The daily preview takes it to the rim with NBA tips for Game 5 of the 2022 NBA Finals between Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics.
11:00 (AEST), Tue 14th Jun @ Chase Center, San Francisco
History: Played 373: Celtics 226 V Warriors 147
Last meeting: June 11, 2022: Warriors 107 d Celtics 97 at TD Garden
Final Thoughts: Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics will look to put one hand on the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in San Francisco, with a rollercoaster series currently locked a 2-all.
All four games so far have been decided by 10 points or more – but there’s been no shortage of drama and remarkable comebacks. The third-quarter disparity between the rivals has been a key feature of the Finals; the Warriors have outscored the Celtics 136-87 in the third quarter of the four encounters.
Steph Curry, overshadowed by Andre Iguodola and Kevin Durant in the Warriors’ previous NBA Finals triumphs, has been Golden State’s leading light. He has averaged 34.3 points in the series and exploded for 43 points to inspire a vital Game 4 victory in Boston.
Meanwhile, Celtics spearhead Jayson Tatum is struggling offensively. He has been held to a dismal shooting percentage of 34.1. Intermittently strong performances from Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Derrick White (and an overall size advantage) have helped Boston to a couple of wins.
The Celtics took the Warriors on at their own game in the series opener and won, with a stunning three-point shooting display – and a freakish fourth-quarter rally – underpinning a widely unexpected 120-108 result in San Francisco.
Boston had no answer to another third-quarter surge from Golden State in Game 2, however. The margin at halftime was again two points before the Warriors exploded with a 35-14 third term and, ultimately, securing a 107-88 victory.
The Celtics stormed out of the blocks in Game 3 as the series moved to Boston, leading by as many as 18 points. Yet again the Warriors rallied in the third quarter, however, briefly taking the lead. But the Celtics regrouped to lead by four heading into the final term, where they outscored the Warriors 23-11 for a 116-100 victory. Brown (27 pts, 9 reb, 5 ast), Tatum (26 pts, 6 reb, 9 ast) and Smart (24 pts, 7 reb, 5 ast) fired in unison to become the first trio of teammates to top 20 points and 5 assists in and NBA Finals game since 1984.
The Warriors were under the pump at 2-1 down and five points behind at halftime of Game 4 in Boston, but Curry led them to a 107-97 win with a dominant second half. Curry (43 pts, 10 reb) shot seven three-pointers in a stunning exhibition, while Andrew Wiggins (17 pts, 16 reb) was a strong contributor.
Golden State are 41-11 at home this season (31-19-2 ATS) – including a 9-1 record in the playoffs. Boston are 31-21 overall on the road (an NBA-best 34-17-1 ATS) and 8-3 in the post-season.
The NBA Finals have swung wildly from game to game, which makes it difficult to get a confident read. But the Curry-led Game 4 win felt like a decisive statement. The Celtics need a serious turnaround from Tatum. The Warriors should take their first lead of the series at home and will cover if the likes of Poole and Thompson provide a decent level of support for their Finals MVP-in-waiting.