Canadian Wiggins delivers on both sides, the Warriors lead the NBA Finals 3-2

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Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors reacts to a basket during the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the 2022 NBA Finals at the Chase Center. The Warriors won 104-94 on June 13, 2022 in San Francisco.Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Andrew Wiggins displayed determined confidence and determination throughout the game, single-handedly taking the pressure off Stephen Curry and delivering the best game of his eight-year career to date.

Now the first-time All-Star is on the verge of becoming a first-time NBA champion — and helping Curry capture another title.

“It’s something I’ve definitely dreamed of being in the league and that’s the ultimate phase,” Wiggins said. “It doesn’t get any bigger.”

Wiggins had 26 points and 13 rebounds, Klay Thompson had 21 points and the Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics 104-94 on Monday night to take a 3-2 lead in the NBA Finals.

“Coming into this year, he was an all-star starter for a reason,” said Draymond Green. “…The bigger the challenge we gave him, the bigger he responded. You want a guy like that. When the stage gets big, they react and play their best basketball, and that’s what he did.”

A game after his 43-point performance, Curry contributed 16 points and eight assists but was 0 for 9 from 3-point range. The career 3-point leader’s NBA-record streak of 132 straight games ended with at least a 3, along with his NBA-best streak of 233 consecutive games with a 3 between the regular season and the playoffs combined.

“Uh, keep shooting, easy,” Curry said, grinning. “I’m not afraid to go 0-fer or whatever because I’ll keep shooting.”

Green knows how Curry will react: “He’s going to be mad at Game 6. That is exactly what we need.”

Wiggins capped his brilliant performance at both ends, driving left through the lane at 2:10 for an emphatic one-handed slam.

“Bottom line, he’s just having fun playing basketball,” Curry said.

The Warriors can win their fourth title in eight years when the series resumes Thursday night in Boston. If the Celtics can win at home, the series returns to the Bay Area for a winner-take-all Game 7 on Sunday. All five previous games have been decided by 10 or more points.

Jayson Tatum had 27 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who lost straight games in the postseason for the first time. Marcus Smart was booed for a technical foul and then an offensive foul within a second early in the fourth game. He overcame a slow start and scored 20 points.

Jordan Poole batted down a 33-foot-3 from left wing to beat the third-quarter buzzer as the Warriors took a 75-74 lead in the final 12 minutes after the Celtics roared back in the third.

The Celtics found their own magic in the third quarter that has long defined Golden State’s success in the second half. Boston was 51-39 down at the break before charging back with a 35-point breakout in the third.

Al Horford hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 6:28 left in the stage that made it 58-55 as the Celtics finally found their shooting groove from deep. Boston made eight straight 3s after missing the first 12.

“We were definitely not as sharp as we needed to be during the time there. Just hard,” Horford said. “In any case, we now have our backs to the wall and have to see what we’re made of.”

Jaylen Brown was 2 for 11 early in the game and finished the game with 18 points on 5-of-18 shooting, missing all five of his 3-point attempts.

Tatum gave Boston his first 3-pointer on the night 4:34 before halftime and the Celtics landed 11 of 32 overall deep. The Celtics were sometimes sloppy and made 18 turnovers.

“When we’re at our best, it’s a simple ball movement. I think the third quarter showed that. The drive and kick were beautiful, worked and got the guys shooting wide open,” said coach Ime Udoka.

Golden State landed 9 of 40 from Beyond the Arc — Wiggins 0 of 6. Curry didn’t score a 3-pointer for the first time since going 0-4 in a 134-111 loss to the Bucks on November 18, 2018.

“One night he didn’t have it going, we found offense elsewhere,” said Green, who had eight points, eight rebounds and seven assists before fouling with 3:01 left.

Klay’s day

Thompson shot 7 for 14 with 5 3-pointers in another brilliant playoff moment.

As of Monday, it would be exactly three years since Thompson tore the ACL in his left knee and had surgery before later tearing his right Achilles tendon while working his way back from the initial injury – which forced him to live more than 2½ years miss.

Thompson was injured in the deciding Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals as Toronto won the franchise’s first championship playing on the Warriors’ previous home floor at Oracle Arena.

At the start of Game 5, Thompson’s 35.8 percent shooting was the lowest of any NBA Finals he’s played, and he’s making just 34.2 percent from deep — up from 58.5 percent with 3s in the 2019 Finals.

Half century mark

In a trip down memory lane, Steve Kerr coached the Warriors on the 25th anniversary of his game-winning shot in Game 6 of the NBA Finals as the Bulls defeated the Jazz to win Chicago’s fifth championship.

He thought back to that special moment before the game.

“Obviously an incredible memory. Something every young basketball player dreams of. Being able to live like that was pretty amazing,” Kerr said, smiling. “And then, that it’s been 25 years, of course I feel old.”

tip ins

Celtics: Robert Williams III had 10 points and eight rebounds, started and played without limits for the Celtics after aggravating his surgically repaired left knee in Game 4. … Boston had a 23-21 rebound advantage in the first half and finished 47-39 on the boards.

Warriors: Gary Payton II had 15 points off the bench and Poole had 14. The Warriors missed their first four 3-point attempts before Thompson connected at the 5:14 mark of the first. … Otto Porter Jr. started for a second straight game when Kevon Looney came off the bench.

silver falls out

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver missed the game and entered the league’s health and safety protocols.

The NBA offered no further details, such as: B. specifying whether Silver tested positive for COVID-19 or was in close contact with someone who had.

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