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BetMGM line: Warriors -3.5
The NBA Finals are once again heading to the whole Bay Area tied up, which should be a tense 5th game of the series Monday night.
After escaping Boston with a split against the Celtics thanks to Friday’s win, the Golden State Warriors are in a great position to jump 3-2 now that they are back in the Chase position. The Warriors racked up two wins for their fourth title in eight years. Meanwhile, for the Celtics, a win on Monday will determine Boston’s victory in their 18th home championship in Game Six on Thursday night.
Here’s what you need to know for Game 5:
slowing down steve curry, warriors
As we’ve seen so far this series, stopping Stephen Curry is an almost impossible task. The Celtics couldn’t do that. If Curry puts up a show on Monday like he did in Game 4, the Celtics will struggle.
Curry, after injuring his foot in Game 3, dropped 43 points and 10 rebounds by seven three-pointers in Friday’s win. It was the second most points scored in a final match. The Golden State offense, as is customary, went through him almost exclusively.
Although Curry scored at least 29 points in every final, Friday was special — something Boston could never have done again, no matter how hard they slowed him down.
“We all know what he can do outside of 20ft, 35ft and 40ft. This guy is special in that regard,” Celtics star Marcus Smart said on Sunday. “The way he can impact the game is by being able to run and play on the ball. And he opened himself. It’s hard for the defender because you can’t take a break. You think he’s not doing anything, the play is over for him, and that’s when you defeat… He’s got the full package, you have to be able to protect everything he’s got, and not many guys can do that.”
Robert Williams injury update
Celtics big man Robert Williams was a major contributor to the series when he was able to be on the field.
Williams has been dealing with a left knee injury for weeks, and left Game 4 early Friday night for that reason.
Although still listed as questionable, Celtics coach Aime Odoka was “optimistic” that Williams will be able to move at full speed on Monday. Williams had a similar diagnosis, and said he wasn’t sure what happened on Friday and led to his exit early.
“Feeling good. A little sore, but on the side of better days,” he said Sunday via NBC Sports Boston. “I was actually looking at the clip. I can’t necessarily tell you if it’s a jump or a landing, but there’s a typical soreness, man. But like I said, I feel fine.”
Williams had seven points and 12 rebounds in Game Four. He averaged 6.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, and three blocks per game in the finals.
‘Namaste Klay’ ready to go for 3 year anniversary
While it may not be standard practice for a Warriors athletic training team, Klay Thompson used an unusual method to heal his “mind, body, and spirit” after returning to San Francisco.
jumped into the bay.
It can’t be snug, but hey, whatever suits him.
Monday’s match marks a special memory for Thompson. It will be exactly three years since he tore his ACL in the finals, the first of two major injuries he sustained before returning to the field this season.
Although he admitted on Sunday that he might take a brief moment to think before the match, Thompson is trying to get past it.
“When I step onto that court, I want to win by any means necessary,” Thompson said. “I don’t care how ugly or beautiful it is… I won’t sing Kumbaya or anything. I just want to win.”