On the brink of their fourth championship in eight years, the Warriors head to Boston for Game 6 on Thursday night, looking to get the dynasty officially back on track. For the Celtics, a quest for a record 18th championship was all but in reach a few games ago, as it is now desperation time as they try to defend their home court.
Let’s take a closer look at both teams and how things might shake out tonight in TD Garden.
Golden State Warriors
In the most clutch performance of his career, Andrew Wiggins lifted the Warriors in Game 5, scoring 26 points and grabbing 13 boards as he took another step in becoming the solidified #2 option on this team. Stephen Curry failed to make a three-pointer for the first time in his NBA-best 132-game run, going 0-9 from deep.
For the Warriors’ other sharpshooter, Monday marked three years to the date since he tore his Achilles, scoring 21 points and going 5 of 11 from deep as the Warriors cruised to a 104-94 win after a strong fourth quarter.
The Celtics lost consecutive games for the first time this postseason in Game 5, as Jayson Tatum led all scorers with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Jaylen Brown added another 18 but started the evening going 2 for 11, missing all five three-point attempts on the night.
Even still, the Celtics rode a 35-point third-quarter performance to pull within a point heading into the final quarter before they cooled late and could not keep up with the Warriors’ offense. Away from TD Garden, Defensive Player of the Year struggled all night, grounding out 20 points but constantly frustrated on both sides of the ball, picking up a technical foul in the process.
Prediction and Best Bet
I called for it in Game 5 when we cashed with the Warriors, and we’re going back to the same approach; Robert Williams III is the lynchpin that holds this Celtics team together. Early in the series, before his surgically repaired knee started acting up, Williams III’s size and athleticism gave the Warriors fits. Still, since he’s been limited, the Warriors have struck a different tone on both sides of the ball.
Gary Paton II has also contributed more and more as this series has gone on, playing for the first time in months at the start but working his way up to 15 points in 26 minutes of action in Game 5. While it will no doubt be a difficult task closing out in Boston, I look for Curry to come out shooting early and often, and for his 0-9 performance from deep in Game 5 to be just a footnote in another record-setting cap to a season.
Pick: Warriors +4
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