NBA

Celtics vs Warriors score takeaway: Stephen Curry bursts for 43 points as Golden State ties series at 2-2

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Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics was basically a heavyweight brawl for 48 minutes, with both teams landing big punches throughout. However, in the end, it was Stephen Curry and the Warriors who made just enough plays to earn a 107-97 win to tie that series at 2-2 and keep their championship aspirations alive.

Curry was fantastic for Golden State finishing with a game-high 43 points to go along with 10 rebounds, but he was far from the only Warriors player to step up in a big way when the team needed it most as Andrew Wiggins had a monster game. of his with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole also did their part by combining for 32 points.

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On the other end of the spectrum, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown led the charge for Boston, but their respective efforts weren’t enough for the Celtics to match Curry’s massive night.

With the Warriors winning, Monday Night’s Game 5 at Chase Center should be as intense as any game we’ve seen in the playoffs.

Here are three key points of the game:

1. Curry has a special night

Steph Curry had been terrific in the first three games of this series, and he was even better on Friday night. He finished with 43 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, made seven 3-pointers and shot 14 of 26 from the field. It was a truly special performance from one of the greatest players of all time.

For starters, it wasn’t like Game 1 or parts of Game 3 where the Celtics had breakdowns on the defensive end and gave Curry too much space. They were locked in the mission, chasing Curry all over the field and getting good contests on most of his shots. It didn’t matter. He’s the best shooter of all time, and he proved it once again in Game 4.

Additionally, the Warriors needed all of Curry’s 43 points. They were on the road in a hostile environment, trailing 2-1 and trailing for long periods of the game. No one else really had anything rolling – the rest of the team shot 40% from the field – and there were several points throughout the night where it looked like the Celtics might pull away . Curry never let it happen.

Klay Thompson, who has accompanied Curry throughout this run, called it his best Finals performance:

“I think [it ranks] probably No. 1,” Thompson said. “I mean, it was almost a game to win, and to go out there and shoot as effectively as he did, and grab 10 rebounds and they attacked it in defence; I mean, his conditioning is unmatched in this league. Steph played amazing.”

2. The Celtics’ late-game offense is burning them again

The Celtics finished the regular season on a 28-7 streak and, oddly enough, they may have been a little too good over the past few months. Twenty of those wins are in double digits, including 15 of at least 20 points. They were absolutely destroying teams, which meant they didn’t have many opportunities to work on one of their main flaws: the late-game offense.

Even in the playoffs, it’s kind of the same story. Eight of their 14 wins have been in double digits, and that number should probably be higher. Aside from Game 1 of the first round against the Brooklyn Nets, there weren’t too many positive late-game moments from this team. They couldn’t hold a late lead in Game 3 against the Milwaukee Bucks and completely collapsed in Game 5 of this series. In the Eastern Conference Finals against the Heat, they couldn’t make a comeback in Game 3, couldn’t hold a late lead in Game 6, and nearly blew out Game 7 disastrously. .

Now you can add Finals Match 4 to the endgame difficulty list. Midway through the quarter, Jaylen Brown resumed play for a short stretch, scoring six straight points to put the Celtics ahead. Marcus Smart then added a free throw to make it 91-86 for the Celtics with 7:32 remaining. They had a window there to pull back and potentially go up 3-1. Instead, they scored six points the rest of the game and gave up home court advantage.

“I stalled a bit,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. “When we did off-the-ball action and had movement, we looked really good.”

“We wanted to get the ball up quickly and go into an attack. If we have nothing, always make them work the clock. A lot of times we felt like we were on our feet, not knowing who we were trying to attack. go after, and that led to these blocked possessions.”

When a game is within five points with five minutes or less remaining, that’s defined as clutch time, and the Warriors beat the Celtics 15-0 in those minutes in Game 4. That’s the differential the highest in a Finals match in the past 25 years. , by ESPN Stats and Information.

3. Wiggins hits the glass

After his starring role guarding Luka Doncic in the Western Conference Finals, Andrew Wiggins has at times felt like a forgotten man in this series. Although he wasn’t bad in the first three games, he didn’t have much of an impact. That changed in Game 4, but not in the way you might expect.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr made a roster change ahead of that game, inserting Otto Porter Jr. into Kevon Looney’s starting lineup. Going small has its advantages, but bouncing usually isn’t one of them, and we saw the Warriors get smashed against the glass in Game 3. It was still a danger on Friday, but Wiggins didn’t let it. .

“Wiggs was fantastic,” Kerr said. “To face Boston, you have to face Tatum and Brown, and they’re just powerful, talented players. Big size. They attack you all the time, so we had to have Wiggs there. I thought he was great defensively. Obviously a career-high 16 rebounds and plus-20 on the night, so we needed every Wiggs contribution.

He was a machine on the glass, grabbing a career-high 16 rebounds to help the Warriors win the rebound battle 55-42. While he did most of his work on the defensive glass, he also offered a few fourth-quarter clutch rolls to get some big non-Curry points for the Warriors. The Warriors had 19 second-chance points to the Celtics’ 12 in a game they won by 10.

Most of the coverage for this game is going to focus on Curry, and rightly so, but the Warriors don’t win without a Herculean effort from Wiggins. It wasn’t the most spectacular or impactful outing of his career, but it was by far his most important. He finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds in 43 minutes, and the Warriors were plus-20 with him on the floor.

“I want to win,” Wiggins said. “I know the rebound is a big part of it. I just want to win. And I feel like sometimes we play small. So I just try to go out there and bounce back, help the team .”

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