before this season Andrew WigginsThe playoff appeal consisted of five games with Minnesota in 2018. Wiggins averaged 15.8 points in that series and the T-Wolves were eliminated in the first round. In 20 postseason games this year, Wiggins averaged 16 points. He collects 7.3 rebounds. And after an effort of 26 points and 13 rebounds in Game 5, he propelled the Warriors to win the championship once.
It was Golden State 104, Boston 94 on Monday, as the Warriors grabbed the 3-2 lead. After defeating the Celtics in Game Four, Golden State came out hot, racing to early 27-16 in the first quarter. Wiggins scored seven points in the first and led the Warriors’ defense which held the Celtics with 34.8%.
The second quarter was more of the same. Wiggins turned back on the Warriors’ offensive, chopping back at nine points. But this time around, Boston kept pace, with Jason Tatum and Marcus Smart combined to score 14 points in the quarter. In the first half, Golden State entered the locker room with a 12-point lead.
The Warriors owns the third quarters of this series. Through their first four games, Golden State outperformed Boston 136-87 in Game Three. In Game 5, the Celtics turned the tables. Tatum ran off. It’s been a frustrating streak for Tatum. With Wiggins flexing it all, Tatum failed to break 40% of his shots in three of the first four games, and the physicality of the Finals seemed to take its toll on him. But in the third quarter, Tatum’s temperature increased. He scored nine points, connecting 3 of 4 out of a three-point span. Smart and Jaylene Brown scored nine goals each. After losing their first 12 triples, a record in the finals, Boston called for their next eight – also a record in the finals.
Boston’s vaunted defense stuck, particularly against Stephen Curry. After scoring 43 points in Game 4, Curry struggled in Game 5. He scored 16 points on 7 of 22 shots, including 1 of 6 in the third quarter. “They were trying to attack him over and over again,” Steve Kerr said. Leading up to 16, Golden State entered fourth by one point.
In the fourth, the warriors took over. Clay Thompson scored six out of 21 points. Gary Payton II, who has given Golden State a major boost from both ends since returning from an elbow injury, scored four of the 15 goals. Wiggins scored 10, the last two being a driving immersion a little over two minutes ago to give Golden State a 15-point lead .
This season was all about redemption for Wiggins. 1 pick in 2014, Wiggins failed to play his potential in six seasons in Minnesota. In 2020, the Warriors acquired Wiggins – along with a first-round pick – in a deal for D’Angelo Russell. Stabilizing for the first time in his career, Wiggins, who played for four coaches in Minnesota, thrived. Last season, Wiggins averaged 18.6 points in 71 games, tying 38% of his three-point attempts. This year Wiggins averaged 17.2 points while shooting 39.3% of his threes. He was awarded the title of All-Star Starter. He evolved into the Golden State’s top wing defender. Kerr called Wiggins the “key step” to reviving the dynasty of Warriors.
“We knew we needed his athleticism, defense and versatility,” Kerr said. “We had no idea he’d make that kind of contribution. But I think it’s a reminder that for almost every player in the NBA, conditions are everything. You kind of need to find the right place, the right teammates, that kind of thing. He’s been And it fits very well.”
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The Celtics will return home with a chance to salvage their season. Boston has been here before. They recovered from a 3-2 deficit to defeat Milwaukee in the second round. But the Celtics’ self-inflicted wounds are worrying. Boston continues to play carelessly. They made 18 transformations in Game 5 – compared to Golden State’s seven – resulting in the Warriors’ 22 points. They missed 10 free throws out of 31. They gave up 50 points in the paint.
“Now our backs are on the wall,” said Alhorford. “And we have to see what we made. The challenge starts on Thursday.”
Boston needs its stars to show up. Tatum’s last stat streak was solid — 27 points out of 10 of 20 — but he was stubborn and only scored five points on 1 of 5 in the fourth quarter. Brown scored 18 points but needed 18 shots to do so. In the fourth quarter, the Celtics had as many baskets (four) as the number of sales baskets. “We are not making a consistent effort, nor are we making a sustainable effort,” Amy Odoka said.
They will need it. Curry doesn’t have the high-profile star type by his side that he had in previous seasons, but he does have a helping hand. Draymond Green was arguably his best game of the series, with Payton and Jordan Bull giving the Warriors some kicks off the bench, and Thompson, who has made 41% of his triples over his last three games, looks sharper by the day.
And there Wiggins. Once upon a time, Wiggins seemed poised to be immortalized among the best busts in the NBA. Now, he is one win away from helping the team into the championship. Late on Monday, Green was asked why Wiggins gets along so well.
“[Tom Thibodeau] He was telling us that Jimmy [Butler] Green said, citing Wiggins’ time in Minnesota. “And we all know what Jimmy Butler is like. If you have any softness in you, Jimmy doesn’t like you. … He’s gone through every challenge we’ve thrown in front of him, and it’s a huge challenge. We want him to do that for another win.”
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