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Warriors overtake Celtics, move within one win of title

Jun 13, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) goes to the basket while defended by Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III (44) during the first half in game five of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Wiggins ignited a 10-0 burst at the start of the fourth quarter with a coast-to-coast layup as part of a team-high, 26-point effort Monday in San Francisco, propelling the Golden State Warriors to a 104-94 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the NBA Finals and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

After winning for the 11th time in 12 games on their home floor in the postseason, the Warriors will have an opportunity to claim their fourth title in the eight-year Steve Kerr era when the clubs meet in Boston for Game 6 on Thursday.

Both teams survived long droughts from beyond the 3-point arc only to be separated by just one point through three periods. The Warriors took command for good after Wiggins grabbed a defensive rebound, drove the length of the floor and dropped in a layup 37 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Jordan Poole did most of the rest of the damage in the 10-point burst, contributing three free throws and a jumper, while Klay Thompson bombed in a 3-pointer, helping Golden State go up 85-74 with 9:05 to play.

The Celtics, coming off a Game 4 loss at home and not having dropped consecutive contests previously in the postseason, never got closer than seven after that.

Wiggins’ 26 points were one fewer than his playoff career high, set in a Game 3 win at Dallas in the Western Conference finals. He shot 12-for-23 on Monday and found time for a game-high 13 rebounds, completing his second consecutive double-double despite missing all six of his 3-point attempts.

Missed 3-pointers were the story of the night, as the Warriors took advantage of Boston misfiring on its first 12 attempts to build as much as a 16-point lead in the first half.

However, Golden State then went cold from deep, missing 14 in a row as the Celtics stormed into a five-point lead in the third period.

A buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Poole allowed the Warriors to reclaim a 75-74 lead entering the final 12 minutes.

Golden State won despite Stephen Curry missing all nine of his 3-point attempts on a 16-point night. Curry had never previously gone without a 3-pointer in his 133-game playoff career.

Coming off a 43-point explosion at Boston in Game 4, Curry found time for a game-high eight assists. Thompson finished with 21 points, Gary Payton II had 15 and Poole added 14.

Jayson Tatum paced the Celtics with a game-high 27 points, completing a double-double with a team-high 10 rebounds.

Tatum shot 5-for-9 from beyond the arc, but his teammates combined to go just 6-for-23.

Marcus Smart had 20 points, Jaylen Brown 18 and Robert Williams III 10 for the Celtics, who had won eight of their previous 11 road games in the postseason, including Game 1 at Golden State.

–Field Level Media