from Steph Curry

Celtics-Warriors score, takeaways: Golden State takes control of NBA Finals despite a bad night from Steph Curry

The Golden State Warriors are one win away from continuing their dynasty with another championship after their 104–94 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night. Just two seasons ago, the Warriors finished with the worst record in the Western Conference at 15-50 and now they are on the cusp of their fourth title since 2015.

While Stephen Curry had taken the team to this point, the Warriors gave him a lot of help in Game 5, as four other players besides Curry — led by Andrew Wiggins and his 26 points — scored in double figures for Golden State. Providing assistance to Curry on the offensive end was something all the Warriors’ supporting cast mentioned was essential in Game 5 and they did exactly that to lead Golden State to a double-digit win.

With the win, Curry and the Warriors can close out this series on Thursday night at Boston’s TD Garden in Game 6.

Wiggins and company lead the way

We would definitely get a bad Curry game at some point, and if it did, the focus would be on which of the Warriors players would pick up the slack. Given how much Golden State relied on Curry’s brilliance during the first four games of the series, no one could have predicted that it would win the game in which he netted just 16 points and failed to hit a three-pointer for the first time. time in 233 games (more on that below). But here we are, the Warriors are 3-2 up in this series against the Celtics and that’s because of the standout performances from their role players, but especially Wiggins.

After an absolute force on the glass in Game 4 to help the Warriors win, Wiggins followed that feat with an even better showing: 26 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and two steals. He was the main reason Golden State won Monday night, got what it wanted on offense and was disruptive on the other side of the floor. He didn’t really come alive until the fourth quarter where he took 10 of his 26 points to extend what was a one point lead at the end of the third quarter to a 10 point lead at the end of the game.

While Wiggins was the head of the snake in Golden State’s attack in Game 5, he wasn’t the only player to pick up the slack amid Curry’s offbeat play. Thompson had by far his best performance of the series, going 5 of 11 from center and being the only Warriors starter to connect with a three-pointer. In the last two games leading up to this, it looked like he was taking small steps to return to the striker we’ve come to expect from him, and in Game 5 he delivered where the Warriors needed him most.

The bench was also a huge advantage for the Warriors on Monday night. Golden State’s second unit defeated Boston 31-10, while Jordan Poole and Gary Payton accounted for 29 of those points. Poole’s huge buzzer-thumping, 35-foot swell at the end of the third quarter was what fueled Golden State’s dominant performance in the fourth quarter. It was an overall team effort for the Warriors in Game 5, and it was much needed as Curry was having a bad night.

Celtics mistakes get the upper hand

While the Warriors looked like the superior team for most of this game, in the third quarter the Celtics started to look like the team that won Games 1 and 3 of this series. The offense came easily, and the defense forced the Warriors into a low-quality appearance. As a result, Boston used a 10-0 run to open the third quarter to take the first lead of the night with 6:27 to go. It looked like the Celtics could steal this win as they held a narrow two point lead with three seconds left in the third quarter.

But then this happened:

Poole single-handedly killed the Celtics with this shot to close out the third quarter. It gave the Warriors a one-point lead into the final 12 minutes of the game, and Golden State never gave up the lead.

In the fourth quarter, the Celtics turned the ball four times, shooting 26.7 percent from the field and 25 percent from the depth. It was one of the nagging problems that the Celtics had to contend with throughout the postseason. They’ve struggled at times to give offense in the fourth quarter, especially when the game is close. It happened in Game 4, where the Warriors defeated the Celtics 15-0 in clutch time (last five minutes of the game), and Monday night, Boston was once again out of whack.

This is not to say that this game was lost in the fourth quarter, as Boston also struggled in the first half, posting nine turnovers in the first two quarters. However, in the third quarter, they came all the way back into this game and then completely forfeited a golden opportunity to take a 3-2 lead in the NBA Finals. I know this team is young, but you can’t completely derail Poole’s shot, especially with a championship at stake.

Historic Curry Series Comes to an End

In Game 5, Curry had hit a three-pointer in each of his 132 playoff games in his career. He also hit a three-pointer in 233 consecutive games in both the regular season and the playoffs. You’d think Curry making a single three-pointer would be a safe bet given those numbers, but that streak came to an end in Game 5. Curry went 0 for 9 from long range Monday night, breaking his run of consecutive games. with one made a three-pointer and ended his perfect run by making one in each of his post-season games. Both streaks were NBA records.

After a performance in which he put down 43 points and 10 rebounds, Curry looked a little gassed in Game 5. Several of his 3’s hit the front of the rim, suggesting his legs were exhausted from carrying the team to a win. in Game 4. With the unusual performance Curry turned in for Game 5, you’d think the Warriors would have lost. But Boston couldn’t take advantage of his night off and now the Warriors are one win away from a championship.