Warriors beat Celtics in Game 5, moving NBA title win
SAN FRANCISCO — Golden State had been wasting its offense for most of the third quarter on Monday night when Andrew Wiggins pushed the ball past Jordan Poole, a young guard with enormous confidence. Just before time expired, Poole threw a 3-pointer from 33 feet that tipped on the glass before shaking the hoop.
The uprising was a breath of life for Golden State in Game 5 of the NBA Finals — and for the team’s white-handed fans, who rode waves of ups and downs before the Warriors went down. retired for a 104-94 win that set the dawn of another championship.
Golden State, which has taken a 3-2 series lead, can clinch its fourth title in eight seasons, and its first since 2018, when the team hits the road to face Boston in Game 6 on Thursday night.
Wiggins led Golden State with 26 points and Klay Thompson added 21. Jayson Tatum had 27 points for the Celtics in the loss.
After a good start, Golden State led by 12, but four free throws from Jaylen Brown and 3 consecutive points from Tatum gave the Celtics the first 10 points of the second half, a surprising turn of events given the famous Golden State . scorching third quarters. The Celtics took an early lead when Marcus Smart and Al Horford connected on their own 3-pointers in a row, part of a 19-4 run.
Golden State missed its first eight 3-point attempts of the second half before Thompson finally made a couple, a much-needed boost for Golden State – and for Thompson, who had had his share of struggles in the series. .
After Poole punctuated the third quarter with his deep 3-pointer, a shot that sent the home crowd at Chase Center into a near-delirious state, his teammates seemed to ride that crest of emotion. By the time Thompson lost Smart to make another 3-pointer, Golden State had moved up 8 points.
After scoring 43 points in Golden State’s Game 4 win, Stephen Curry made a low-key effort in Game 5, finishing with just 16 points and shooting 0 of 9 from 3-point range. But his teammates delivered. Golden State appeared locked in from the start, passing the ball from side to side, corner to corner, constantly looking for the best shot possible. Not that the team was ever able to connect, shooting 3 of 17 from 3 in the first half.
Still, Golden State took a lead up to 16 late in the first quarter before Boston began to crumble with Curry resting on the bench. Smart sank a 10-foot jumper. Robert Williams made his way inside for a lay-up.
Golden State recalibrated as Curry took a 51-39 halftime lead with an over and under layup.
In the first half, Golden State was buoyed by Wiggins, who had 16 points and 7 rebounds, and Draymond Green, who put together one of his most assertive streaks in the Finals. In the first four games of the series, he scored a total of 17 points. At halftime in Game 5, he had 8 points and was flying around the field.
Tatum, after working with his shooting for much of the series, was doing what he could to keep the Celtics close, picking up 13 points and 8 rebounds in the first half.
Before the game, Celtics coach Ime Udoka expressed concern that Tatum was preoccupied with foul hunting rather than good shots. Udoka wanted him to be “more physical” on his records.
“A lot of times he sort of floats, starting one leg, when he can plant and start two, finish a little bit stronger,” Udoka said, adding, “We just tell him to be decisive. Did it all year, saw all the covers, and for the most part somehow made them stand out.
For Golden State coach Steve Kerr, Monday marked the 25th anniversary of a poignant moment in his playing career. It was Kerr’s jump shot in Game 6 of the 1997 Finals who won another championship for the Chicago Bulls — their fifth in the Michael Jordan era — against the Utah Jazz.
“Something that every young basketball player dreams of,” he said, adding, “Finals are finals, whether you play or coach. It’s the ultimate competition in the world of basketball.