Stephen Curry has vowed to "keep shooting" in Game 6 after his all-time streak of 233 successive games with a 3-pointer came to an end against the Boston Celtics.

The Golden State Warriors beat the Celtics 104-94 at Chase Center on Monday to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven NBA Finals series.

Curry has played a huge part in the Warriors' drive for a seventh championship, but the 34-year-old endured an off day in Game 5 as he went 0-for-9 from three-point range.

He had 16 points overall and laid on eight assists in what was a below-par showing, with Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson stepping up to help secure the pivotal victory.

Historically, when a seven-game series is tied at 2-2, the winner of Game 5 has gone on to win the series over 82 per cent of the time.

Curry, who scored 43 points in the Game 4 triumph in Boston, is confident he will respond in the best way possible in Thursday's Game 6.

"I'll keep on shooting. It's very simple," he said. "I'm not afraid to go 0-for-whatever because I'm going to keep shooting and taking shots that you normally feel like you can make. 

"And I've responded well when I've had games like that from the three-point line. But I don't think I've ever been happier after a 0-for-whatever type of night.

"Knowing the context of the game, the other ways you tried to impact the game and the fact that you had four guys step up in meaningful ways to help us win offensively.

"So all that stuff matters. Yeah, there's a fire burning and I want to make shots, but the rest of it is about how we win the game, and we did that."

 

Curry has made 285 three-pointers this season, 23 more than next best Buddy Hield, with an average of 25.5 per game through his 64 appearances in 2021-22.

And after digging deep as a team to pick up the win, Draymond Green believes team-mate Curry's off-day could work in the Warriors' favour when the teams reconvene.

"Whether Steph gets 43, 10, four, or whether he finishes with 16-for-22 shooting, a win is a win," Green said.

"Obviously, we have spoken about helping him, and I don't think he's been out there helpless, like that's the narrative.

"But everybody's doing their part, and tonight, a night that he didn't have it going, we found offense elsewhere, and that's kind of what it's been.

"On the same token, if he's got it going, we're going to be heavy Steph Curry. That's just what it is. 

"The whole notion of this guy doesn't have help, well, you've got 43, he's going to keep shooting, and we're going to do all that we can to get him shooting it.

"It was huge. Now, that's good for us. He was 0-for-9 from three. He's going to be livid going into Game 6, and that's exactly what we need."

Jayson Tatum has admitted that the Boston Celtics need to 'focus' on their game and avoid refereeing distractions following defeat to Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA finals. 

Andrew Wiggins starred in the victory that put the Warriors 3-2 up in the best-of-seven series, but Tatum outscored him in the game, putting up 27 as the Celtics went down 104-94. 

The Celtics' slow start proved to be costly, with the third quarter their best display, with decisions from the referees clearly irritating the team.

Tatum insisted those distractions must be ignored heading into Thursday's win or go home Game 6, though. 

"I mean, you saw it. I wasn't in all of those conversations. I didn't hear everything that was talked about," Tatum said.

"But in those situations, especially on the road, regardless if we feel like calls are going our way or not, just in those moments we just got to be better not letting distractions, things like that, distract us.  

"Down one going into the fourth quarter, just got to focus on what's important at the time. That's on all of us. We'll regroup and bounce back. I'm sure of it."

Despite the odds being against them, Tatum remains confident the Celtics can salvage the series with two games to play.

"You know, I've said it before: You better be confident, right? We ain't got to win two in one day. We just got to win one game on Thursday," he added.

"We've been in this situation before. So it's not over. Got to win on Thursday. That's all we got to worry about right now."

Draymond Green described Andrew Wiggins as a player you want in the big occasions after his star turn in Game 5 of the NBA Finals put the Golden State Warriors on the cusp of championship glory.

Wiggins contributed 26 points and 13 rebounds, while Klay Thompson had 21 points as the Warriors scored a 104-94 win against the Boston Celtics on home court to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

It was a particularly valuable contribution from Wiggins in the context of an off night for superstar Stephen Curry, who had scored 43 points in the Game 4 triumph in Boston.

Curry had 16 points and laid on eight assists but surprisingly went 0-for-9 from three-point range, ending his record run of at least one three in a postseason game at 132, and ending his streak of regular and post-season combined at 233.

Green concedes Wiggins has had to grow in stature with the Warriors but says he is now the kind of player to excel on the big occasions.

"I think he started to feel it out, but coming into this year, he was an All-Star starter for a reason," Green said.

"He defended very well. He scored the ball very well and really just plugged right in. Like it wasn't like 'oh, you need to call a set for him every time'. He's kind of been getting it. He's continued to do that.

"I think the bigger the challenge has been that we've thrown in front of him, the bigger he's responded. You want a guy like that, when the stage gets big, they respond and play their best basketball, and that's what he's been doing."

Wiggins was able to reflect on a special moment, and said the celebrations from the likes of Klay Thompson at his performance were a sign of the "love" among the roster.

"It's something I dreamt about for sure, being in the league, and this is the ultimate stage. It doesn't get bigger than this. I was out there being aggressive. It was a good game," Wiggins said.

"That's [the celebrations] love. That's what makes it all work. We all support each other, and we want to see each other do good and succeed. That's why we're here."

Asked how he earned the respect of his team, Wiggins added: "Before I even got here, they have been great.

"You know, things that worked for them. And I feel like I'm pretty easy going, so I just came in here and hoop. I'm playing basketball, and I'm playing hard, and I feel like people respect that. And I'm just trying to win. 

"At the end of the day, no matter what it takes or whatever they need from me, I'm here to help them win."

The Golden State Warriors showed their championship pedigree in Monday's 104-94 home win against the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

With the win, the Warriors have taken a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven. Historically, when a seven-game series is tied at 2-2, the winner of Game 5 has gone on to win the series over 82 per cent of the time.

While it has been all Stephen Curry for the Warriors up this point, Game 5 was a true team performance as Curry struggled.

It started on the defensive end for the Warriors, holding the Celtics to just eight points in the first nine minutes of action on the way to a 27-16 opening frame.

Andrew Wiggins had seven points in the first quarter, and backed it up with another nine in the second, clearly the Warriors' best player in the first half as they won the second frame 24-23 to head into half-time leading 51-39.

A classic Warriors third quarter would have put the game to bed, but it was the Celtics' turn to flip the game on its head, starting the second half on a 10-0 run.

The road team would hit six-of-eight three-pointers in the period to pull ahead 74-72 in the closing stages, before a running heave from Jordan Poole banked in off the backboard to beat the buzzer. Replays showed the ball left Poole's fingertips with 0.1 seconds remaining on the clock, giving the Warriors a one-point lead.

Poole's launch ignited the crowd, and they carried that momentum in the opening stages of the fourth, starting the quarter on a 10-0 run of their own to take a stranglehold on the contest.

In the biggest moments, Wiggins did not cede the floor to Curry, scoring 10 points in the last quarter, capped off with an emphatic slam dunk.

Wiggins finished with a team-high 26 points on 12-of-23 shooting, backing up his career-high 16 rebounds in Game 4 with another 13 rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot.

Averaging 34.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists in the first four games, Curry went ice cold from long range as the series returned to Golden State, going seven-of-22 from the field and a shocking zero-of-nine from deep for his 16 points and eight assists.

It was the first of Curry's 133 career playoff games that he has not made a three-pointer, and breaks a streak of 233 consecutive total games without hitting one, and a streak of 38 straight playoff games with multiple makes.

Incredibly, Curry and Wiggins combined to shoot zero-of-15 from long range, but they received some crucial shooting performances from Klay Thompson (five-of-11 from three, 21 points) and Jordan Poole (three-of-six from deep, 14 points in 14 minutes).

Gary Payton II also played a big part in the win, coming off the bench to score 15 points on six-of-eight shooting, ripping away three steals and providing a game-changing presence on the defensive end of the floor.

Ultimately, the Warriors played playoff-proven, winning basketball. They finished with six combined turnovers as a team, with just four coming from the starters, and hit 86 per cent of their free throws (13-of-15).

For the Celtics, their big three of Jayson Tatum (four turnovers), Jaylen Brown (five) and Marcus Smart (four) combined for 13 of their side's 18 total turnovers, while they shot 67 per cent from the free throw line (21-of-31).

Tatum was the visiting side's top performer, finishing with 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting, going five-of-nine from long range, adding 10 rebounds and four assists, although he did miss four of his six free throws.

The Warriors now have a chance to close out the series – and secure their fourth championship in eight seasons – when they head to Boston for Game 6. If the Celtics are able to win Game 6, Game 7 will head back to Golden State.

James Wiseman's long road to recovery appears to be nearing an end, as the Golden State Warriors centre could return to play in the NBA's Summer League in July.

Wiseman, who has not played in an NBA game since April 10, 2021, is reportedly sprinting pain-free and is nearing clearance for full-contact workouts, according to the Athletic.

The second overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft, Wiseman has been recovering from a meniscus tear in his right knee, for which he underwent surgery last April.

The Warriors were hoping he would be able to return at some point during the 2021-22 season, but he encountered multiple setbacks and the team made the decision to shut him down with nine games to go.

Then in April, he reportedly received a plasma-rich injection in his arm to help promote healing throughout his body.

Though the 21-year-old has appeared in just 39 games in his two seasons with Golden State – averaging 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds – he remains part of the team's long-term plans and is expected to have his fourth-year option picked up.

Wiseman has been on the bench during the Warriors' playoff run, and was on the court putting up shots during shootaround prior to Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

The Finals between the Warriors and Boston Celtics are tied 2-2 heading into Game 5 on Monday in San Francisco.

After two-and-a-half seasons on the sidelines due to injury, Klay Thompson is savouring every moment before the Golden State Warriors face the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday.

The Warriors were on the verge of forcing a Game 7 against the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals, when Thompson tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee with two minutes remaining in the third quarter of Game 6.

On 28 points at that point on eight-of-12 shooting, he ended up sinking both free throws before being forced off the court and did not return for the Warriors until January this year, missing the whole of the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.

Monday is the three-year anniversary since that game but ahead of Game 5 against the Boston Celtics, Thompson revealed he did not realise the extent of his knee injury and had only one thing on his mind.

"I never had such a severe injury, so I didn't think it was that serious," Thompson said. "I thought I might have sprained something in my knee, but when you're playing in front of your fans, your adrenaline is so high, you kind of disregard anything that makes sense.

"Running around on a torn ACL doesn't make very good sense. I just thought, 'I don't want to leave these points on the board, man. This is the Finals, I'm going to go get this 30-ball.'

"On top of that, I went to the back, and they did a little test, and they came out with the conclusion that I should probably put some crutches on. Wow, what a time, three years ago. It goes by fast."

The 32-year-old has been in patchy shooting form over these playoffs and hit a nadir in the opening two games of the NBA Finals, going a combined 10-of-33 from the floor.

Thompson found his feet as the Warriors evened up the series in Game 4, coming up with big shots on the way to 18 points and 40 per cent shooting from the perimeter.

Playing in his sixth-straight NBA Finals on an individual level, following that absence due to injury, Thompson is not taking the magnitude of the occasion for granted.

"Man, it seems routine, but I know how special this is," he said. "I mean, I'm trying to just be present in everything I do during this time – even this interview. Not even looking ahead to tomorrow but just enjoy this day before the big one.

"I mean, the NBA Finals is such a cool thing to be a part of. I remember being in Istanbul, Turkey in 2013, doing some stuff for the NBA and waking up real early just to watch it. To realise that these games are broadcast worldwide just reminds you how special it really is.

"I know when my dad [Mychal] played back in the day, the NBA was not as global so to be here now, it's special."

Familiarity is not breeding contempt for Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, as his side approaches a pivotal Game 5 on Monday, tied 2-2 against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

For the third consecutive playoff series, the Celtics will come into a Game 5 with the series tied, after the Warriors reclaimed home court advantage on Friday in a 107-97 win.

Stephen Curry had 10 points during the game-ending surge and finished with 43 as Boston’s normally dependable defensive scheme had no answer for the two-time MVP.

The Celtics have demonstrated a knack for responding during these playoffs, where they’re 7-0 following a loss and have twice won on the road when facing elimination - Game 6 of their second-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks and Game 7 of their Eastern Conference finals with the Miami Heat.

That familiarity, combined with the resiliency his team has shown throughout its run to this series, has Udoka maintaining a positive outlook with the series now down to a best-of-three affair.

"It could have been an easier road, obviously,” Udoka quipped. "We know we can do it. We’ve done it before.

"I think the narrative gets shifted to Curry and what he’s doing," Udoka said. "But even throughout the game, we had several opportunities, being up five, six, seven, and poor offence or turnovers let them back in the game.

"The difference in the game that we stretched the lead [Game 3] was we took advantage of those opportunities. Against this team, anytime you run some poor offence, turn the ball over, live ball turnovers, let them get out, we know how quickly they can get back in the game."

The Celtics do face another weighty assignment with potentially two more games to be held at San Francisco’s Chase Center, where the Warriors are a near-perfect 10-1 this post-season.

That one defeat did come at the hands of Boston in the series opener, with the Celtics outscoring Golden State 40-16 in the fourth quarter to turn a 12-point deficit into a 120-108 win.

"We know it’s a long series,” Udoka said. “We’ve been battle-tested in two seven-game series in Milwaukee and Miami."

The Celtics are also optimistic regarding center Robert Williams’ availability for Game 5. The All-NBA Defensive second team selection missed the final few minutes of Friday’s loss after landing awkwardly on the surgically repaired left knee, often limiting him during the post-season.

"Feeling good,” Williams said following Sunday’s practice. "A little sore, but on the side of the better days [I’ve had]."

Steve Kerr singled out the drive to improve as fuel for his "superstar" Stephen Curry to lift the Golden State Warriors, ahead of Monday's Game 5 matchup with the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.

Curry was at his transformative best in Game 4 on Friday as the Warriors evened the series up with a 107-97 win, scoring 43 points on 14-of-26 shooting along with 10 rebounds and four assists.

The 34-year-old has averaged 34.3 points in the opening four games of the NBA Finals on astounding shooting splits of 50/49/86 per cent, for a true shooting percentage 66.4 per cent and net rating of +12.

Speaking in the leadup to Game 5, the Warriors head coach cited Curry's valuing of preparation and work to maximise his shooting talent as the reason behind his play at such a high level.

"Just the consistency of his routine," Kerr told reporters. "He's a like a metronome, every day it's the exact same thing. He's in the training room, he's in the weight room, he's on the court and it's clockwork, but there's also a sense of joy and energy within that work.

"He enjoys it so much. He loves the process, and I think that's the thing that ties all great athletes together. Like, I'm talking about the superstar athletes, the Roger Federers of the world and Steph Currys of the world.

"There is a routine that is not only super disciplined but it's really enjoyed each day, there is a passion that comes with it, and that's what sustains it over time. When you love something like those guys do, you work at it, you get better and you just keep going."

Kerr also reserved some praise for Andrew Wiggins, who has provided valuable support in the face of Klay Thompson's shooting slump and patchy form from Draymond Green.

Only making the playoffs once in his career before this season, the 27-year-old has averaged 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds, along with a steal and a block over the opening four games.

Traded to the Warriors in 2020, Wiggins has proved a compatible fit on both ends of the floor, with Kerr taking pride in his development.

"He's a very mild-mannered guy, but he's taking a leap in these playoffs, in terms of his impact on the game," the Warriors coach said. "Defensively, on the glass, you saw the other night with 16 rebounds and I think because the games are obviously so meaningful, there's more emotion from him and from everybody.

"The biggest thing is that he's a two-way player, you've got to have two-guys to make it this far and to succeed, and he has grown by leaps and bounds over the past couple of years. It's really fun to watch that growth."

Steve Kerr singled out the drive to improve as fuel for his "superstar" Stephen Curry to lift the Golden State Warriors, ahead of Monday's Game 5 matchup with the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.

Curry was at his transformative best in Game 4 on Friday as the Warriors evened the series up with a 107-97 win, scoring 43 points on 14-of-26 shooting along with 10 rebounds and four assists.

The 34-year-old has averaged 34.3 points in the opening four games of the NBA Finals on astounding shooting splits of 50/49/86 per cent, for a true shooting percentage 66.4 per cent and net rating of +12.

Speaking in the leadup to Game 5, the Warriors head coach cited Curry's valuing of preparation and work to maximise his shooting talent as the reason behind his play at such a high level.

"Just the consistency of his routine," Kerr told reporters. "He's a like a metronome, every day it's the exact same thing. He's in the training room, he's in the weight room, he's on the court and it's clockwork, but there's also a sense of joy and energy within that work.

"He enjoys it so much. He loves the process, and I think that's the thing that ties all great athletes together. Like, I'm talking about the superstar athletes, the Roger Federers of the world and Steph Currys of the world.

"There is a routine that is not only super disciplined but it's really enjoyed each day, there is a passion that comes with it, and that's what sustains it over time. When you love something like those guys do, you work at it, you get better and you just keep going."

Kerr also reserved some praise for Andrew Wiggins, who has provided valuable support in the face of Klay Thompson's shooting slump and patchy form from Draymond Green.

Only making the playoffs once in his career before this season, the 27-year-old has averaged 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds, along with a steal and a block over the opening four games.

Traded to the Warriors in 2020, Wiggins has proved a compatible fit on both ends of the floor, with Kerr taking pride in his development.

"He's a very mild-mannered guy, but he's taking a leap in these playoffs, in terms of his impact on the game," the Warriors coach said. "Defensively, on the glass, you saw the other night with 16 rebounds and I think because the games are obviously so meaningful, there's more emotion from him and from everybody.

"The biggest thing is that he's a two-way player, you've got to have two-guys to make it this far and to succeed, and he has grown by leaps and bounds over the past couple of years. It's really fun to watch that growth."

Stephen Curry declared "it means everything" to keep the NBA Finals series alive after his sensational performance dragged the Golden State Warriors past the Boston Celtics.

Curry scored 10 of the Warriors' last 12 points, finishing with 43 overall after shooting 14-of-26 from the field and seven-of-14 from long range. He also added 10 rebounds and four assists.

That helped Golden State to a 107-97 road win to level the best-of-seven series at 2-2 as they prepare to return to the Chase Center for Game 5 on Monday.

Curry also played with an injury to his left foot throughout, but expressed his delight at returning to home-court advantage with the series even.

"It means everything knowing the sense of urgency we had to have tonight to win on the road and keep some life in the series, get home-court advantage back and try to create some momentum our way," he told reporters.

"It was a hard-fought win. I think the first quarter really set the tone. Even though we were down one, it was a night and day difference between Game 3 and Game 4 how we came out defensively, and that just gives you enough life to withstand some rough patches.

"And then find some runs. We get some stops, get out in transition, guys get involved. And you give yourself a chance to win it down the stretch.

"Proud of everybody in terms of our physicality, our focus, perseverance throughout the game. 2-2 is way better than 3-1 going home. Job well done tonight."

 

Curry registered 12 points in the first quarter to keep the Warriors just one point adrift, and the 34-year-old believes it was vital he set the tone.

"It's kind of how we wanted to start the game. We rely on Draymond [Green] bringing that energy and fire throughout the course of the season, and year after year," he added. 

"Felt like we just had to let everybody know that we were here tonight. Whether that's their crowd, their team, our team, whoever wants to see that energy and that fire, we feed off of that.

"I think it helped us just get settled into the game because our experience, you can want it so bad, you get in your own way a little bit and everybody feels a little bit of pressure, and it can go the opposite way.

"I wanted to try to leverage that in a positive direction for us to start the game."

Asked whether it was his best Finals performance as Klay Thompson suggested, Curry responded: "I can't rate my performances, though. Just win the game."

Jayson Tatum simply stated "I've got to be better" after the Boston Celtics were downed by a Stephen Curry-inspired Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

Curry put in a Finals performance for the ages at TD Garden, scoring 43 points as the Warriors levelled the best-of-seven series at 2-2 with a 107-97 triumph.

It could have been different with the Celtics holding a four-point buffer prior to Curry – playing with a left-foot injury – making a couple of fourth-quarter baskets as part of 10-0 run that swung the momentum.

Tatum had 23 points and 11 rebounds but he made just one basket when playing in the entire fourth quarter, with the Celtics draining only two shots in the final seven minutes, the Warriors outscoring the hosts 21-6 in that time.

Speaking after the game, Tatum said: "I mean, you've got to give them credit, they're a great team, they're playing well.

"But it's on me, I've got to be better. I know I'm impacting the game in other ways, but I've got to be more efficient – shoot the ball better, finish at the rim better.

"I take accountability for that, and I just look forward to Monday, and leave this one behind us.

"We'll learn from it, watching film and things like that, but everybody probably feels like they've got to do better, myself included. [We'll] just go get it on Monday."

Asked about Tatum's scoring trouble, head coach Ime Udoka said: "At times he's looking for fouls. They are a team that loads up [defensively] and certain games he's finding the outlets, and certain games he's shooting over two or three guys.

"That's the balance of being aggressive and picking your spots, and doing what he's done in previous games which is kicked it out and got guys wide-open looks.

"That's an ongoing theme, so to speak, him getting to the basket and being a scorer as well as a playmaker, and they do a good job with their rotations.

"But sometimes he's hunting fouls instead of going to finish, I've seen that in a few games so far."

Curry's tally of 43 was the second highest he has posted in a Finals game, and Udoka conceded there were some plays his team could do little to defend against.

"Obviously we're focused on him, and keeping others in check, but some of those were some crazy shots that were highly contested that he made," Udoka added.

"You look at the overall numbers, the attempts, getting those off is the number we don't like – the 14 [three-point] attempts in general – he came out bombing early, he had nine in the first half.

"Some of the threes he hit were highly contested, and you can't do anything about those, but when we did switch, it kind of got some cross-matches on guys on the rim, and he went after them a little bit later and made some plays."

The series heads back to San Francisco for Game 5 on Monday.

Draymond Green said Stephen Curry simply "wasn't letting us lose" as the greatest shooter of all time scored 43 points to carry the Golden State Warriors to a 107-97 road win in Game 4.

The win tied the series at 2-2, swinging home-court advantage back to the Warriors as they prepare to head back to Chase Center for Game 5.

Curry's ridiculous performance included going 14-of-26 from the field, and seven-of-14 from long range, while also grabbing 10 rebounds and scoring 10 of the Warriors' last 12 points in a tense fourth quarter.

Andrew Wiggins also had a night to remember, pulling in a career-high 16 rebounds to go with his 17 points, finishing with a plus/minus of plus 20 in his 43 minutes, meaning the Warriors were minus 10 in the five minutes he was on the bench.

Speaking to the media after the win, Green let it be known just how special Curry was when his team needed him most.

"Incredible – [Curry] put us on his back, willed us to a win, a much-needed win," he said.

"He came out and showed why he's one of the best players to ever play this game, and why this organisation has been able to ride him to so much success. Just absolutely incredible.

"He's one of the most resilient, toughest guys that I've ever played with. The way defenses guard him, they're constantly grabbing, and he just continues to play… he just continues to do what he does.

"It says a lot about his toughness, and his competitive nature, and what it truly means to be a winner."

When asked if he had a feeling Curry was going to bring it tonight, Green said there was no way they were heading back home trailing 3-1.

"Yeah, [Curry] wasn't letting us lose," he said. "That's just what it boils down to.

"You hear all the noise… I could tell in his demeanour the last couple days, after Game 3, that he would come out with that type of fire, and we were all able to follow."

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr echoed Green's sentiments about Curry's virtuoso performance.

"Just stunning," he said. "The physicality out there is pretty dramatic.

"Boston's got obviously the best defense in the league. They're huge, and powerful at every position.

"For Steph to take that kind of pressure all game long, and then still be able to defend at the other end when they're coming at him, I think this is the strongest physically he's ever been in his career, and it's allowing him to do what he's doing."

He also made sure to give a mention to Wiggins for his game-changing effort.

"'Wiggs' was fantastic – to go against Boston you've got to deal with [Jayson] Tatum and [Jaylen] Brown," he said. 

"They're just powerful, skilled players. Great size, they're coming downhill at you constantly, so we have to have Wiggs out there.

"I thought he was great defensively, and obviously 16 rebounds – a career-high – and [a plus/minus of] plus 20. We needed every bit of his contributions."

The Golden State Warriors produced a spectacular defensive second half to defeat the Boston Celtics 107-97 in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

With the win on the road, the Warriors tied the series at 2-2, avoiding the dreaded 3-1 deficit that history shows is almost impossible to come back from.

From the jump, it was the Stephen Curry show, scoring 12 points in the first quarter to keep the Warriors in the fight, trailing 28-27 at quarter-time.

Eight quick points from Jordan Poole off the bench gave the Warriors a jolt to start the second period, before Jaylen Brown answered with 10 of his own. 

Ultimately it was the Celtics' defense controlling the second quarter, holding the Warriors to two-of-12 shooting from long range in the frame to win it 26-22 and head into half-time leading 54-49.

Everyone expected the Warriors to come out hot in the third quarter, and they did not disappoint, with Curry and Klay Thompson both hitting jump shots in the first 40 seconds, igniting a 30-24 period for the visitors.

Curry scored another 14 points in the third, with a late three giving the Warriors a 79-78 lead heading into the last.

All series the Boston defense has gone up a gear in the fourth quarter, but this time the Warriors gave them a taste of their own medicine, holding the home side to 19 points.

A Marcus Smart three-pointer with 5:18 remaining put the Celtics up 94-90, but they would score just three points the rest of the way, spanning nearly four minutes between Smart's bucket and Al Horford's three with 1:32 on the clock.

Curry capped off his magical performance with 10 of the Warriors' last 12 points, finishing with 43 points while shooting 14-of-26 from the field and seven-of-14 from long range. He added 10 rebounds and four assists.

Also shining when the Warriors needed him most was Andrew Wiggins, who snatched a career-high 16 rebounds, including some important offensive rebounds and put-backs with his team trailing, as he also chipped in 17 points and finished with a plus/minus of plus 20. His plus/minus trailed only Kevon Looney's plus 21.

For the Celtics, Jayson Tatum was solid, but scored inefficiently, with 23 points on eight-of-23 shooting, while adding 11 rebounds, six assists and three blocks. Brown was also respectable, scoring 21 on nine-of-19 shooting, while Derrick White added 16 off the bench.

Former Brooklyn Nets head coach and current Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson will be hired as the next head coach of the Charlotte Hornets, with ESPN reporting that he will receive a four-year contract. 

Aktinson's head coaching experience with the Brooklyn Nets spanned from 2016-20. He compiled a 118-190 record during his time with the rebuilding Nets, but helped guide the team from 20 wins in his initial season to a 42-40 record in 2018-19 and a playoff berth. 

He was chosen to replace outgoing head coach James Borrego after a seven-week search during which the Hornets interviewed veteran coach Mike D’Antoni, former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts, and assistant coaches Sean Sweeney of Dallas, Charles Lee of Milwaukee and David Vanterpool of Brooklyn. They also interviewed Darvin Ham, who was hired by the Los Angeles Lakers.  

Borrego was fired on April 22 following a 43-win season with two years remaining on his contract. He went 138-163 during his four seasons at the helm of the Hornets and they were routed in the play-in tournament for the second straight season. 

Atkinson has a reputation as a talent developer and helped turn Caris LeVert, Joe Harris, Jarrett Allen and Spencer Dinwiddie into key players for the Nets, as well as elevating D'Angelo Russell to his lone All-Star appearance in 2019.  

The Hornets have key pieces in place with guard LaMelo Ball and much-improved forward Miles Bridges, as well as veteran Gordon Hayward, but they have a glaring need at center, which could be addressed in a number of creative ways with the NBA Draft and free agency approaching.  

Atkinson is the second Golden State assistant to accept a new job during the Warriors' playoff this season after fellow assistant Mike Brown accepted the role of head coach of the Sacramento Kings, though both are remaining with the Warriors through the end of the NBA Finals. 

Stephen Curry will not have any minutes restriction in Game 4 as the Golden State Warriors bid to level the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.

Curry suffered a foot injury in the Warriors' 116-100 defeat in Game 3 at TD Garden on Wednesday.

The two-time MVP had insisted he would not miss Game 4 and head coach Steve Kerr confirmed Curry will be available for the entirety of Friday's critical clash.

"He's feeling well, just went through shootaround. He said he's ready to go," Kerr told reporters.

The Warriors trail the series 2-1 and will have history against them if the Celtics claim a third win in four.

Only one team in NBA Finals history has come back from a 3-1 deficit to prevail, the Cleveland Cavaliers famously doing so against the Warriors in 2016.

Curry has scored 26.8 points per game so far in the postseason. He has averaged 31.3 across the first three games of the Finals.

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