Sports

The Celtics Stopped Stephen Curry. Everyone Else Made Them Pay.

SAN FRANCISCO — Inside a gleaming enviornment experiencing its first N.B.A. finals run, followers stood and cheered as the sport’s last minute approached, maybe the final residence send-off they might get to offer earlier than Golden State returned as champions.

Stephen Curry sat on the bench for the final 1 minute 19 seconds of Game 5 of the N.B.A. finals, carrying a large smile, chatting fortunately with somebody close by.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been happier after a 0-for-whatever type of night,” Curry stated later. He added: “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.”

Reliant on Curry for the primary 4 video games of this collection in opposition to the Boston Celtics, Golden State confirmed its skill to succeed even when his shot wasn’t working. Monday’s was the primary playoff sport of Curry’s career through which he didn’t make no less than one 3-pointer. It was additionally a 104-94 victory that gave Golden State a 3-2 lead within the finals and an opportunity to win a championship in Boston on Thursday.

The Celtics threw all their effort at slowing Curry after he scored 43 factors to beat them in Game 4 on Friday. So in Game 5, everybody else made them pay.

“The fact everybody stepped up — Wiggs, J.P., Klay hit some big shots, Draymond found his life and his spirit and the way he impacts the game,” Curry stated.

Wiggs is Andrew Wiggins, who as soon as was referred to as a bust when some thought he couldn’t ship on the promise of being a No. 1 general decide within the draft. He scored 26 factors for Golden State with 13 rebounds and a couple of steals. He had a block within the first quarter when he smacked the ball away from Celtics guard Jaylen Brown.

J.P. is Jordan Poole, who scored 14 factors and banked in a 3-pointer because the third quarter clock expired, then ran to the nook nearest him and roared into the gang. That basket gave Golden State a 1-point lead after an in any other case disastrous quarter.

Thompson, Curry’s 3-point capturing companion, has been inconsistent within the finals, however made 5 3s in Game 5, and scored 21 factors.

Draymond Green had a sport that Golden State Coach Steve Kerr referred to as “brilliant,” after his struggles early within the collection prompted some to marvel if his pursuits outdoors basketball have been distracting him.

Gary Payton II, the 29-year-old journeyman, scored 15 factors for Golden State, making 6 of 8 photographs.

“Gary plays bigger than any other 6’2” N.B.A. participant I’ve ever seen,” Thompson stated. “His vert and his ability to slide in front of the ball, obviously we know where that came from: from his pops. But his vert is something special, and his improved jump shot has also been a huge weapon for us.”

Curry knew the Celtics weren’t going to let him get away with what he did to them in Boston once more. In the times between Games 4 and 5 he watched movie with a twin goal: He needed to see what labored so he may attempt to replicate it. He needed to anticipate potential changes Boston would use to thwart him.

The Celtics did make changes and felt good about how they defended Curry in Game 5.

“A little more physical there,” Celtics Coach Ime Udoka stated. “Switched up the coverage a little bit. But we have to do it on the others.”

In speaking about how Curry’s teammates made up for his capturing struggles, Curry and Udoka targeted on their offensive manufacturing. But what mattered extra for Golden State was their protection.

They held the Celtics to only 94 factors, and scored 22 factors off Boston’s 18 turnovers. Payton grabbed three steals, Thompson had two and Green and Curry every had one.

The solely quarter through which the Celtics appeared higher was the third, once they made 6 of 9 3-point makes an attempt, 11 of 19 photographs general, and turned a 16-point deficit right into a 5-point lead with 3:55 left within the interval.

“They pretty much dominated the entire third quarter,” Green stated. “For us to still go into the fourth quarter with the lead, that’s huge. And I think that was something that we could build on, and we did.”

As Golden State regained management of the sport, a way of joyfulness may very well be seen all through the staff.

When Celtics ahead Jayson Tatum knocked over Payton with just below 4 minutes left within the sport, Payton put his palms on the bottom and started to do push-ups. With 2:10 left within the sport, Wiggins ran previous Boston’s Derrick White for a one-handed dunk that despatched his teammates and the San Francisco crowd right into a frenzy.

“We don’t get more excited than when Wiggs dunks on somebody,” Thompson stated. “And that really uplifts the whole team and the Bay Area.”

In the primary 4 video games of the finals, Curry averaged 34.3 factors a sport, and his field-goal share was higher than 53 p.c in Games 3 and 4 in Boston. He additionally made 25 3-pointers in these 4 video games and made no less than half his 3s in Games 1, 3 and 4.

He had been probably the most constant a part of Golden State’s assault. After Game 4, Thompson marveled at what Curry achieved and spoke of wanting to offer him some assist.

But on Monday, Green, as is his wont, disagreed with what he referred to as the rising “narrative” that Curry hadn’t had the assistance he wanted this collection.

“If he’s got it going, we’re going to be heavy Steph Curry,” Green stated. “That’s just what it is. The whole notion of this guy doesn’t, he 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.”

He went on in that vein for a number of extra sentences earlier than smiling.

“He was 0 for 9 from 3,” Green stated. “He’s going to be livid going into Game 6. And that’s exactly what we need.”

Curry stated he appeared ahead to “the bounce back” that his capturing share will, seemingly, inevitably get.

When they’re at their finest, the Warriors can hit you in waves. Stop one and one other will come at you.

It has at all times been this option to some extent. During the primary run of their dynasty, again once they performed at Oracle Arena in Oakland, one needed to deal with Curry, Green, Thompson and Andre Iguodala, then Kevin Durant for some time.

Monday night time they confirmed that it’s nonetheless that approach.

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