Game 5 Preview: Warriors vs. Celtics - 6/13/22

Game 5 Preview: Warriors vs. Celtics - 6/13/22

SWING GAME ON WARRIORS GROUND The NBA Finals come back to Chase Center for Game 5 on Monday with the series tied 2-2. The Warriors and Celtics have alternated wins this series, and both teams can claim to have never lost back-to-back games this postseason. And while each game has been decided by double digits –

the Warriors’ 10-point margin of victory in Game 4 was the closest thus far of the series – The Finals have been much closer than that, as indicated by the series standing. In fact, the Warriors have outscored the Celtics by a single point (422-421) through the first four games.

With Friday’s Game 4 win, the Warriors regained homecourt advantage. The Dubs have gone 10-1 at home this postseason, and with three games at most left in the series, the Warriors can and will use any edge they can with each team two wins away from an NBA Championship. If Monday’s Game 5 plays out anything like the first four games, it will be decided in the second half

as the team who has won the second half has won each of the first four games in the series. The Warriors have won the third quarter in each of the first four games of the series and are a cumulative plus-49 in that period for the series, but Boston rode dominant fourth quarters to each of their wins in Games 1 and 3.

No matter how you slice it up, Game 5 is setting up to be the biggest game in the young history of Chase Center. Tickets are available now, and all fans in attendance will receive a Warriors Gold Blooded Finals T-Shirt, courtesy of Hewlett Packard Enterprise

LAST TIME OUT Stephen Curry had 43 points and the Warriors ended a tightly contested game with a 17-3 run to win Game 4, 107-97, in Boston on Friday night. Curry made seven threes in the game and Andrew Wiggins had 17 points and a career-high 16 rebounds in the win, which tied the series up at 2-2. » Full Game Recap

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.

Defensively, center Robert Williams III has made his presence felt. He’s averaging 3.0 blocks per game and has the second best average plus-minus rating (+5.0) among players who play at least 15 minutes a game in this series, trailing only Looney. The Celtics have been the best road team during this postseason, and they’ll need that to ring true at least one more time to keep their Championship hopes alive.