Game 5 will take place in San Francisco on Monday night.
The Warriors beat the Celtics 58-43 in the second half and beat Boston 55-42. It was another disappointing night for Celtics All-Star Jayson Tatum, who shot 8 of 23 shots, scored 23 points, and made six laps. Boston cough up 16 as a team.
With the shot clock approaching, Marcus Smart hit the desperate triple pointer to give the Celtics a 94-90 lead 5:18 left and shook TD Garden. But these warriors were heroic and did not gossip.
They only needed 90 seconds to advance 7-0, as they lead 97-94 on the Curry buoy with 3:41 left.
The Warriors left a short opening, but the Celtics seemed to retreat from behind the arc rather than attack. After Brown missed a jump, Boston missed five consecutive three-pointers, and Curry’s arrows left 1:42 gave the Warriors a 100-94 lead.
After a timeout, Horford answered with three pointers before Draymond Green came in with a big offensive rebound and fed Kevon Looney in a layup that made the score 102-97 with a minute remaining.
Notes from the game:
⋅ Warriors coach Steve Kerr made a surprise line-up adjustment, introducing striker Otto Porter to big man Kevin Looney. The Celtics crushed the Warriors to the offensive glass in Game 3, and Looney was Golden State’s best player to date, so on the surface it seemed like an unusual choice. Kerr was clearly hoping to spread Boston’s big double lineup with some extra shots, and perhaps create slots elsewhere.
But in the first period, she did not do much. Robert Williams picked up a pair of fast attacking rebounds, converted one and missed the ball on the other. When Looney scored at about five minutes into the game, Golden State trailed by six points.
Porter played nine minutes in the first half and didn’t score any points, assists, or rebounds.
Those early offensive rebounds were just part of Williams’ quick start. He hit Curry’s one attempt in the front row, made the Warriors change their minds about several others, and kept a lot of missed opportunities alive. He also fired a perfect pass for Grant Williams to score 3 pointers in the last second to finish first.
It was no coincidence that the Warriors rallied 17-6 when he first came out, and Boston answered with 10-4 bursts once Williams returned.
He had 10 fewer rebounds than the middle of the second quarter.
⋅ Curry insisted he would play after sustaining a foot injury in the fourth quarter of Golden State’s Game 3 loss. This part wasn’t surprising, given the stakes, but it wasn’t clear if he would be restricted in any way.
Then the match started, and it was hard to tell he was injured at all. Curry exploded off the screens and danced through the paint showing no signs of any trouble. When he was wounded, it was felt that the warriors’ hopes might have faded, but it didn’t take long to show that this would still be a huge challenge for Boston.
The turnarounds were the Celtics’ fall back during these playoffs, and the first half was definitely not encouraging on that front. Boston had 10 hits before the break, often due to telegraph passes and drive-anywhere. Tatum had three throws during the second non-volatile quarter, and undoed some of the damage he did in the first by connecting all of his three throws. Then Tatum added two more in the third.
⋅ Long-range shots are the reason why Boston went into the first half with a 54-49 lead despite their mistakes. The Celtics scored 8 of 14 (57.1 percent) from behind the arc in the first half while Golden State scored only 7 of 24 (29.2 percent).
There were a few tough Thompson things in that beginning, but the Warriors also lost a lot of the clean, open looks they used to transform.
⋅ Tatum sometimes gets frustrated when asked how little emotion he shows on the court. he cares; It just doesn’t always tell people to scream. But the fans loved the effort he showed late in the second quarter, when he sprinted and dived for a loose ball before slipping out of bounds near the Boston bench. This isn’t any surprise, but he wants it badly.
The third quarters were a disaster for the Celtics and a boon for the Warriors throughout these playoffs, so perhaps the fans here were holding their collective breath when Boston came out at halftime by five points. The start wasn’t promising as Curry and Thompson quickly pitted jumpers to tie the score, before the Celtics backed down once and regained their lead.
The problem was that Curry was still on the ground, and no matter how hard they tried to chase him around the screens, no matter how hard they tried to seal off his airspace, it didn’t matter. Curry was 4-for-5 from over the arc in the third quarter and scored 14 points, helping the Warriors go forward, 79-78, by the start of the fourth quarter. It wasn’t great for Boston, but it also wasn’t a disaster.
⋅ The green mistook the open ball too wide in the second quarter, and his offensive struggles seemed to seep into the interior. Twice in the second half, he lost his open eyes on passes to spray peripheral passes.
Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed.