Boston Celtics lose to Golden State Warriors 104-94 in Game 5 of NBA Finals, face 3-2 series deficit after fourth quarter collapse
SAN FRANCISCO — The Golden State Warriors took command of the NBA Finals in Game 5 with a dominating fourth quarter, leading the way to a convincing 104-94 win over the Celtics on Monday night. The win gives Golden State a 3-2 lead in the NBA Finals as the series returns to Boston for Game 6.
Jayson Tatum led a disastrous Celtics offense with a game-high 27 points. However, the Warriors overcame a tough shooting night from Stephen Curry to have five double-digit players, including big performances from Andrew Wiggins (26 points) and Klay Thompson (21 points), as well as Gary Payton II (15 points) on the bench. .
The Celtics dug themselves a hole early in the first quarter falling behind by double digits thanks to a horrific offensive start. The visitors shot just 34% in the first quarter with Jaylen Brown (2 of 8) struggling with his finish in the paint against Warriors defenders.
Boston’s shooting struggles continued into the second quarter as the visitors missed their first 12 3-point attempts before Jayson Tatum knocked down a 3. A strong Boston defense did little to reduce the Boston’s lead as the Warriors locked down the Celtics’ offense, limiting them to just 39 points in the first quarter, their lowest performance in the NBA Finals.
Andrew Wiggins led the way for the hosts early on, scoring a game-high 16 points in the first half while Jayson Tatum was the only Celtic to hit double figures. The Warriors were able to extend their lead to 16 points in the first half thanks to Boston’s dismal shots and turnovers (nine leading to 13 points for the Warriors).
The Celtics quickly got out of their sluggish offense early in the second half, opening the third period with a 19-4 streak. Boston has gone eight straight 3s in a streak since starting 0 of 12, ultimately punishing the Warriors for their defense that crumbled on dribbles with multiple defenders. The blast gave the visitors their first lead of the night at 6:27 and Boston pushed it up to five in the closing stages of the quarter.
However, the Warriors fought back early in the fourth quarter, regaining the lead with a 13-0 run despite Stephen Curry’s usual rest on the bench. Big scoring nights from Thompson and Wiggins helped Boston close the gap in that streak, pushing their lead back to double digits with nine minutes left in the game. Boston scored just five points in the first eight and a half minutes of the final period, digging another hole they couldn’t dig. Turnovers (18) and bad free throws (66%) haunted the Celtics as the team’s stars appeared to run out of gas while playing long minutes.
The Celtics take on the Warriors at TD Garden in a must-watch Game 6 on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.