The Warriors record continues! This is the 27th straight series where they have won at least one away game. To get this victory, they had to rely on a Stephen Curry from another planet, a huge Andrew Wiggins, and a defense that suffocated Boston.
The Warriors start Game 4 with Otto Porter Jr. in the five in place of Kevon Looney to try to play faster and put pressure on Robert Williams. If their defense causes three lost balls, Williams takes two offensive rebounds and the Celtics take a seven-point lead (11-4).
After an initial 2/10, the Warriors however confirm their serious start. Their defense limits Boston to 1/8 on shots over the next seven minutes as four award-winning shots from Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins finish a 19-7 (23-18). The Celtics, however, took the lead thanks to 12 points from Jayson Tatum and a buzzer shot from Grant Williams to cap off a superb possession from Boston (28-27).
Omnipresent Andrew Wiggins, transparent Draymond Green
The two defenses then raise their voices. Lost balls follow one another on the Celtics side, fouls accumulate on the Warriors side, including a technical foul for Steve Kerr. Jordan Poole and the Tatum – Brown duo respond to 3-pointers but the two teams only score 12 and 11 points in six minutes (39-39). As the address flees the Warriors despite numerous open shots, Boston rages. Jaylen Brown and Derrick White launch a 10-0 that explodes TD Garden (49-42). The Curry – Wiggins pair eventually respond but the Celtics return to the locker room at +5 (54-49).
Golden State starts the third quarter on a 5-0 but the Celtics respond immediately. This time it’s Marcus Smart, so far inside offensively, who takes responsibility while Jayson Tatum forces. The Warriors continue to harvest from 3-pointers as Smart and Derrick White hit the mark from afar. Only Stephen Curry’s wrist keeps the Warriors in ambush. Despite Boston’s good defense on pick & roll with much higher tallies, the double MVP then decides to draw from further away. It starts at 8 meters, string. He passes 10 meters, string, to put the two teams back to back. He passes in the corner, string, to give the advantage to his team (79-78).
The “Splash Brothers” in action
The tension rose several notches in the TD Garden and the teams responded blow for blow during the first five minutes of the last quarter. The Warriors let go first, committing two loose balls, which offer six straight points to an ultra-aggressive Jaylen Brown towards the circle (91-86). Somehow, the Warriors let the storm pass, despite a winning shot at the buzzer of 24 seconds from Marcus Smart, and go back to the front. A winning shot from Klay Thompson and a floater from Stephen Curry finished an 11-3 that gave them a three-point lead with four minutes to play (97-94).
The score did not move for more than two minutes before Stephen Curry came and slammed his seventh 3-pointer of the match to put the Warriors at +6 (100-94)! Al Horford responds to him to keep hope alive but on the next action, Draymond Green will look for a decisive offensive rebound to keep Boston at two possessions. In the process, Klay Thompson provokes a lost ball from Jaylen Brown, and the mass is said.
The Warriors fulfill their contract by regaining home field advantage. The series returns to San Francisco at two all and becomes a best-of-three sprint!
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– The Golden State defense is back. By starting Otto Porter Jr in place of Kevon Looney, Steve Kerr opted for a more active defensive five, more aggressive and more able to switch. His bet didn’t necessarily pay off as Kevon Looneyt quickly took his place, but the Warriors were more aggressive on the carrier and the assists were more rigorous, forcing the Celtics to attempt passes over several arms . At the break, Boston had 10 lost balls and their success in the circle had returned to the level of the first two games. The choice of Steve Kerr, however, allowed Robert Williams to take 4 offensive rebounds but no other Celtic had an offensive rebound.
– The 3-point address changes sides. Despite Golden State’s good defense, the Celtics were ahead at halftime with 57% skill from afar (8/14). The Warriors, who had nevertheless procured a slew of open shots, were only 7/24 away! And then Stephen Curry tipped the scales for his team. He is 4/5 from 3-pointers in the third quarter while the Celtics are at 3/11. Klay Thompson follows suit in the last period with two shots in a row just after “F… Klay Thompson” from TD Garden. Between them, the Splash Brothers scored a 3-point basket more (8/13) than the entire Boston team (7/24) in the second half! Without address, Boston’s attack took on water as Stephen Curry brought down the rain!
– Each Warrior brought his piece to the building at the end of the match. After three quarters, the Warriors were ahead by a short header thanks to an incandescent Stephen Curry and a stifling defense. However, the double MVP’s teammates were still lacking in success. With Curry on the bench to start the last period, we could have feared the worst but the Warriors responded. Andrew Wiggins put out Jayson Tatum and grabbed two big offensive rebounds. Klay Thompson scored eight crucial points to kick off Golden State’s comeback at -5. Draymond Green, clumsy, took 5 rebounds, including 3 decisive offensive, and delivered 3 caviars. Stephen Curry was able to complete the job with his 10 units but it was the collective strength of Golden State that fetched this victory in “money time”.
✅Stephen Curry. Superlatives are lacking to describe the performance of the double MVP. 43 points, 14/26 on shots, 7/14 from 3-pointers, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 drop balls. The Warriors star was exceptional, scoring 24 of his 43 points in the second half to pick up a momentous victory.
✅Andrew Wiggins. The “Mister Clean” of these Finals for Golden State was equal to himself with 17 points and a stifling defense on Jayson Tatum. He also had 16 rebounds! Behind Stephen Curry, he is Golden State’s most consistent player.
✅ ⛔ Clay Thompson. With 10 points at 4/13 in shooting for three quarters, the other “Splash Brother” was overdue. But his 8 points at 3/4, including 2/3 from afar, in the last quarter, were invaluable in assisting Stephen Curry. And allow Golden State to finally make a difference. He also upped his game defensively against Jaylen Brown in money-time.
⛔ Draymond Green. Admittedly, he defended and was useful in the “money time” but his inability to weigh in attack (2 points, 1/7) continues to weigh down the Warriors, and forced Steve Kerr to use him sparingly in the fourth quarter. -time. He still finished with 9 rebounds, 8 assists, and 4 steals.
⛔ Jayson Tatum. The Celtics star did not have the impact expected of a “franchise player”. He started the game well but forced a lot against Andrew Wiggins and Golden State’s helpers. He scored 23 points at 8/23 on shots, while losing 6 balls.
Game 5: overnight Monday through Tuesday in San Francisco.