MAN ON A MISSION Through four games this series, Stephen Curry has been on a tear. He’s averaging 34.3 points while shooting over 49 percent (both overall and on 3-pointers), and he’s made no fewer than five threes in any game in these Finals. Should he keep up at this pace, this will be Curry’s highest scoring performance in his NBA Finals career, and the third highest scoring postseason series overall. Curry went into Game 4 nursing a sore left foot, but the fact that he played a 2022 postseason-high 41 minutes and turned in a signature performance of an already distinguished career should ease any concerns about that injury.
DOING THE DIRTY WORK While Curry has led the way this series, Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney have been constant, albeit quieter, sources of production. Wiggins has been dealt the tough task of defending Boston’s All-NBA star Jayson Tatum. And just as he did against Luka Doncic in the Western Conference Finals, Wiggins is making Tatum work for everything he gets in The Finals. Tatum is averaging 22.3 points while shooting 34.1 percent from the field, down from the 27.0 points on 44.6 percent shooting he had through the first three rounds of the postseason. Offensively,
Wiggins has carried the Warriors in spurts, particularly early in games. He had eight straight Warriors points in the first quarter of Friday’s win, and his rebounding throughout these playoffs has been far superior to what he’s ever done on the glass in his career leading to this point. Wiggins is averaging 8.5 rebounds this series, tied for the team lead with Looney. Whether starting or coming off the bench, Looney has been Mr. Reliable for the Dubs. Whether it’s finishing at the rim, making the right pass, setting a screen or protecting the rim, Looney has continued his strong postseason play and has the best overall plus-minus rating of any player in these NBA Finals (+9.0 per game).
BOSTON SCOUTING REPORT Throughout these playoffs, the Celtics have had up and down performances, but they’ve always found a way to bounce back. Boston is 7-0 when coming off a loss this postseason and they’ve been especially tough on the road, going 8-3 away from home. The Celtics continue to be led by Tatum and fellow wing Jaylen Brown, each of whom are averaging 22.3 points this series. Marcus Smart, Derrick White and Al Horford also have had their moments offensively for the Celtics in the Finals, who as a team are shooting 49 percent in their wins and 39 percent in their losses.