Wiggins, Thompson help Warriors take Game 5, one win away from their fourth title


SAN FRANCISCO – Stephen Curry had a tough shooting night but Andrew Wiggins scored a team-high 26 points and Klay Thompson chipped in 21 points to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 104-94 victory over the Boston Celtics. The Warriors now lead 3-2 in the NBA Finals.

Entering this year, teams that have led the NBA Finals 3-2 have gone on to win the series 81.3 percent of the time according to the Elias Sports Bureau. 

After scoring 43 points on seven made 3s in Game 4, Curry added 16 points and eight assists. He was 0-for-9 from three-point range that snapped a streak of 132 postseason games with at least one made three-pointer. 

Curry’s streak of 233 straight games with at least one made three-pointer between regular season and postseason was snapped also. Curry finished 7-for-22 from the field overall.

“Boston did a really good job defensively, as we would expect,” said Golden State’s head coach Steve Kerr. “They are a great defensive team. I thought they put pressure on him early in pick-and-roll. And Steph missed some open ones, too.”

Gary Payton II scored 15 points and Jordan Poole added 14 points off the bench for the Warriors, who outscored Boston’s reserves 31-10. Poole knocked down a 33-foot three-pointer from the left wing to beat the buzzer at the end of the third quarter that gave Golden State a 75-74 lead heading into the final frame. 

Draymond Green finished with eight points (after scoring four points combined in Games 3 and 4), eight rebounds and six assists in 35 minutes before fouling out. Green became just the second player in NBA Finals history to foul out of three games in a series, joining Indiana Pacers Dale Davis who accomplished the dubious mark in 2000 according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

“I felt more like myself, aggressive on both ends of the ball,” Green said. “But I felt like myself in Game 4 as well after an atrocious Game 3. But you’ve just got to continue to build. Tonight, is a great start, and I look forward to going to Game 6 with the same energy and effort.”

With the victory, the trio of Curry, Green and Thompson earned their 20th win in the NBA Finals, passing the San Antonio Spurs trio of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan for second-most all-time wins in the Finals. Before that the Los Angeles Lakers trio dominated the NBA Finals back in 1970’s led by Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Cooper (22).

“Those three are some of the greatest to ever play,” said Thompson. “I feel like they played my whole life, my whole childhood. To be mentioned in the same company as them, it’s humbling.”

The night belonged to Wiggins, whose thunderous one-handed dunk over Derrick White brought the house down with 2:10 left in the game. Wiggins has been the Warriors most consistent player this series. After grabbing a career-high 16 rebounds in Game 4, Wiggins collected 13 of Golden State’s 39 rebounds.

“Well, I think throughout the playoffs, really, he’s rebounded well,” Kerr said. “I think it’s just a sense of what’s needed and being on this team, where he’s got veteran guys who are helping him, and he’s just using his athleticism in a lot of different ways. He’s just fantastic. Not just in this series but throughout the playoffs.”

Wiggins scored a playoff career-high 16 points in the first half. The intense competition brought out the very best from Wiggins at just the right time for the Warriors.

“It’s something I dreamt about for sure, being in the league, and this is the ultimate stage,” said Wiggins. “It doesn’t get bigger than this. I was out there being aggressive. It was a good game.”

Golden State can clinch their fourth championship in eight years when the series shifts to Boston for Game 6 on Thursday. The Celtics must win at home for the series to return to San Francisco for a winner-take-all Game 7 on Sunday. The Warriors improved to 11-1 during this postseason. Their only loss came at the hands of the Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

“Obviously, we are all frustrated with tonight a little bit,” Boston’s head coach Ime Udoka said. “Our message is to take it one [game] at a time. We’ve been here before [down 3-2], did it against Milwaukee. Let’s bring it back out to the Bay.”

Jayson Tatum scored 13 of his game-high 27 points in the first half to go along with a team-high 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who lost consecutive games for the first time this postseason. Tatum was 10-for-20 from the field, including 5-for-9 from three-point territory. Marcus Smart added 20 points on 7-for-15 shooting. 

“You know, I give all those guys credit, everybody,” said Tatum. “For them to play well tonight, they were the better team tonight. You got to give them credit. Get some rest and get ready for the next one.”

The Celtics outscored the Warriors 35-24 in the third quarter after Golden State held a 51-39 lead at halftime. Al Horford drilled a go-ahead three-pointer at the 6:28 mark that trimmed the Warriors lead to 58-55. Grant Williams three-point play at the 3:55 mark pushed Boston’s lead to 66-61.

The Celtics missed their first 12 three-pointers before ripping off eight straight to climb back into the game. Boston shot 11-for-32 from three-point range, while Golden State struggled 9-for-40 from beyond the three-point arc. The Celtics held a 47-39 edge on rebounds. 

Jaylen Brown, who started the game on 2-for-11 shooting, finished with 18 points and nine rebounds, but shot 5-for-18 from the floor and missed all five of his three-point attempts.

Photo by Warriors/Twitter

Previous Post
Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.