SAN FRANCISCO — Exhibiting a decided confidence and grit all sport, Andrew Wiggins single-handedly took the stress off Stephen Curry and delivered the most effective sport but of his eight-year profession.
Now, the first-time All-Star is on the cusp of changing into a first-time NBA champion — and serving to Curry seize one more title.
“It’s one thing I dreamt about for certain, being within the league, and that is the final word stage,” Wiggins stated. “It doesn’t get larger than this.”
Wiggins had 26 factors and 13 rebounds, Klay Thompson scored 21 factors and the Golden State Warriors beat the Boston Celtics 104-94 on Monday night time for a 3-2 NBA Finals lead.
“Coming into this yr, he was an All-Star starter for a cause,” Draymond Inexperienced stated. “… The larger the problem has been that we’ve thrown in entrance of him, the larger he’s responded. You desire a man like that. When the stage will get huge, they reply and play their finest basketball, and that’s what he’s been doing.”
One sport after his 43-point efficiency, Curry contributed 16 factors and eight assists however was 0 for 9 from 3-point vary. The profession 3-point chief’s NBA-record streak of 132 straight postseason video games with not less than one 3 ended, alongside along with his NBA-best run of 233 consecutive video games with a 3 between common season and playoffs mixed.
“He’s going to be furious going into Recreation 6. That’s precisely what we’d like,” Inexperienced stated.
Capping his sensible efficiency on each ends, Wiggins drove by way of the lane for an emphatic one-handed slam with 2:10 left.
“He’s simply been incredible, not simply on this collection however all through the playoffs,” coach Steve Kerr stated.
The Warriors can win their fourth title in eight years when the collection resumes in Boston on Thursday night time. If the Celtics can win at dwelling, the collection will return to the Bay Space for a winner-take-all Recreation 7 on Sunday. All 5 video games to this point have been determined by 10 or extra factors.
Jayson Tatum had 27 factors and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who misplaced consecutive video games for the primary time within the postseason. Marcus Good was whistled for a technical foul then an offensive foul in a one-second span early within the fourth. He overcame a gradual begin to rating 20 factors.
Jordan Poole knocked down a 33-foot 3 from the left wing to beat the third-quarter buzzer because the Warriors took a 75-74 lead into the ultimate 12 minutes after the Celtics roared again within the third.
The Celtics discovered their very own third-quarter magic that has lengthy outlined Golden State’s success within the second half. Boston trailed 51-39 on the break earlier than charging again with a 35-point outburst within the third.
Al Horford hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 6:28 left within the interval that made it 58-55 because the Celtics lastly discovered their taking pictures groove from deep. Boston made eight straight made 3 after lacking the preliminary 12.
“Undoubtedly we weren’t as sharp as we wanted to be throughout instances there. Simply powerful,” Horford stated. “Undoubtedly now, our backs are in opposition to the wall, and we have now to see what we’re product of.”
Jaylen Brown was 2 for 11 to start out the sport and completed with 18 factors on 5-of-18 taking pictures and missed all 5 of his 3-point tries.
Tatum gave Boston its first 3-pointer on the night time 4:34 earlier than halftime and the Celtics wound up 11 of 32 from deep general. The Celtics had been sloppy in stretches, committing 18 turnovers.
“Once we’re at our greatest, it’s easy ball motion. I feel the third quarter confirmed that. The drive and kick was lovely, was working, getting guys wide-open photographs,” coach Ime Udoka stated.
Golden State wound up 9 of 40 from past the arc — Wiggins 0 of 6. Curry didn’t make a 3-pointer for the primary time since going 0 for 4 in a 134-111 loss to the Bucks on Nov. 18, 2018.
“An evening that he didn’t have it going we discovered offense elsewhere,” stated Inexperienced, who had eight factors, eight rebounds and 7 assists earlier than fouling out with 3:01 remaining.