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3 things we learned from Celtics-Warriors NBA Finals Game 5 on Monday

The Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics 104-94 in Game 5 of the 2022 NBA Finals on Monday and have a 3-2 series lead before heading to Boston in Game 6 on Thursday. (Author: Gardener)

MondayThe Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics 104-94 in Game 5 of the 2022 NBA Finals on Monday and have a 3-2 series lead before heading to Boston in Game 6 on Thursday. The 2022 NBA Finals was a series that went back and forth in terms of momentum swings between the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors. Entering Game 5 on Monday, neither side had suffered back-to-back losses and both the Celtics and Warriors were the top two teams in the league when it came to picking up a win straight away from a loss. Early in the first quarter and throughout the second quarter of Game 5, Stephen Curry really struggled to get anything going offensively for the Warriors, with Marcus Smart's face guarding every single ball, but it didn't matter because Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and, surprisingly, Draymond Green stepped in to carry the load offensively. Not only did the Warriors play a near-picture-perfect defense, they also caused a stir at both ends of the court and went into the dressing room at halftime with 12 points and 51-39. The third quarter of that series belonged to Golden State as they faced Boston in the third on Monday night +49, but in Game 5 it was the Celtics who controlled the start of the second half. In the first and second quarters, the Celtics combined for a 3-13 from three-point range and missed their first 12 shots from beyond the arc. In the third quarter, Boston shot 6-8 from three-point range and they made eight consecutive three-pointers on a point that stretches back to the end of the second quarter! With that barrage of threes from the perimeter, the Celtics quickly erased their 12-point halftime deficit with a 13-2 run and even went 5 points ahead, a 21-point turnaround form than the Warriors in the first half led at 16. The Warriors led by a point early in the fourth quarter and had flashbacks to their second-half collapse in Game 1 of that series on their home court. With Curry still struggling, this game would boil down to who wanted it more, and in Game 5 Andrew Wiggins and the Warriors clearly wanted it more. The Celtics looked absolutely gassed in the fourth quarter after going all out in the third to get back in that game and Wiggins took advantage of that. The former No. 1 overall pick and All-Star forward constantly attacked the Celtics defense regardless of who was guarding him and finished Game 5 with 26 points on 12-23 shots and 13 rebounds, his second straight game with a double-double. With a 104-94 win on their home turf, the Golden State Warriors now lead this NBA Finals series 3-2 and are just one win away from reigning supreme in the basketball world! Thursday night's Game 6 in Boston should be another thrilling and thrilling battle between two of the league's best teams, and based on what we learned from Monday's Game 5, it's not hard to believe that Thursday's game will be very could arguably be the last game of the 2021-22 NBA season. Didn't we all crown Stephen Curry as the Finals MVP presumptive after his 43-point performance on the road in Boston in Game 4 of this series? I mean, yeah, we all named Curry the finals MVP presumptive based on his performances in every game in that series, but Andrew Wiggins made his presence felt in that series very quietly ahead of Monday night's game. Game 5 was Wiggin's coming out party, if you will, and without every single one of his points and rebounds, the outcome of that game is vastly different, most likely in the Boston Celtics' favour. Andrew Wiggins' ability to not only score from dribbling and be a secondary playmaker, but also to be Jayson Tatum's main defender of the series tipped the balance of the series for the Warriors. Tatum, who was selected to the All-NBA First Team and finished seventh in the league this season with an average of 26.9 points per game, was held against the Warriors at 23.2 points per game, 36.7% shooting from ground and he has an average of 3.6 turnovers per game. Say what you will about the intensity with which Draymond Green, Marcus Smart and others play defensively, but Wiggins has done a masterful job defending Tatum this series and neither Tatum nor the Celtics have an answer how to score against Wiggins. In addition to his defensive instincts and ability to limit the Celtics' superstar, Andrew Wiggins was also arguably the second-best scoring weapon with the Warriors alongside Stephen Curry, and he was the best not only for the Warriors but in that regard as well Rebounder series period! With 26 points and 13 rebounds in 43 minutes Monday night, Wiggins recorded his second 20-point game of the NBA Finals and his second straight double-double. Wiggins was arguably the most important and best defender in that series, he was arguably the second best offensive talent, and he was arguably the best rebounder in that series. Stephen Curry is one of the all-time greats and definitely deserves to be Finals MVP should he complete Game 6 for the Golden State Warriors, but if you're talking about who had the biggest impact of that series, it was Andreas Wiggins . In Game 5, the Boston Celtics won 14-2 in the playoffs when they had 15 or fewer turnovers in a game. In Game 5 the Celtics turned the ball a total of 18 times and guess what, the numbers don't lie! Boston lost that one as mentioned 104-94, which means they are now in the playoffs 0-7 if they turn over 16 or more times. However, for the Celtics, their turnovers directly affect their defense as they are not the most gifted offensive team. Some nights, scoring isn't a priority for Boston, especially when they're struggling to hit three-pointers like they did in Game 5 against the Warriors. If you look at the Celtics' three NBA Finals losses to the Warriors, not only did they flip the ball 19 times in Game 2, 16 times in Game 4, and now 18 times in Game 5, but in all three of those losses did they fail to surpass 100 points on offense. Golden State is one of the most talented offensive teams in the league and the last thing you want to do when you're the Celtics is load your defense more to make stops as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are the two greatest shooters of all Times run around the edge chasing their shots. After Game 5, the Celtics have now turned the ball a total of 78 times in the first five games of the NBA Finals, and those 78 turnovers went straight to 103 points for the Warriors. Just to put this in perspective, Golden State totaled 100 points in Game 3 and just 104 points in Game 5, resulting in a 10-point win. Turnovers have led directly to the downfall of the Boston Celtics in this series and if they continue to be careless with basketball they will lose Game 6 and this NBA Finals series on their home ground. After a 43-point performance, the Boston Celtics knew they had to stop Stephen Curry if they were going to have any chance of winning Game 5. Boston was more than content going 4-on-4 and taking Curry out of the picture, which is why the two-time MVP ended up 7-22 from the floor and 0-9 from three-pointers with just 16 points and his Streak of 233 consecutive games ended with a made three-pointer. If you had told me these were going to be Steph Curry's numbers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, I would have predicted the Celtics would win that game by 15-20 points, maybe even more given how they played! Well, the Celtics lost by 10 points, and not just because Andrew Wiggins rose tremendously and arguably had his best game in a Warriors uniform, but because the depth of the Warriors really came out. Andrew Wiggins had 26 points, Klay Thompson had 21 points, Draymond Green had 8 points and came off the bench, Gary Payton II and Jordan Poole combined for 29 points on a 10-16 shooting, 4-9 from three-point range ! Payton and Poole's bank shot in that game was crucial for the Warriors and there wasn't a greater moment in that game when Jordan Poole hit another long buzzer-beater to end the third quarter, giving the Warriors a one-point instead -Vorsprung put two points behind in the fourth quarter. Gary Payton II finished work +16 off the bench in 26 minutes and made a huge impression for the Warriors defensively with his 3 steals and gave them the opportunity to switch every single ball screen, which really limited the Celtics' attacking ability to color out the perimeter. Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum had a ton of success in Games 1 and 3 of this series, pulling out their defender in isolation sets and either attacking him downhill to the rim or rolling off a ball screen and getting to the rim with their defenders behind them. In Game 5, however, the Celtics always saw a player ahead of them, resulting in Boston taking a lot of contested, low-percentage shots to the offensive end of the ground. Gary Payton II, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins were a big part of that Warriors defensive effort, and their overall depth really surpassed Boston's overall starting unit. Bank depth has been an issue for the Celtics all year, and with Grant Williams, Derrick White and Payton Pritchard Boston not giving any performance from the bench in Game 5, they now face a "championship point" in favor of the Golden State Warriors. * Here's what Draymond Green said after Game 5 about Andrew Wiggins: Draymond Green met with the media after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the NBA Finals Monday night. * Klay Thompson viral quote about Boston after Game 5: Klay Thompson met with the media and made a viral quote after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

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Celtics present the Warriors with the NBA title

Boston's turnover problems could cost them in the finals. (Author: Gardener)

NBAJust under five minutes remained in Game 5 on Monday when a slight confrontation ensued: Jayson Tatum, preparing for a practice shot as the Celtics went into the group for a time-out, was hampered by Draymond Green and fellow warrior Gary Payton II pursued . And it prompted Tatum to hold onto the ball all the way to his place on the bench as he refused to let Green have it. Going 5-1 in the crucial fourth period, Tatum essentially took his ball and went home in that order. And in a way, that would be a much safer, better strategy than what ultimately came out and lost the game for the Celtics in Game 5. Boston turned the ball a whopping 18 times, with the Warriors now one win away from a fourth title in eight years - redeemed for 22 points. In contrast, Golden State, which has long struggled with turnovers and has given away the ball more than anyone other than Houston this season, committed just six giveaways that night. * Tatum had finally made it * Stephen Curry really hadn't made it, shooting 0 for 9 from three, marking the first time in his playoff career that he failed to hit a green far more aggressively than in the In both Boston games, Otto Porter assisted with a nice backdoor cut to open the game while Tatum spun the ball wide on Boston's first possession. Golden State got a lot of offense early on, even without Curry scoring much early on. Meanwhile, the Celtics struggled, throwing the ball all over the gym while missing their first 12 attempts from deep. Green and Klay Thompson were solid helpers up the defensive line as the Celtics decided to go all the way in the teeth of Golden State's attack. Some of the mistakes were self-inflicted and looked like the lazy, head-scratching lollipop passes the Celtics often made in the three series leading up to this one. However you slice it, the additional possessions they presented to the Warriors were surprisingly costly in the following senses: The Celtics enjoy an unmistakable advantage of scale in the series; One they should capitalize on even more given Golden State's Kevon Looney struggled early. But in Boston, which turns it over so frequently -- both by shortening its own possessions and allowing the Warriors to run in transition -- the Celtics are leaving on the table whatever opportunities they might have for second-chance points and chances for hitting the dubs as gift wrap without the fearsome Robert Williams floating around their basket. Aside from the fact that he was great in the dunker spot when the Celtics' offense broke the Warriors enough -- Williams has shot 16-to-18, or 89% that series -- he was also an eraser on defense. According to NBA tracking data, Golden State shot almost 13 percentage points worse than average from six yards in the finals when Williams is nearby. More importantly, Williams is up 31 in the series so far, meaning Boston was 31 points better in his 126 minutes on the court despite playing at less than 100 percent. (The Celtics were beaten by 21 points in the 18 minutes he didn't play in Game 5.) Overall, Boston turned the ball 75 times in the Finals, 11 times more than the turn-prone Warriors. We can analyze everything under the sun, from Tatum's struggles inside the arc to Jaylen Brown's occasional ball-handling issues to Al Horford's and Derrick White's lack of offensive production. But the only number that matters in this mess of a series of defenses by this elite in general is turnovers. If Tatum and Brown can spray the ball around without committing them -- like they did in the third period -- the Celtics win. That was the case in Game 1, when the duo managed a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio with 18 dimes and 6 miscues. Such was the case in Game 3 when Tatum and Brown combined for 14 assists against just four turnovers. And unsurprisingly, Boston took part in these competitions. Golden State won Games 2, 4 and 5 as the Celtics' Stars had assist-to-turnover ratios of 1-1, 1-1 and 8-9 respectively. If Golden State manages to win its fourth title in eight years, Curry's performance -- even with the gunfights in Game 5 -- will be considered one of the best gunnery displays we've seen on this stage to date, especially without the game. In, game-out help from a totally reliable second star. (We don't mean that disrespectfully, Andrew Wiggins.) Still, what Ime Udoka said after Game 4 stands: The Celtics could have easily gone 3-1 despite Curry's searing performances if only they'd played as offensively as they did are able to flip it over without forcing as much of the action. If you follow this script, you can win Boston Game 6. The Celtics just have to be like Tatum on their way to that timeout huddle: refuse to hand it over to the Warriors like they've done so many times during these Finals. * Howard Beck wrote a few articles about the Warriors during this finals run, including one following yesterday's Golden State win that once again brings them to the brink of collapse. He also looked back at the Finals MVP voting in 2015 and analyzed whether Curry should have won Andre Iguodala, who received the award that year. * Rohan Nadkarni delved into something that has intrigued me for a while: the specific details behind how and why the NBA playoffs are a vastly different sport than the NBA regular season. * Chris Mannix wrote an article this morning about Wiggins' redemption run during this postseason, culminating in Game 5 with a tremendous performance of 26 points and 13 rebounds. Separately, Mannix dug deep for a behind-the-scenes Daily Cover story on the Celtics, and how exactly they made it to the Finals in the first place after being a sub-.500 club for the first week and a half of January. If you have specific questions, just reply to this email or send a message to [email protected] and I may answer them in a future issue.

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Celtics' young stars remain confident in their title chances after losing Game 5

Monday's loss marked the first time the Celtics have lost back-to-back games in the entire postseason. Read more at Boston.com. (Author: Gardener)

Game 5Outside of a 35-point third quarter, the Celtics' offense looked dead in their 104-94 loss to the Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. It's the seventh time they've committed 16 or more turnovers in a game this postseason and lost all seven times. The Celtics also booked the game with a poor shooting quarter. They scored 16 points on 7-of-22 shooting in the first quarter. For the second game in a row, they had poor shooting performance in the fourth quarter. They scored just five points in the first over eight minutes of game four before scoring 20 points in 4-of-15 shooting for that period. Jayson Tatum, who actually had his best shooting performance of the series on Monday by scoring 27 points on 50 percent shooting, scored just five points on 1-of-5 shooting, blew a few shots in the air and missed back-to-back free throws. Jaylen Brown scored five points on 1-of-5 shooting while committing two turnovers. He ended up having a bad night, scoring 18 points in 5-of-18 shooting with a game high of five turnovers. The Stars' coach Ime Udoka didn't dismiss the idea that the two could be tired, leading to a poor game on the track. Brown, who played alongside Tatum until the final minute of the second half in Game 5, didn't want to excuse his performance on Monday night with fatigue. I trusted myself to be out there," Udoka said. “We made some good plays throughout the game. Tatum admitted he felt tired in the fourth quarter but also believed he could have played better. "I had a couple of shots that were short," Tatum said. I mean, you're going to be a little more tired in the fourth quarter than in the first quarter. “Some of these shots require you to get your legs under you a little more. One reason the Celtics might have been feeling tired in the fourth quarter was because of the hole they had pushed themselves into early. As the Celtics missed shots and turned the ball over, the Warriors took a 24-8 lead at one point in the first quarter — which was later nullified by the Celtics' third-quarter run that gave them the lead. Golden State looked far more energetic than Boston in the opening minutes of Game 5, and Tatum and Brown know that can't happen. Of course we have to start better and not dig a hole, ”said Tatum. We played extremely well in the third quarter. We were six or seven at one point. "I don't know how to answer that question," Brown added when asked about the slow start. “We come out every night and try to do the best job we can. As I said, thanks to Golden State. I felt like we were looking good, but tonight it wasn't going our way.” Monday's loss marked the first time the Celtics lost back-to-back games in the entire postseason. It was also the first time the Celtics lost back-to-back games since January, with Tatum and Brown playing in both games before their tear led them to the title shot. Despite losing Games 4 and 5 in similar fashion, Brown's "faith is higher than ever." "I have no choice. At that point, it's win or go home," Brown said. I still feel like we have so much better basketball to play that we haven't played in the last two games. “I hope that in the next two games we play Celtic basketball and do our best as I know we can. I know the city will be behind us. It's going to be a big game 6. Tatum is focused on one game at a time. "You know, I've said it before: you better be confident, right? We don't have to win two in one day," Tatum said. “We only have to win one game on Thursday. Must win on Thursday. That's all we have to worry about right now.” Game 6 on Thursday will be the fourth elimination game the Celtics will play this postseason. They played two of those against the Bucks after losing 3-2 in that series. They also needed to win Game 7 in Miami to beat the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Now they need to bat twice in a row, which has broken their trends - and a team looking to win their fourth title in eight seasons.

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The Golden State Warriors take a 3-2 lead in the NBA Finals

The Warriors snatched a raucous win in Game 5. Three takeaways from an ugly Celtics loss and how Boston can win Game 6. (Author: Gardener)

The Golden State WarriorsThe Golden State Warriors clinched a roaring victory in Game 5 Monday night when they defeated the Boston Celtics 104-94 in San Francisco. The Warriors have a chance to win the franchise's seventh title when the NBA Finals return East for a crucial Game 6. The free throw shooting was bad. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum were bad. The Celtics looked unwilling or unable to get the moment. It's worth noting that Boston has been here before. They missed a costly game 6 against the Heat in the next round. This fledgling Celtics team struggled to take charge in the postseason, and here against the Warriors it's the same old story. The 21-22 Celtics are inconsistent, but they're also surprisingly resilient. Game 6 is another opportunity for Boston to shock the world and steady the ship. That means putting to bed the problems we saw in Game 5 completely. Stop me if you heard this: Turnovers were a big problem for the Celtics in Game 5. The C's dished out 18 very expensive giveaways, often completely casual. And once again Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were firmly in the mix here; The duo gave up nine turnovers alone. The Celtics simply fed the Warriors extra possessions, and Golden State took thirteen more shots on the night. Free throws, meanwhile, also challenged the Celtics. Boston shot an icy 21-31 from the free throw line, an absolutely devastating number in a ten-point game. On the other side of the ball, the Warriors only had six freebies all night. Likewise, Golden State went 13-15 at the foul line. The dubs played with aplomb and care just as the Celtics faltered. At times during the second and third quarters of Game 5 it looked like the C's would take over. But execution and consistency eluded Boston. The little things matter in the NBA Finals, especially against a disciplined and experienced team like the Warriors. Boston didn't just shoot itself in the foot by ignoring key details and not getting stuck. Game 5 presented a crucial opportunity for the Celtics, a unicorn of circumstances, but the club failed to capitalize. Steph Curry shot an impossible 0-9 from three. As a team, the Dubs went 9-40 from the Deep, a historically poor performance. And yet the Cs lost the game. Credit warriors for their flexibility and resilience. The club's superstar point guard didn't really come to play on Monday night, but the side didn't blink. Curry made a reasonable 22 shots from the field, instead letting Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson pilot the ship. The team made it to the Celtics on the brink. For the Celtics it was a missed opportunity at the highest level. We may never see such a poor postseason shooting performance from Steph Curry again. In the third quarter of Game 5, we saw the model for how the Celtics can still win the 2022 NBA title. During this time, Boston put in a strong defense and correctly executed his offense. This is what made basketball fans in the hub so angry. The Celtics have the talent, depth and flexibility to win and it really seems like a mental mountain for Boston to try to climb. That Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the rest of the C's looked exhausted and confused isn't new history. Tatum and Brown are one of the youngest star duos to ever reach the NBA Finals. In Game 6 against the Bucks, the Celtics exploded with their backs to the wall. Tatum alone had 46 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Or maybe the Celtics are running out of Cinderella magic. But for the same reason, Boston has what it takes to win Game 6. This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire.

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The Celtics still have a championship within reach, but they have to be the best version of themselves

When the Celtics fall short, they will always wonder what would have happened if they hadn't been so self-destructive in Games 4 and 5 of the NBA Finals. (Author: Gardener)

the NBA FinalsKlay Thompson (left) and the Warriors lead 3-2 over Jaylen Brown and the Celtics in the NBA Finals. SAN FRANCISCO — Ime Udoka has garnered some attention during these NBA Finals because he is blunt and — oh, let's use "alive" as a euphemism — telling his team what he thinks when they do poorly, selfish or something … and you know. But as tempting as it may be for the Celtics coach to break out the thesaurus and pepper it with all the derisive adjectives that come to mind after Monday's insane 104-94 loss to the Warriors in Game 5, a different kind of Frankness is warranted as this often remarkable but too often frustrating season hangs on the brink. Udoka must summon a Herb Brooks speech before game 6. No, not the fictional speech beautifully delivered by actor Kurt Russell when portraying Brooks, the 1980 United States hockey coach, in the film Miracle. Not the one that begins before the Soviet Union's overwhelming excitement: "Great moments are born from great opportunities..." I'm talking about the one the real Brooks delivered in the gold medal game against Finland that followed: "If you lose the game", Brooks said, "You're taking it to your [expletive] grave." He paused and repeated, "Your [expletive] graves." The US scored three goals in the third period to secure a 4-2 win. Perhaps the circumstances will not be so difficult for the Celtics should they lose this series. Or no matter what they achieve in the rest of their basketball career, they will always wonder what would have happened if they hadn't been so self-destructive in Games 4 and 5 of the 2022 NBA Finals. The Celtics are a relatively young team at heart, apart from 36-year-old Al Horford. Perhaps there are other ways to raise an 18th banner as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown grow into their prime. But it's such an unrelenting drudgery just getting here — sweeping Kevin Durant and the Nets in the first round, beating Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Champion Bucks in the conference semifinals, outlasting a tough, top-seeded Heat team in the East Finals and then Going 2-1 in the NBA Finals, only to lose the next two games with bizarre but hardly uncharacteristic passages of grotesque basketball — that only a fool would forget to respect the journey. The opportunity was there and the Celtics didn't take it. It's so difficult to arrive at this moment when a championship is within reach. But too often the Celtics have played the fool in the last two games. In Game 3 they led 94-90 with 5 minutes and 18 seconds left. They hit one of their last eight shots and lost 107-97, wasting their chance to take a 3-1 lead against the proud Warriors. Then, to open Game 4, they shot 8 of 23 in the first quarter, missed all five of their 3-point attempts en route to missing their first 12, missed their only free throw, and had more turnovers (4) than assists ( 3). The Celtics finally found out, albeit too briefly. They somehow avoided their usually miserable third quarter, scoring the first 10 points and eventually leveling with a 3-pointer from Marcus Smart 55-55 before taking their first lead of the night with a Horford 3 at 6:27. The Warriors blew up a 24-8 run and scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter, and the Celtics went all in with all their lousy old routines -- "I got this" attack, losing composure to the officials, and Carelessness with the ball (they had 18 turnovers and 18 assists in Game 5). The Celtics say they trust each other on the pitch and have learned lessons from their 18-21 start to the season. So why do those ugly mistakes come back when just a little discipline and composure would take them to the brink of achieving a championship dream? They play as if they believe there are bonus points for difficulty. The Celtics should be the deeper team in this series. The Warriors have the best player in Curry, the theory goes, but the Celtics have more quality players. Yet here we are, and the Warriors look like the deeper, more well-rounded team. Andrew Wiggins (26 points, 13 rebounds in Game 5) is doing the things Jaylen Brown should be doing, while Jaylen Brown (5 for 18 from the field, 5 turnovers) is doing the things Ricky Davis used to do. Klay Thompson has hit 9 of 21 3s in the last two games, and at least seven of those felt like daggers. It seems like the Celtics are doing everything the hard way and that could lead to their downfall. You know who the warriors remind me of? They're not quite what they once were, but no moment is too great for them, and they can still summon greatness. It's easy to forget when they're driving you crazy with the same old nonsense that made you turn them off in January, but they've done some extraordinary things to get to this point. You won Game 7 in Miami. They looked convincing as the superior team. You can win game 6.

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The Celtics returned to their worst selves on the biggest stage and now there is no room for error or excuses

The Celtics approached the biggest game of their career like it was preseason scrimmage, allowing the Golden State Warriors to have their way in Game 5. (Author: Gardener)

the Golden State WarriorsStill, the Celtics approached the biggest game of their career like it was a preseason scrimmage that allowed the Golden State Warriors to impose their will, make the opening statement and force them into pursuit. Still, the Celtics approached the biggest game of their career like it was a preseason scrimmage that allowed the Golden State Warriors to impose their will, make the opening statement and force them into pursuit. SAN FRANCISCO — The Celtics have returned to their early season form, with coach Ime Udoka having no idea what to expect from his team on any given night. SAN FRANCISCO — The Celtics have returned to their early season form, with coach Ime Udoka having no idea what to expect from his team on any given night. They responded with a brilliant third quarter only to fall apart in the fourth. Jayson Tatum missed free throws. Marcus Smart lost his temper after catching a technician after a Warriors foul. The turnover parade continued, with the Celtics turning over passes with low percentage or simply losing their dribbling. Their 104-94 loss to the Warriors at the Chase Center was the definition of disheartening. The Celtics played an excellent defense against Stephen Curry but had no answer for Andrew Wiggins. They were able to reach the free throw line but missed 10 attempts including Tatum's 2 for 6 nights at the line. Tatum displayed flashes while playing a statement game but was then plagued with stupid turnovers and possible fatigue. In rhythm, his stepback, open 3-point attempt, sailed out without touching anything, an embarrassing airball. They committed an inexcusable 18 turnovers - Golden State had seven - and earned a total of 4 points from their second unit. Perhaps Tatum and Brown are under too much pressure at this point in their careers. Brown started missing eight of his first 10 shots and never looked comfortable. Tatum, looking to atone for his disappointing Game 4, didn't score until the 2:06 mark of the first period and was never the best player on the floor. That was Wiggins, who finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds and got everything he wanted offensively. This vaunted Celtics defense is showing cracks. The Warriors beat Boston with the added passing or dribbling penetration for floaters. Additionally, the Warriors were 32 of 48 on 2-point shots. They get past Boston's initial defensive line and score in the paint. The Celtics don't seem capable of doing the same. Offensively they are only closed when the 3-point shot falls. For example, the Celtics were 5 to 23 from across the arc in the first, second and fourth quarters. As they rallied to take the lead in a 35-point third period, they were 6-9. Golden State won despite missing 31 of 40 3-point attempts. The warriors can do more than shoot the three. The Celtics can't do it at this point, that's the difference in the series. "I think they did some things to get us out of our spots," Brown said. “But overall the physicality has to be better from the jump. We just have to be stronger, more physical, more dominant, get to the color and get someone to stop you. Why did his team fall 24-8 behind in such an important game? Why can the Warriors convert on their midrange jumpers but the Celtics shoot bricks? "Yes, this beginning is difficult to explain," said a stunned Udoka. “I mean, we lacked physicality early on. Then the fatigue in the fourth could have played a role. But we got back in. But we got back in. Turnovers, missed free throws, some of the things obvious, talking a little too much to the umpires didn't help us in the fourth.” Again, the Celtics were swayed by shaky office. Grant Williams was called out for a foul on Gary Payton II, who tripped over his own feet on a drive. Jordan Poole flopped to Smart before an inbounds pass and drew an offensive foul. Smart was knocked off by a forearm from Klay Thompson, and officers didn't make a call, allowing Thompson to shoot and make an undisputed 3-pointer. But Boston attempted 16 more free throws than the Warriors. The officials did not miss 10 of these free throws. The Celtics just screw that up. They allow themselves to be swayed by any external distraction while the warriors just keep going. It's a shame because when they're committed and focused, the Celtics are the more talented team. "Yeah, not our best moment," said striker Al Horford of the lack of composure. "As you know, I feel like we were able to fend off those things, especially during the playoffs. For whatever reason, tonight I feel like we got it. It's one of those things that we kind of brought back. We can't let this affect our game, the way things are played.” Most demoralizing, the Celtics made up for all their first-half slips with a brilliant third quarter and a 5-point lead built up before collapsing again in the late quarter, where they stopped play after a missed shot by Tatum, allowing Jordan Poole to end the period with a 38-foot bank shot for a 1-point lead. The Celtics would never lead again. They collapsed in the fourth quarter, exhausted from a long season, with too much focus on the referees, unable to defeat a team proud of their performance. So here they are, no more wiggle room, no more room for sloppy starts or stupid turnovers. Gary Washburn is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]

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The young Celtics stars remain confident of their title chances after losing Game 5

"We don't have to win two in one day." The young stars of the Post Celtics remain confident in their title chances after losing Game 5, which first appeared on Boston.com. (Author: Gardener)

Game 5Outside of a 35-point third quarter, the Celtics' offense looked dead in their 104-94 loss to the Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. It's the seventh time they've committed 16 or more turnovers in a game this postseason and lost all seven times. The Celtics also booked the game with a poor shooting quarter. They scored 16 points on 7-of-22 shooting in the first quarter. For the second game in a row, they had poor shooting performance in the fourth quarter. They scored just five points in the first over eight minutes of game four before scoring 20 points in 4-of-15 shooting for that period. Jayson Tatum, who actually had his best shooting performance of the series on Monday by scoring 27 points on 50 percent shooting, scored just five points on 1-of-5 shooting, blew a few shots in the air and missed back-to-back free throws. Jaylen Brown scored five points on 1-of-5 shooting while committing two turnovers. He ended up having a bad night, scoring 18 points in 5-of-18 shooting with a game high of five turnovers. The Stars' coach Ime Udoka didn't dismiss the idea that the two could be tired, leading to a poor game on the track. Brown, who played alongside Tatum until the final minute of the second half in Game 5, didn't want to excuse his performance on Monday night with fatigue. I trusted myself to be out there," Udoka said. “We made some good plays throughout the game. Tatum admitted he felt tired in the fourth quarter but also believed he could have played better. "I had a couple of shots that were short," Tatum said. I mean, you're going to be a little more tired in the fourth quarter than in the first quarter. “Some of these shots require you to get your legs under you a little more. One reason the Celtics might have been feeling tired in the fourth quarter was because of the hole they had pushed themselves into early. As the Celtics missed shots and turned the ball over, the Warriors took a 24-8 lead at one point in the first quarter — which was later nullified by the Celtics' third-quarter run that gave them the lead. Golden State looked far more energetic than Boston in the opening minutes of Game 5, and Tatum and Brown know that can't happen. Of course we have to start better and not dig a hole, ”said Tatum. We played extremely well in the third quarter. We were six or seven at one point. "I don't know how to answer that question," Brown added when asked about the slow start. “We come out every night and try to do the best job we can. As I said, thanks to Golden State. I felt like we were looking good, but tonight it wasn't going our way.” Monday's loss marked the first time the Celtics lost back-to-back games in the entire postseason. It was also the first time the Celtics lost back-to-back games since January, with Tatum and Brown playing in both games before their tear led them to the title shot. Despite losing Games 4 and 5 in similar fashion, Brown's "faith is higher than ever." "I have no choice. At that point, it's win or go home," Brown said. I still feel like we have so much better basketball to play that we haven't played in the last two games. “I hope that in the next two games we play Celtic basketball and do our best as I know we can. I know the city will be behind us. It's going to be a big game 6. Tatum is focused on one game at a time. "You know, I've said it before: you better be confident, right? We don't have to win two in one day," Tatum said. “We only have to win one game on Thursday. Must win on Thursday. That's all we have to worry about right now.” Game 6 on Thursday will be the fourth elimination game the Celtics will play this postseason. They played two of those against the Bucks after losing 3-2 in that series. They also needed to win Game 7 in Miami to beat the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Now they need to bat twice in a row, which has broken their trends - and a team looking to win their fourth title in eight seasons. The young stars of the Post Celtics remain confident in their title chances after losing Game 5, which first appeared on Boston.com.

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The underrated NBA Finals matchup that has Golden State on the verge of a title

Golden State overcrowds, frustrates, and forces Boston into a bunch of turnovers - and dumps the NBA Finals. (Author: Gardener)

Golden StateSAN FRANCISCO -- The highlights of Stephen Curry's 3-pointers, Robert Williams' blocked shots and now Andrew Wiggins' dunks continue to be the defining moments of the 2022 NBA Finals. Celtics coach Ime Udoka keeps trying to tell everyone that they miss the point. But the Warriors are leading 3-2 not because they're winning the expected fight of the series - Boston's relentless and expertly engineered No. 1 defense going up against the historic shooting wizard and his brothers in arms - but because the exact opposite is true. This Finals are won at the other end of the field, the Warriors' defense suffocating the Celtics and negating Boston's game plan. And so did the fans who poured out of the Chase Center Monday night after watching Curry go 0-for-9 on 3-pointers, the first time in four years and 233 games, that he didn't have a three-pointer shots, that flair," Curry said. I think we're [the] Defense #2 more switches for a reason, to discourage the kind of shooting that Curry had shown on the show. But he spent more And as he and his team take the five-hour flight back to the East Coast on Tuesday, he'll be working more intensely on those issues as he prepares for Game 6. "Again " said Udoka, echoing from last week when he was peppered with questions about Curry. "I don't know if it was as much our defense as offensive struggles that are hurting us tonight Warriors scored... 104thIn Game 2, their other win, they scored e 107. They are averaging 105 points per game in that series, 10 fewer than they scored in the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. Golden State is shooting 45% in the streak, which is good, but down 7% from last round. The Celtics don't take out the Warriors, but they do. When the Celtics lost Game 2, they scored... They didn't break 100 in Games 4 and 5. The defensively strong Celtics are on the verge of costing themselves a title... on offense. The Warriors are committed to the tough game - not only because Draymond Green easily pushed on dead balls in the first few games. They refuse to give much space to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics' primary ball leaders. The crush frustrates Boston. Turnovers continue to flock. In Game 5, Boston had 18. In a statistic that has become ubiquitous, the Celtics are now 1-7 when they turn it over 16 times or more in the postseason, and 13-2 with fewer. Every Boston player knows that; Udoka put it in bold in the scouting reports. Still, they can't stop themselves. "We're hard to beat if we don't turn the ball around," said Tatum, who is nearing the playoff turnover record after adding four to his Monday total to bring it to 95 in 23 games. "Obviously we're easy to beat when we do that." When the Celtics get sloppy on offense, they regularly turn to officials for answers. On Monday they drew two technical fouls, including one from Udoka, who usually tries to get his players to stop whining and get back on defense if they don't get a preferred whistle. Udoka was nearly ejected in the fourth quarter when he angrily pointed at referee Tony Brothers and Brothers confronted him instead of throwing him. "Probably something we shouldn't do that often," Udoka said of the complaint. "And we've all done too much." The Warriors routinely ranked in the top five in defensive efficiency between 2015 and 2017, when they won their first two titles with that core. They've made a fresh commitment to it over the past year, with current defensive coordinator and newest Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Brown leading the effort. The defensive boost includes improvements from Wiggins, who has proven to be a powerful stopper since joining Golden State, and Curry, who has transformed from a defensive weak point into a player who can more than hold his own. This has been a common talking point this season, but has never been as valuable as it has been over the past two weeks. It seems the Curry matchup the Celtics have more trouble with isn't when he has the ball, but when the Warriors are guard on defense. "They kept trying to attack [Curry] and he held on pretty well," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. After seven games in the last two rounds, the Celtics must do it again to win the title. In a revealing stat, Tatum shoots 56% in the first quarter during the finals but only 24% in the fourth, including 2-of-10 over those past two losses. But Boston's problems run deeper. The Celtics often struggled to play offensively under pressure throughout the season. It's dangerously close to becoming a deadly one. "We're going to regroup and fight back," Tatum said, referring to a tone he chose when the Celtics faced elimination games during that run.

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8 takeaways as Warriors marginalize Celtics with a Game 5 win

The Celtics star players didn't have enough after a 16-point comeback in Game 5 as they lost 3-2 in the NBA Finals. Read more at Boston.com. (Author: Gardener)

Game 5During the playoffs, the Celtics intercepted blows. In Game 5 on Monday, the Warriors beat the Celtics with a haymaker. For the first time in the playoffs, an opponent landed back-to-back goals against the Celtics - they were 7-0 after a previous loss. Steph Curry didn't shoot well. The Celtics recovered from a 16-point deficit to take the lead in the third quarter. And yet the Warriors won in double digits and again sent the starters of both teams to the bench in the final minutes. The Celtics aren't done yet. They've been the better team in every series - including this one - when they don't turn the ball over, and they finished 18th on Monday. But Game 5 felt a little different as the Celtics fell apart. Jaylen Brown looked overwhelmed at the worst possible time. If the Celtics force a Game 7, it will take unprecedented willpower. "We know what we have to do," said Robert Williams. “We know what we screwed up. Like I said, we've been here before. 2. Andrew Wiggins put on a phenomenal performance with 26 points and 13 rebounds in 13-for-23 shooting. His biggest basket of the game was possibly his last -- an exclamation mark dunk that took the Warriors' lead to 15 with two minutes remaining. Steph Curry, of course, is the MVP if the Warriors win the series. However, Andrew Wiggins was perhaps the Warriors' second-best player. "When he first came here, and I'll never forget that, it was when Thibs [Tom Thibodeau] wasn't with the Knicks and Thibs said, 'You're going to love him,'" said Draymond Green. And [Thibodeau] told us that Jimmy [Butler] loved him. And we all know what Jimmy Butler is like. If you're soft, Jimmy doesn't like you. Butler and Wiggins famously played together in Minnesota, where Butler's tenure ended ugly. 3. The Celtics' stars could (should) kick themselves for their struggles until Game 6 - Tatum scored 27 points and shot efficiently but turned the ball four times and missed many shots down the stretch, while Marcus Smart finished with four turnovers. But nobody struggled more than Jaylen Brown, who scored 18 points but shot 5-for-18 and turned over five times. If there's good news for the Celtics after Game 5, it's how different the game would have been if one of their stars had lived up to their potential. 4. Much like the Warriors failed to capitalize on Tatum's poor shooting in Game 1, the Celtics failed to capitalize on Curry's slow night (7-for-22, 0-for-9 from 3-point range). Like Tatum, Curry mixed in his teammates and opened the game for everyone else with his pass. The Celtics were winning games against the Warriors when Curry left, but - again - Monday's game was a missed opportunity. 5. On a night when the Celtics hit the free-throw line 31 times - more than twice as many as the Warriors - they only scored 21 points. The Celtics have had plenty of other problems, but missing free throws are an easy way to dump yourself and drain your offense. 6. The Celtics seemed to complain about the office again, to Ime Udoka's annoyance. While several calls seemed to be going against the Celtics, Udoka preached calm (despite catching a technical error). "Probably we shouldn't be doing that much, and we've all been doing too much," Udoka said, also noting that Tony Brothers "didn't like the way I was pointing at him" in the second half over a weird interaction between the two. Al Horford added that all the complaints weren't the Celtics' best moment. "As you know, I feel like we were able to fend off those things, especially during the playoffs," Horford said. “For whatever reason, tonight I feel like it got us. 7. Jordan Poole had an odd third quarter - the Celtics kept aiming for him but he buried a 3-pointer that hit the buzzer and brought the Warriors by a head into the fourth quarter despite a good performance from the Celtics in the third quarter. "That's a hard blow," Horford said. The rest of the Celtics bench scored just four total points between four players before the trash time. In a night when the starters struggled both to shoot and to stay on the ball for long stretches, the Celtics were remarkably close going into the fourth quarter.

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Warriors shake off the Celtics' run in the third quarter for a 3-2 lead

Celtics drop to 1-7 if they commit 16 or more turnovers this postseason. (Author: Gardener)

the third quarterIf the NBA Finals is tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 wins the Larry O'Brien Trophy 73.3 percent of the time. After the Celtics struggled to find their rhythm and commit nine turnovers in the first half, the Celtics beat the Warriors 19-4 to start the third quarter, earning their first lead and giving hope that the stats in the above verse would swing in their favor. But when Jordan Poole threw in a three on the buzzer to give Golden State the lead in the final frame, the Warriors took control of the game and never let go. It's the first time Boston has lost back-to-back games this postseason. Celtics struggle to find rhythm offensively; Warriors feed on home crowd in first frame The Warriors repeatedly made the Celtics pay with their off-ball activities, including Andrew Wiggins and Otto Porter, who made basket cuts to give Golden State an early 12-4 advantage. The Warriors started the game shooting 6/9 while Boston was 2/7, lacking activity on and off the ball and struggling to get into rhythm. The first three of the game didn't come until Klay Thompson drilled one at 5:14, extending Golden State's lead to 17-6. Looking for a spark, Jaylen Brown came from staggered screens of Derrick White and Al Horford, attacking downhill and getting a layup and a trip to the free-throw line. However, Brown missed the foul shot and kept the score at 17-8. Despite the Celtics' early offensive struggles, when Jayson Tatum was substituted for Grant Williams at 4:54 in the first frame, they didn't have much firepower left on the ground. The lineup consisted of Brown, Williams, White, Horford and Marcus Smart. Ime Udoka responded by introducing Tatum, Robert Williams and Payton Pritchard about two minutes later. Stephen Curry challenged the Time Lord on the edge in the closing seconds of the first quarter. There was contact with the body, but as Williams adhered to the rule of verticality, no foul was called. However, Golden State retained possession despite the ball clearly going past Curry. Williams then fouled Wiggins after the inbounds and before the period ended. Curry missed the free throw for the technical error and Wiggins went 1/2 at the line giving the Warriors a 27-16 lead in the second quarter. Committing four turnovers that resulted in six points for Golden State didn't help Boston's cause either. If you're looking for a positive, Jayson Tatum started the game at 3/3 and produced six points. But the Celtics need to play with more activity and push offensively to take a 3-2 lead in series. Celtics reduced the deficit to single digits, but turnovers still stand in their way At the 9:57 mark in the second quarter, Tatum threw in a careless pass after a three-pointer from Jordan Poole, which was picked by Draymond Green. Green went 2/2 at the line and gave the Warriors a 32-18 lead. Smart attacked the basket for two points on the edge, Tatum raised for a 20-foot jump shot over Poole and Smart beat Nemanja Bjelica for a bucket from close range that made it 32-24; a 6-0 run that prompted Steve Kerr to time out. With 5:41 left, Green ended a narrow 4:30 scoring drought for the Warriors and extended a floater to extend the home team's lead to 34-26. Tatum knocked down the Celtics' first three of the game with 4:34 left in the first half, improving them to 1/13 from beyond the arc. Boston's next possession, an assertive Tatum fired into the gap and then kicked the ball to Horford for another three. This was followed by his first foray to the free throw line, but he went 0/2 and preserved a 41-32 score. With 1:46 left, Horford went 1/2 at the line and put the Celtics at 3/7 on free throws. But the Warriors threw the last shot of the half, using layups from Wiggins and Curry to extend their lead to 51-39 at the break. That layup by Wiggins earned him a game-high 16 points. The Warriors had a much easier time hitting quality shots, and they turned nine Boston turnovers into 13 points. The Celtics' most trusted players, Brown (3), Tatum (2) and Smart (2), were most responsible for not tending to the ball. Conversely, the hosts committed only three turnovers, resulting in two guest points. And, as noted, while neither team shot more than 20 percent from beyond the arc, Golden State went 8/10 at the free throw line, while Boston ended the half at 4/9 on fouls. But the Celtics helped themselves by converting four offensive rebounds into nine second-chance points. Tatum had 13 points on 6/9 shooting, Robert Williams had eight and Smart contributed seven, but Brown stuck on four points, going on 2/10 and making consistent hard shots. The Celtics need to play with more energy, on- and off-ball activity, and force themselves to keep up with the Warriors, known for their third-quarter runs and prevail in the final frame. Celtics win the third quarter but cannot hold the lead Brown scored the first four points of the second half and went 4/4 at the free throw line. That included after he picked up a pass from Green and pulled the third foul on Thompson. Tatum drilled one down from the top of the key the next time out, the fifth straight three for Boston and closing the gap at 51-49. At the 7:52 mark, Tatum buried another shot from beyond the arc, taking Otto Porter out of dribble and conceding with another try over the break. With a Thompson floater coming almost a minute before that, the deficit narrowed to 53-52. At 6:55 in the third frame, Smart made an open three from the top, leveling the game at 55. The Boston trio continued as Tatum drove and Horford kicked in for a three-pointer from above that set the break that gave the Celtics their first lead of the night, 58-55. At that point, they surpassed Golden State 19-4 in the third quarter. The two teams then traded second-chance baskets, starting with a smart three, followed by Robert Williams, who accidentally tipped a miss by Wiggins from beyond the arc, then conceded Brown picked up a floater from Tatum that didn't go through the net. Brown's tip-in gave the visitors a 63-59 lead with 5-10 left in the third. At the 3:55 mark, Grant Williams followed a rejection of a Curry pull-up three with a three-pointer play, increasing the Celtics' lead to 66-61. But Thompson ended a 0/14 Warriors drought beyond the arc, drilling back-to-back threes. With 54.4 seconds left, Green shoved the ball into the transition and delivered a bounce pass to Gary Payton II for a layup that gave Golden State a 72-71 lead. But Brown responded with a layup while being fouled by Green, his third staff. Brown then took the free throw and put Boston back in the lead, 74-72. But Poole used a three on the buzzer, giving the Warriors a 75-74 lead and momentum that kicked in in the final frame. The Celtics won the third quarter 35-24 but lost the lead to a buzzer-beater stab. The Celtics' Gas Tanks Run Out In The Fourth Quarter At the 9:31 mark, Thompson ousted Smart and buried an open three, giving Golden State a 7-0 run and an 82-74 lead, the night's biggest. After a timeout in Boston, a frustrated Smart was given a tech while arguing about the lack of a foul call on the other end. Poole took the free throw and extended the Warriors' lead to 83-74. You can guess who was called for the foul. Poole then buried a mid-range jump shot to make it 85-74. But after a miss by Kevon Looney, Brown scored the Celtics' first points of the quarter on an 8-21 layup to play. With 6:06 left, Brown grabbed his rebound and was fouled and shot, but the officials didn't allow him a continuation. He didn't, and Tatum then fired a mid-range jump shot and potentially lost as much as three points. At the 3:01 mark, Green was denied by a Smart layup attempt, although Kerr challenged the call. Smart then made both free throws, reducing the deficit to 95-84. With 2:10 to go, Wiggins made the point with a thunderous one-handed jam, extending Golden State's lead to 99-84. By the time the final buzzer sounded and the Warriors clinched a 104-94 win, they had beaten the Celtics in three of four quarters. Despite being outplayed 35-24 in the third frame, Poole's buzzer beater put them back in the lead, a draining punch Boston didn't counter. The Celtics have committed 18 turnovers in the loss, resulting in 22 Golden State points. And even though Boston hit 31 free throws for the Warriors' 15, he went 21/31 at the line and left ten points on the board. Tatum led all contestants to defeat with 27 points. Smart had 20 points but tied with Tatum in turnovers and Brown had 18 but had 18 shots. He went 0/8 on threes but made 8/10 free throws on a night when nobody else on either team attempted more than four. Those three didn't get enough help on goal, and as Boston's primary ball carrier, they had 13 of the team's 18 giveaways. As for Golden State, Wiggins performed with 16 points on 22 shots despite Currys and delivered the team's best 26 points paired with 13 rebounds. The Warriors were the better team in three out of four quarters. Overall, they played more energetically and powerfully and handled the ball better (seven turnovers). They are the team that deserves to return to Boston with a 3-2 lead. The question is, can the Celtics, who have been scrambling to protect their home court, avoid the Warriors enjoying a championship celebration at TD Garden and send that series back to bay for Game 7. Game 6 of the NBA Finals is Thursday night. Inside The Celtics will contain content related to the game before, during and after the game. [Film Room] Keys to Celtics bring Jayson Tatum into Game 5 of NBA Finals Celtics address the reasons for their stagnant offense in Game 4 of the loss to Warriors [Film Room] In Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Jaylen Brown scored evenly and supported and shown how he Can lift the Celtics roof Celtics feed on home crowd in Game 3 Win Over Warriors: "They give us so much energy and so much juice" The anatomy of the Celtics fourth quarter comeback in Game 1 the NBA Finals

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