Sales doom Celtics again in Game 4 loss to Warriors

Sales doom Celtics again in Game 4 loss to Warriors

Sales doom Celtics again in Game 4 loss to Warriors

Jayson Tatum and the Celtics struggled with turnovers in Game 4, making 16, leading directly to 19 points for the Warriors.

Full Coverage: NBA Finals 2022

BOSTON (AP) — For three-quarters, the Boston Celtics reacted to almost every punch the Golden State Warriors threw at them.

But mistakes and the inability to reclaim a final Golden State strike in the fourth quarter cost the Celtics a 107-97 loss in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Now, with the series tied, they are in a best-of-three series with Game 5 set for Monday night in Golden State.

The team that has made resilience their calling card in win-win situations will now have to do it again if it hopes to win the franchise’s 18th championship.

Jayson Tatum was disappointed in his performance, though he finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. But Tatum didn’t shoot the ball well – he was only 8 out of 23 from the field – and didn’t get it; he had six of Boston’s 16 turnovers that led to 19 Golden State points.

Boston has shown that 16 is a number that more often than not leads to defeat. The Celtics are now 1-6 this postseason when they commit 16 or more turnovers. When they commit 15 or less, they are 13-2.

“I’m paying. I have to get better,” Tatum said. “I know I influence the game in other ways, but I have to be more efficient, shoot the ball better and finish better on the edge.”

Marcus Smart said the Celtics didn’t play well at crunch time.

“We just didn’t run it late,” said Smart, who scored 18 points. “They went on the run early in the third. We persevered, made our own flight. After that, we just couldn’t perform anymore.”

The setback overshadowed a big night for Boston big man Robert Williams, who had seven points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two blocks before being forced to the bench when he appeared to be hopping on his surgically repaired left knee.

He was in the final 3:41 of the game but coach Ime Udoka said he hadn’t noticed anything wrong with Williams and had not been made aware of any problem.

Williams has been mentioned daily during the playoffs and how much he will be able to play in Game 5 will be a concern.

The Celtics appeared to be in control of Game 4 and were destined to take an impressive lead in the series, hitting 15 3-pointers and reacting to several scoring runs from the Warriors.

Things changed in the fourth as Boston sales continued to soar. When they couldn’t score the match too late, fate was sealed.

The Celtics took a 94-90 lead with 5:18 in the fourth before missing their next six shots. Golden State took advantage, scoring 10 straight points and never trailing again.

Boston was defeated 28-19 in the last 12 minutes.

Udoka said his team sometimes got caught looking at the ball and that it had an effect on how the ball moved halfway through.

“We’ve had plenty of chances, of course. Every time we had a five, six-point lead, it felt like we made some bad decisions,” said Udoka. “Whether it was rushed shots in traffic or… hang out and look at each other there for a bit.”

If there’s any consolation for the Celtics, it’s that they are 7-0 this postseason after a loss.

“There are certain things we need to clear up. … Would we have liked to have won today and led 3-1? That would have been the best case scenario,” Tatum said. “But it’s the final. The art of competing, they came here with the feeling that they had to win. It wasn’t easy. I think that’s the beauty of it, it won’t be easy. It shouldn’t.”