The NBA Finals returns to the Chase Center for a crucial Game 5 matchup between the Warriors and the Celtics.
SWING GAME ON WARRIORS GROUND
The NBA Finals returns to the Chase Center for Game 5 on Monday, with the series tied 2-2. The Warriors and Celtics have taken turns winning this series, and both teams can claim never to have lost back-to-back games this postseason. And while every game was decided by double digits — the Warriors’ 10-point winning margin in Game 4 was the narrowest in the series to date — the Finals were a lot tighter than that, as the series standings show. In fact, the Warriors have edged the Celtics by a single point (422-421) in their first four games.
The Warriors regained home field advantage by winning Game 4 on Friday. The Dubs are 10-1 at home this postseason, and with at most three games remaining in the series, the Warriors can and will take every advantage they can, with each team two wins away from an NBA championship. If Monday’s Game 5 is played similarly to the first four games, it will be decided in the second half as the team that won the second half won each of the first four games of the series. The Warriors have won the third quarter in each of the first four games of the series and are a 49-plus cumulative for the series over that period, but Boston drove the dominant fourth quarter to each of their wins in Games 1 and 3.
No matter how you split it up, Game 5 is shaping up to be the biggest game in Chase Center’s young history. Tickets are on sale now and all fans in attendance will receive a Warriors Gold Blooded Finals t-shirt courtesy of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
MATCHUP AT A GLANCE
|PTS: 112.7 (1st)||PTS: 106.8 (8th)|
|REB: 44.2 (5th)||REB: 42.8 (7th)|
|AST: 27.2 (1st)||AST: 24.7 (5th)|
Stephen Curry had 43 points and the Warriors ended a hard-fought game on a 17-3 run in Boston on Friday night to win Game 4, 107-97. Curry hit seven threes in the game and Andrew Wiggins had 17 points and a career-high 16 rebounds in the win, tying the series 2-2. » Complete summary of the game
PREVIOUS GAME STARTERS
GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Otto Porter Jr and Draymond Green
BOS: Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford and Robert Williams
INJURIES & CABLE NOTES
GSW: James Wiseman (right knee injury management) is out. team notes
BOS: open. team notes
MAN ON A MISSION
In four games of this series, Stephen Curry has been on his toes. He’s averaging 34.3 points while shooting over 49 percent (both overall and on 3-pointers), and he hasn’t hit fewer than five three-pointers in any game in these Finals. If he keeps up at that pace, it will be Curry’s highest scoring of his NBA Finals career and third-highest postseason series overall. Curry went into Game 4 with a sore left foot, but the fact that he played a high 41 minutes into the 2022 season and delivered a characteristic performance of an already stellar career should allay any concerns about that injury.
DOING THE DIRTY WORK
While Curry has pushed this series forward, Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney have been constant, if quieter, sources of production. Wiggins was given the difficult task of defending Boston’s All-NBA star Jayson Tatum. And just like he did against Luka Doncic in the Western Conference Finals, Wiggins makes Tatum work for whatever he gets in the Finals. Tatum is averaging 22.3 points while shooting 34.1 percent from the field, compared to 27.0 points on the 44.6 percent shots he had in the first three rounds of the postseason. Offensively, Wiggins carried the Warriors through spurts, especially early in games. He had eight Warriors points in the first quarter of Friday’s win, and his rebound in that playoff was far better than anything he’s ever done on the glass up to that point in his career.
Wiggins is averaging 8.5 rebounds that series, level on points with Looney at the top of the team. From the start or off the bench, Looney was Mr. Reliable for the dubs. Whether it’s landing on the edge, making the right pass, setting a screen, or protecting the edge, Looney has continued his strong postseason game and has the best plus-minus overall rating of any player in these NBA Finals (+9.0 per game).
TEAM PLAYOFF GUIDE
|PTS: Curry (27.6)||PTS: Tatum (26.1)|
|REB: Looney (7.9)||REB: Horford (9.1)|
|AST: Green (6.2)||AST: Tatum (6.2)|
BOSTON SCOUTING REPORT
The Celtics have had their ups and downs throughout these playoffs, but they’ve always found a way to bounce back. Boston is 7-0 after a loss this postseason and they were particularly tough on the road, going 8-3 away. The Celtics continue to be led by Tatum and fellow winger Jaylen Brown, who are each averaging 22.3 points in the series. Marcus Smart, Derrick White and Al Horford also had their offensive moments for the Celtics in the Finals, who as a team have recorded 49 percent of their wins and 39 percent of their losses. Center Robert Williams III made himself felt defensively. He averages 3.0 blocks per game and has the second-best average plus-minus rating (+5.0) among players who play at least 15 minutes per game in this series, behind only Looney. The Celtics have been the best road team this postseason, and they’ll need that to prove themselves at least one more time to keep their championship hopes alive.