Celtics warriors score, takeaways: Golden State takes control of NBA Finals despite Steph Curry’s night’s sleep


Celtics warriors score, takeaways: Golden State takes control of NBA Finals despite Steph Curry's night's sleep

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

While Stephen Curry had carried the team to this point, the Warriors provided him with plenty of help in Game 5 when four other players alongside Curry – led by Andrew Wiggins and his 26 points – scored double figures for Golden State. Providing Curry’s offensive help was something that was essential from all of the Warriors’ supporting players mentioned in Game 5, and they did just that to lead Golden State to a double-digit win.

The win allows Curry and the Warriors to wrap up that series Thursday night in Game 6 at Boston’s TD Garden.

Wiggins and Co. show the way

We were bound to get a bad Curry game at some point, and when it happened, attention would turn to which of the Warriors players would fill the gap. Given how much Golden State relied on Curry’s brilliance in the first four games of the series, no one could have predicted it would win the game in which he scored just 16 points and failed to hit a 3-pointer the first time in 233 games (more on that below). But here we are, the Warriors lead 3-2 against the Celtics in this series and that is due to the outstanding performance of their role players, especially Wiggins.

After being an absolute force on the glass in Game 4 to help the Warriors win, Wiggins followed that performance with an even better performance: 26 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and two steals. He was the main reason Golden State won Monday night by getting everything he wanted on offense and being disruptive at the other end of the floor. He really came alive in the fourth quarter as he accumulated 10 of his 26 points to extend the lead from a point late in the third quarter to a 10-point lead by the end of the game.

While Wiggins was the head of the snake in Golden State’s Game 5 attack, he wasn’t the only player to close the gap amid Curry’s uncharacteristic play. Thompson had by far his best performance of the series, going 5 of 11 from downtown and being the only Warriors starter to connect with a 3-pointer. In the last two games leading up to this one, he looked like taking baby steps to return to the sharp forward we’ve come to expect from him, and he delivered in Game 5 when the Warriors needed him most.

The bench was also a massive advantage for the Warriors on Monday night. Golden State’s second session surpassed Boston 31-10, with Jordan Poole and Gary Payton accounting for 29 of those points. Poole’s massive 35-foot lever at the end of the third quarter was the catalyst for Golden State’s dominant performance in the fourth quarter. It was an all-around team effort for the Warriors in Game 5, and it was sorely needed as Curry had an evening off.

The Celtics’ mistakes overwhelm them

Although the Warriors looked like the dominant team for most of that game, the Celtics started to look like the team that won Games 1 and 3 of this series in the third quarter. Offense came easily, and defense forced the Warriors into inferior looks. As a result, Boston used a 10-0 run to open the third quarter to take the night’s first lead by 6-27. It seemed like the Celtics had the ability to steal that win as they held a slender two-point lead with three seconds left in the third quarter.

But then this happened:

Poole single-handedly sucked the life out of the Celtics with that shot to end the third quarter. It gave the Warriors a one-point lead in 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 deep. It was one of the nagging issues that plagued the Celtics throughout the postseason. They sometimes struggled to create offense in the fourth quarter, especially when the game is tight. It happened in Game 4, where the Warriors outplayed the Celtics 15-0 in clutch time (last five minutes of the game), and Boston looked flustered again Monday night.

That’s not to say that the game was lost in the fourth quarter, as Boston fought hard in the first half as well, committing nine turnovers in the first two quarters. However, they came all the way back in that game in the third quarter and then missed a golden opportunity to take a 3-2 lead in the NBA Finals. I know this team is young but you can’t let that shot from Poole completely derail you, especially when there’s a championship at stake.

The historic curry series comes to an end

Entering Game 5, Curry had hit a 3-pointer in each of his 132 career playoff games. He also recorded a 3-point win in 233 straight games, both in the regular season and the playoffs. You’d think that Curry with a single 3-pointer would be a safe bet considering those numbers, but that streak ended in Game 5. Curry went 0-9 from afar Monday night, breaking his streak of back-to-back games with him a made 3-pointers, ending his perfect streak of making one in each of his postseason games. Both streaks were NBA records.

After a performance that included 43 points and 10 rebounds, Curry looked a bit gassed in Game 5. Several of his 3s hit off the front of the rim, suggesting his legs were exhausted from leading the team to victory in Game 4. With the uncharacteristic performance Curry delivered in Game 5, you’d think the warriors would have lost. But Boston failed to capitalize on its night of off-shooting, and now the Warriors are just one win away from a championship.

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