Giannis Antetokounmpo believes Stephen Curry is the best player in the world after inspiring the Golden State Warriors' NBA title triumph last season.

Curry won his fourth NBA title in June at the expense of the Boston Celtics, taking the series 4-2.

Superstar guard Curry won the NBA Finals MVP after averaging 31.2 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals in the six games.

The 34-year-old became only the seventh player to win at least four NBA titles and win two MVP awards, a feat Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, LeBron James, Magic Johnson and Tim Duncan have also achieved.

Antetokounmpo claimed the title and was Finals MVP for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021, but says Curry is now the best on the planet despite Nikola Jokic winning the 2021 and 2022 NBA MVP awards.

He said during a Bucks media day: "I think the best player in the world is the person that is the last man standing.

"It's the person that takes his team to the Finals, the finish line and helps them win the game. - that's how I view it. I believe the best player in the world is Steph Curry."

Antetokounmpo says no individual awards can match the feeling of winning the NBA title.

"The feeling I felt, it was a nice feeling," he said. "I got jealous of Golden State, seeing them in the parade and the ESPYs. You know that feeling now. You know what is getting stripped away from you."

Stephen Curry says he spoke to Adam Silver about Robert Sarver's punishment and is pleased with the sanctions imposed on the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury owner.

The NBA suspended Sarver for one year and fined him $10million after an investigation questioned 320 people over allegations about his behaviour during his 18 years with the Suns.

Sarver last week announced that he intends to sell up after he was found him to have engaged in racist and sexist conduct.

Golden State Warriors superstar Curry revealed he contacted NBA commissioner Silver about the issue and has given his backing to the outcome.

He said during a Warriors media day: "[I] got [Silver's] point of view of what decisions and, I guess, mechanisms he had to intervene and bring down a punishment that was worthy of the actions that we were all responding to and representing the league as a whole and protecting the integrity of the league and the standard that we set terms of from execs, ownership, all the way down to players.

"There should be a standard around what's tolerable and what's not."

Curry added: "I think the outcome was exactly what should have happened.

"Honestly, I thought with the punishment that was handed down, it would have dragged out a little longer, but I'm glad we got to a point where hopefully the team is up for sale sooner than later and can kind of move on knowing that's where it should be."

 

 

Stephen Curry has revealed the Golden State Warriors discussed the possibility of re-signing Kevin Durant – a move their superstar point guard would have welcomed.

Durant appeared set to be on the move this offseason after requesting a trade away from the Brooklyn Nets.

The former NBA MVP joined the Nets after leaving the Warriors in 2019, where he had spent three seasons playing alongside Curry, reaching the Finals in each year and winning two titles and two Finals MVP awards.

Curry and Durant won 131 of the 168 regular season games they played together (78.0 per cent), so it was perhaps no surprise the idea of a reunion appealed to the Golden State stalwart.

Ultimately, the Nets announced they had "agreed to move forward with our partnership" with Durant, but Curry has detailed his thought-process as the saga played out.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, conducted in August for the October issue, Curry said: "There was a conversation internally amongst us about, 'If he was available, would you?'

"Every team has those conversations, and obviously in our situation, they're going to call me and ask me, 'How do you feel about it?'

"I was never hesitant. The idea of playing with KD and knowing who he is as a person, from our history in those three years, I think KD's a really good dude.

"I think he is misunderstood. I think he has had certain things happen in his life that hurt his ability to trust people around him, in a sense of making him feel safe at all times.

"So all of those things I understand, having played with him and gotten to know him. I love that dude.

"And if you said, 'Oh, KD's coming back, and we're going to play with him'... I had so much fun playing with him those three years, I'd be like, 'hell, yeah!'

"Then you have to think: what does that actually mean? What does it look like? You tell me I'm playing with [Warriors team-mates Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole and Draymond Green], I'm like, 'hell, yeah!'

"There's all types of emotion and things that happen to the league. And if anybody's saying that you wouldn't entertain that conversation... no disrespect to anybody on our team, but you don't know how things work.

"But you also understand, if we run this thing back, I've got complete confidence in my team that we can win it again, as constructed.

"So, all those things were true. And it started with me wanting to play with KD at the beginning.

"Yeah, it's about winning, it's about having fun, playing the game of basketball. And that was part of the reaction of, 'yeah, it'd be amazing'... what does that actually mean?"

The Golden State Warriors celebrated their NBA championship with a parade through the streets of San Francisco on Monday.

A 103-90 success over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden in Game 6 of the NBA Finals last Thursday clinched a 4-2 win for the Warriors, who lifted the Larry O'Brien Trophy for the first time since 2018.

It marked the culmination of a stunning recovery from Golden State, who lost Kevin Durant in free agency following the 2019 Finals loss to the Toronto Raptors and had the worst record in the league in the following season, with Klay Thompson missing the first of two straight years due to ACL damage and Stephen Curry playing just five games of the truncated campaign.

The Warriors lost a play-in game against the Memphis Grizzlies in 2020-21 but beat them en route to a fourth championship in eight years this season.

Curry, who was named Finals MVP for the first time in his decorated career, explained why he was so emotional after the latest success as he addressed fans who gathered to celebrate in the streets.

"Whether you say it out loud or you internalise it, you carry the journey with you," said Curry.

"To know what we've all been through, what my brother [Thompson] went through over almost three years, what we went through as a team to try to re-tool, regroup, rejuvenate what we had, and just taking snapshots of the last three years, all that came out when the final horn sounded.

"It wasn't just the work we put in last week, a month ago, it's the work we started when we changed buildings and trying to carry that championship DNA with us. But that emotion was everything, just letting it out and letting you know that we're back. What are they gonna say now?"

After 33 seasons leading the Davidson College men’s basketball program, Bob McKillop is retiring from coaching.  

Davidson announced the news one day after the program’s most famous alumnus—Stephen Curry—led the Golden State Warriors to a fourth NBA championship in eight years.  

Curry was among those who voiced appreciation for McKillop’s accomplished career on social media.  

“Love you Coach!” Curry said on Twitter. “Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, my family, Davidson and every person you’ve impacted along the way.” 

McKillop, 71, is among the top 60 coaches all-time at the NCAA Division I level with 634 career wins.  

McKillop coached the Wildcats to 10 NCAA Tournament appearances, including an Elite Eight run with Curry in 2008, ending in a two-point loss to the eventual national champions, Kansas.  

Davidson was 27-7 last season, including a 15-3 record in the Atlantic 10 Conference, leading to an at-large NCAA Tournament berth.  

McKillop was named his conference’s coach of the year 11 times, twice in the A-10 and nine times in the Southern Conference.  

Last season, McKillop became the 10th coach in Division I history to coach at least 1,000 career games at one school.   

McKillop’s son, Matt, who played on Davidson’s 2006 NCAA Tournament team and has been serving as an assistant, will be the program’s next head coach.  

Stephen Curry did not need to be named MVP in the NBA Finals to cement his reputation as an "all-time great", according to Draymond Green.

However, Curry went out and made sure he could add the honour to his glittering array of accolades anyway, and Golden State Warriors team-mate Green said it had been "a long time in the making".

Curry had 13 points in the fourth quarter in Thursday's 103-90 championship-sealing win over the Boston Celtics, to finish with 34 points (12-of-21 shooting, six-of-11 from three), seven rebounds and seven assists.

Across the six-game series, the 34-year-old Curry averaged 31.2 points, six rebounds and five assists, earning the MVP award that had previously eluded him.

"When you look at a guy like Steph Curry, to have the season and the career that he's had, it is amazing," Green said.

"To stamp that with a Finals MVP – I know he said it doesn't matter, and it doesn't matter... still Steph Curry, still an all-time great. But to add that to your resume as a competitor, you want that.

"For him, well deserved. It's been a long time in the making. But he left no doubt, left no doubt, and he carried us, and we're here as champions."

The Warriors clinched their fourth NBA championship in the past eight years, sealing a 4-2 series success with their Game Six win in Boston.

 

Asked how many more championships Golden State might add, Green said: "I'm not sure. I don't like to put a number on things and say we can get five, or we can get six.

"We're going to get them until the wheels fall off. And that's our goal, to compete at this level every year."

Green, who had 12 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, commended the Warriors defense for keeping the Celtics at bay.

"We have always spoke about our defense, and it's been a constant for us," Green said.

"But when you have such a sexy offense, and guys shooting the ball like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole, it's always going to be sexier, and people are always going to appreciate that more. We beat this team because of our defense. Did they score a hundred points tonight?

"That's four out of six games they didn't score a hundred points? We beat them because of our defense, and that's always been a constant.

"You don't win a championship without a great defense. We know that. We understand that. We pride ourselves on defense and ultimately understanding that our defense will allow our offense to flourish."

Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka declared "the future is bright and we're just getting started" after the NBA Finals series defeat to the Golden State Warriors.

The Celtics led the Warriors 2-1 in the series before relinquishing fourth-quarter leads in both Game 4 and Game 5, and ultimately came unstuck in the penultimate match.

Stephen Curry registered 34 points (12-of-21 shooting, six-of-11 from three), seven rebounds and seven assists as Golden State recorded a 103-90 win in Game 6 to secure an unassailable 4-2 series lead.

That meant the Warriors lifted their fourth NBA Championship in just eight years, and seventh overall, as Boston's 14-year wait for an NBA Finals series win continued.

Udoka guided the Celtics to their first Eastern Conference title in 12 years, though, and he believes Boston have reason to be optimistic in the future.

"We learned a tremendous amount about each other as a staff and them learning what we wanted and vice versa. That's the message to the guys tonight," he said.

"This is just the start. A foundation has been set. We can kind of hit the ground running next year. Let's get healthy and all be on the same page.

"Now it's a matter of taking that next step. What I did say to the group was there are levels. You can see the difference in Golden State, a team that's been there, been together for a long time.

"The core group, it's been 10 years now. We've seen what we can achieve. It hurts we fell short of that.

"But what I did say is the future is bright and we're just getting started, so let's all come back better from this experience."

Udoka has experienced the pain of losing in NBA Finals before after he was an assistant San Antonio Spurs when they succumbed to defeat against the Miami Heat in 2013.

The Nigerian admitted the loss will hurt for a while, but called on Boston to use it is as a learning experience.

"It's going to hurt. It will hurt for a while. Probably that stuff never goes away. I've lost one before," he added. "That was part of the message. Let it propel us forward, the experience.

"Growth and progress that we made this season. Obviously, getting to your ultimate goal and falling a few games short is going to hurt. There are a lot of guys in there, very emotional right now.

"The message was we thanked them for the effort and the growth and everything they allowed us to do coaching-wise this year.

"The biggest message was learn from this, grow from it, take this experience and see there is another level to get to.

"Just don't come back the same as players, coaching staff. Let this fuel you throughout the offseason into next year.

"Let's not be satisfied. It's not guaranteed you're going to be here. The East is getting tougher every year. They'll come back better. We will as a staff as well."

Jayson Tatum was left with a "terrible feeling" after the NBA Finals series defeat as he called on the Boston Celtics to "take it up another level".

The Celtics struggled against Stephen Curry in Game 6, the Golden State Warriors winning 103-90 after he posted 34 points, hitting six-of-11 threes, while adding seven rebounds and seven assists.

That helped the Warriors to an unassailable 4-2 series lead and fourth NBA Championship in just eight years, while Curry claimed his first NBA Finals MVP award.

Golden State were 2-1 down in the series at one point, but a three-game winning run meant Boston's 14-year wait to win the NBA Championships continued.

Tatum expressed his frustrations after the match as he admitted the Celtics fell short of expectations.

"It's hard. It's hard getting to this point. It's even harder getting over it, the hump, and win it. It's been a long journey, a long process," the Boston star said.

"Being with this group, the things we've overcome throughout the season, getting to this point. Just knowing how bad we wanted it, coming up short. It's a terrible feeling.

"That's what I took from it: it's tough. You got to take it up another level to do what we want to do.

"We all could have done things better. I feel like I could have done a lot of things better. But, like we said, we competed, we tried all season, all playoffs."

Marcus Smart was speaking alongside Tatum and vowed that the Celtics will bounce back stronger after the experience of the Golden State defeat.

"For us, it's just hard-nosed, it's who we are," Smart added. "We're a family. We take and accept every challenge head on no matter the outcome, no matter the advantages we have or disadvantages.

"We're going to take it full-heartedly. The guys came out here and competed. We could have [given] up, but we didn't. I think that shows the foundation that we have here.

"We see what we're capable of. We got a taste of it. We want the whole thing. I know for a fact that we're going to be back a different team. We're going to put in the work. But this one's going to hurt."

Steve Kerr admitted he was still in awe of Stephen Curry after his starring role in the Golden State Warriors' NBA Finals success.

The Warriors beat the Boston Celtics 103-90 in Game 6 to seal an unassailable 4-2 series lead and claim a fourth title in eight years.

Kerr, who also won five championships as a player, has been at the helm for all of those successes, but he has not lost the ability to be impressed by the feats of his star players.

And nobody has played a greater role in this season's triumph than league and Finals MVP Curry.

"He does [still inspire awe], because what he does at his size is so different from the traditional greats in this league," Kerr said of the 34-year-old.

"I've said it so many times, Steph reminds me so much of Tim Duncan. Totally different players. But from a humanity standpoint, talent standpoint, humility, confidence, this wonderful combination that just makes everybody want to win for him.

"And I'm obviously thrilled for everyone in that room, and a lot of people had a big hand in this, but I think the thing with Steph is, you know, without him, none of this happens.

"That's not taking anything away from Joe [Lacob] and Peter's [Gruber] ownership, because they have built an incredible organisation.

"Bob Myers, hell of a GM. Our players, we have had so many great players, but Steph ultimately is why this run has happened. Much like Timmy in San Antonio.

"So I'm happy for everybody, but I'm thrilled for Steph. To me this is his crowning achievement in what's already been an incredible career."

Curry averaged 31.2 points, six rebounds and five assists in the Finals to earn the first Finals MVP of his career.

He put up a team-high 34 points in Game 6 on 12-of-21 shooting, hitting six-of-11 threes while adding seven rebounds and seven assists.

Curry also became the first player to ever win a unanimous league MVP and a unanimous Finals MVP.

Asked what distinguished this title from the rest, Kerr added: "They are all unique, they are all special. I think this one may have been the most unlikely just from the standpoint of where we've been the last couple years.

"A lot of unknowns, the injury to Klay [Thompson], Draymond [Green] at the end of the year, Steph at the end of the year. A lot of young guys, a new core, or a new group around our core, I should say.

"But it's really special to see guys like Wiggs [Andrew Wiggins] and Loon [Kevon Looney] and Gary Payton, just how far they have come, the impact they made, Jordan Poole, the same thing.

"I know I'm going to forget people but it takes a full team effort to do this, and we just had a great group who do get it done."

Golden State Warriors icon Stephen Curry took the time to sit back and soak in the journey from Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals to Thursday's Game 6, championship-sealing win against the Boston Celtics.

Curry, who averaged 31.2 points, six rebounds and five assists in the Finals to earn the first Finals MVP of his career, scored a team-high 34 points in Game 6 on 12-of-21 shooting, hitting six-of-11 threes and adding seven rebounds and seven assists.

It is the Warriors' fourth championship in the past eight seasons, with Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and coach Steve Kerr there for all four.

Speaking to the media while still wearing his goggles from the champagne celebrations in the locker room, Curry pushed back on the first question being about his elusive Finals MVP.

"Forget that, we're champs," he said. "We've got four championships.

"God is great, the ability to be on this stage and play with amazing teammates against a great Boston Celtics team that gave us everything to try to get to the finish line… this one hits different for sure.

"Knowing what the last three years have meant, and what it's been like. From injuries, to a changing of the guard with the roster, 'Wiggs' [Andrew Wiggins] coming through, our young guys. Carrying the belief that we could get back to this stage and win, even if it didn't make sense to anybody when we said it.

"All that stuff matters, and now we've got four championships. Me, Dray, Klay and Andre – and I finally got that bad boy [motioning to Finals MVP trophy] – it's special, man. Special.

"All the work that went into it, all the faith and belief, everybody in that locker room that's getting to spray champagne around the locker room – everybody mattered in that process. I'm proud of everybody."

Curry was superb down the stretch in the close-out win, scoring 13 of the Warriors' 27 fourth-quarter points, and he was overtaken by emotion as the finals seconds ticked down.

Touching on what was going through his head, he said it was thoughts of the long road back to the top after the 2019 Finals ended in devastating fashion, with a loss and serious injuries to Thompson and Kevin Durant.

"These last two months of the playoffs, these last three years, these last 48 hours, every bit of it has been an emotional rollercoaster, on and off the floor," he said.

"You're carrying all of that on a daily basis, trying to realise a dream and a goal like we did tonight – you get goosebumps just thinking about all those snapshots and episodes we went through to get back here.

"That's why I said this championship hits different – that's why I've got so many emotions, and still will – because of what it took to get back here. 

"When we started this season, there was a lot of conversation about who we were as a team, and what we were capable of, and I clearly remember some experts and talking heads putting up the big zero for how many more championships we'd have going forward.

"We hear all of that, we carry it all, and you try to maintain your purpose and not let it distract you, but you carry that weight, and to get here, it all comes out."

He added: "It was definitely overwhelming – it was surreal – just because you know how much you went through to get back to this stage.

"Me personally, my workouts from the offseason last year when we lost the play-in tournament, it's been a year and six days since I started the process of getting ready for this season – and it all paid off.

"I didn't know how it was going to happen, I didn't know what the environment was going to be like, but it hits different.

"Out there on the floor – I mean, I didn't even know [my dad] was down there – and I saw him, and I just lost it… I just wanted to take in the moment."

Curry also became the first player to ever win a unanimous league MVP and a unanimous Finals MVP, further cementing his legacy as one of the greatest players to ever lace them up.

The Golden State Warriors secured their fourth NBA Championship in the past eight years with a 103-90 away win against the Boston Celtics in Game 6.

With the win, the Warriors secured a 4-2 series win, coming back from a 2-1 deficit to rattle off three of the next four, including two road wins in Boston.

While the night ended in Golden State celebrations, the start was all Celtics, jumping out of the gates to a 14-2 lead.

The Warriors kept in touch, and then went on an explosive, game-winning run late in the first quarter, turning a 22-16 deficit into a 37-22 lead with a 21-0 run.

Golden State's defense rose to the occasion, out-playing the Celtics' league-best defense, holding the home side to 17 points in the second quarter to lead 54-39 at half-time.

The Celtics did not lay down, launching their own run late in the third quarter, closing the term on a 16-4 run to cut the lead down to 10 as Al Horford willed his side back into the game. Horford had 12 points, six rebounds and a block in just the third quarter.

Down the stretch, with the Warriors needing to steady, it would be their superstar who would stand up. 

Stephen Curry had 13 points in the fourth quarter to finish with 34 points (12-of-21 shooting, six-of-11 from three), seven rebounds and seven assists.

His performance capped off a series where he averaged 31.2 points, six rebounds and five assists, earning him the first Finals MVP of his Hall-of-Fame career.

Andrew Wiggins was the Warriors' second-best player all series, and he produced one of the best defensive games of his career in Game 6, holding Jayson Tatum to just 13 points on six-of-18 shooting, while taking four steals and blocking three shots.

Wiggins also added 18 points on seven-of-18 shooting, with six rebounds and five assists. With the performance, he scored at least 17 points in five of the six Finals games, and averaged a team-high 8.8 rebounds per game in the series.

Jaylen Brown was the Celtics' brightest star, scoring 34 points on 12-of-23 shooting, but he also had five turnovers, which was a theme for the hosts.

The Celtics committed 22 turnovers as a team – seven more than the Warriors – after committing 18 to Golden State's seven in their Game 5 loss. During the regular season, Boston averaged 13.6 turnovers per game.

The Golden State Warriors have won the NBA championship, with a 103-90 victory in Game 6 at the TD Garden on Thursday, sealing a 4-2 series win against the Boston Celtics.

It was the Celtics who started hot in front of their home fans, starting the game on a 14-2 run, but the Warriors fought back to a 22-16 deficit, and from there launched a game-winning 21-0 run. The Warriors used that run to jump ahead 37-22, and the Celtics were never able to trim the lead to below eight points the rest of the way.

Stephen Curry secured his first ever Finals MVP with a team-high 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting, going six-of-10 from long range, while also adding seven rebounds and seven assists.

However, where the Warriors won Game 6 was on the defensive end, forcing 21 turnovers and holding Jayson Tatum to just 13 points on six-of-18 shooting.

Andrew Wiggins was terrific, finishing with four steals and three blocks as he made Tatum's life miserable, and he added 18 points on seven-of-18 shooting. 

It is the Warriors' seventh NBA title in their history, and their fourth in the past eight seasons.

Thursday's win completed an impressive turnaround from 2-1 down in the series to a 4-2 victory after winning the last three contests, including two in Boston.

Head coach Steve Kerr – who won five NBA Finals rings as a player for the Chicago Bulls (three) and San Antonio Spurs (two) – has now won the same number as a coach, all with the Warriors.

 

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."

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.

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]."

Page 1 of 19
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.