Stephen Curry produced a dazzling 43-point display as the Golden State Warriors battled the Boston Celtics 107-97 to tie the NBA Finals series at 2-2 on Friday. With the Warriors needing a win at Boston’s TD Garden to avoid a 3-1 loss in the best of seven series, Curry delivered one of the best performances of his glittering career to revive Golden State’s hopes of a seventh championship.
Curry entered Game 4 with health concerns after suffering a kick in the Warriors’ Game 3 loss on Wednesday. But the 34-year-old double NBA Most Valuable Player categorically dispelled any doubts about his fitness as he single-handedly led Golden State back to the Finals with Game 5 in San Francisco on Monday.
Curry finished with 43 points, 10 rebounds and four assists on a night when Golden State once again struggled to find its offensive rhythm for long stretches against a powerhouse Boston team.
Klay Thompson added 18 points for the Warriors while Andrew Wiggins produced 17 points and 16 rebounds in a crucial contribution. Jordan Poole added 14 from the bench.
“A lot of pride in our group, a lot of talk over the last 48 hours about how we can get back into this series,” a delighted Curry said afterwards. “It’s crazy because I still feel like we can play a bit better. But winning on the road and reclaiming home advantage is important for this group. We’ve been here six times, we have a lot of experience of staying confident and composed.
“I’m just grateful to everyone in our team because we brought a lot of strength and physicality tonight. “We knew how important this game was. That five-and-a-half-hour return flight got a little better after tonight.”
– Green struggles –
Warriors coach Steve Kerr, meanwhile, made the bold move to pull Draymond Green out of the scrum during the fourth quarter before sending him back on the field for the game’s final pass. struggled on offense with just two points but finished with nine rebounds, eight assists and four steals.
But the undeniable man of the hour was once again Curry, a model of lucid composure as the rowdiness raged around Boston’s noisy arena.
“Simply stunning,” was how Kerr described Curry’s performance. “The physics there are, you know, pretty dramatic. I mean, Boston obviously has the best defense in the league.
“Huge and powerful in every position, and for Steph, that kind of pressure throughout the game and still being able to defend at the other end when they come at him shows you, I think, that’s the strongest physically where he’s ever been in his career, and that allows him to do what he does.”
Boston coach Ime Udoka wondered what could have been. The Celtics now need to win at least one more game in San Francisco – where they won Game 1 – to win an NBA-record 18th crown.
“We had our opportunities tonight, especially when we had a five, six point lead,” Udoka said. “It felt like we didn’t have our best possessions, and we kind of let them back into the game, whether it was turnovers or a bad attack.
“It could have been easier, obviously, if you got the win tonight. But that’s how it is. We’re 2-2 now. We know we can do it. We’ve done it before. Keep your head up cold and let’s get one on the road.”
A close fight saw neither team lead by more than seven points until Golden State’s decisive late burst in the final minutes secured a 10-point victory. Boston had led by four points at 94-90 with just under five minutes left before a layup from Wiggins and a three-pointer from Thompson put Golden State up 95-94. Curry then extended the lead with a layup to make it 97-94 before driving the dagger in with a three-pointer to leave the Warriors 100-94 ahead.
Al Horford cut Boston’s deficit with a corner three, but Kevon Looney’s layup restored the Warriors’ five-point cushion.
Curry then closed out the game, smartly drawing Boston fouls to score five points from the free throw line. Jayson Tatum led Boston in scoring with 23 points while Jaylen Brown finished with 21 points. Marcus Smart added 18 points and Derrick White added 16.
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Post expires at 11:11am on Tuesday June 21st, 2022