Posts Tagged ‘boston celtics’

The Golden State Warriors are on top of the basketball world once again.

Stephen Curry finished with 34 points and seven assists to help the Warriors edge the Boston Celtics 103-90 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at TD Garden. The win secured Golden State’s fourth title in eight seasons and the team’s first since 2018.

This marks Curry’s fourth championship and first Finals MVP award after averaging 31.2 points, five assists, and two steals in the six-game series. Meanwhile, Steve Kerr won his fourth title as Warriors head coach and his ninth overall after winning five championships during his playing career with the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs.

Golden State’s title completes an incredible two-year turnaround for the franchise after finishing the 2019-20 season with the NBA’s worst record, then losing in the Western Conference play-in tournament in 2020-21. The journey has been a particularly personal one for Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who missed two full campaigns because of a torn ACL and torn Achilles before returning in January.

Draymond Green played a tremendous game with 12 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and two blocks while knocking down a pair of 3-pointers in 42 minutes.

Andrew Wiggins was once again brilliant for Golden State with one of his most complete two-way performances in the Finals. The Canadian flirted with a 5×5 game with 18 points, six rebounds, five assists, four steals, and three blocks. Wiggins also played a pivotal role in limiting star Jayson Tatum to 13 points on 6-of-18 shooting.

The Warriors dominated to close the first half with a 52-25 run after beginning the game down 14-2. Golden State shot an identical 41.3% on field goals and 3-pointers and was a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line.

Warriors reserve Gary Payton II and Hall of Famer Gary Payton became the fifth father-son duo in league history to each win a championship during their playing careers, according to SB Nation.

Jaylen Brown led Boston with 34 points on 12-of-23 shooting in the loss. The Celtics committed 22 turnovers, which marked a new high for the team this series. This marked the Celtics’ first three-game losing streak since December 2021.

After coughing up a 16-point lead, the Golden State Warriors recovered with a dominant fourth quarter to knock off the Boston Celtics 104-94 in Game 5 for a 3-2 NBA Finals lead.

The Warriors can clinch their fourth championship in the last eight seasons Thursday in Boston.

The win marked the first time Stephen Curry failed to hit a shot from beyond the arc in his playoff career, going 0-for-9. Andrew Wiggins took the leading role, putting up a team-high 26 points and 13 rebounds.

“(Wiggins is) definitely enjoying the playoffs,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said postgame. “He loves the challenge, he loves the competition.”

Kerr added: “He’s found such a crucial role on our team, and I think that empowers him.”

This marks two consecutive strong performances for Wiggins after the Canadian finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds in Golden State’s Game 4 win. It’s only the second time in Wiggins’ career that he’s registered back-to-back double-doubles, according to SB Nation.

“It’s something I’ve dreamt about for sure. Being in the league, this is the ultimate stage; it doesn’t get bigger than this,” Wiggins said postgame about making the most of his first Finals appearance. “I was out there just being aggressive. It was a good game.”

Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum led the way for Boston with 27 points but contributed four of the team’s 18 turnovers in the loss.

“Playing in the crowd too much is causing a lot of these turnovers,” Celtics head coach Ime Udoka said. “When we’re at our best, it’s simple ball movement.”

The Celtics began the game ice cold, missing their first 12 3-point attempts. However, after trailing 51-39 at halftime, Boston made eight straight threes to take a five-point lead near the end of the third quarter.

Golden State gained momentum when reserve guard Jordan Poole banked in a buzzer-beating three at the end of the third to give the team a one-point lead going into the fourth, an advantage the Warriors never relinquished.

“I always want those,” Poole said. “My teammates look for me on those. The sliders kind of go up when the clock goes down.”

The Celtics’ loss marked the first time they’ve suffered consecutive defeats this postseason. They’d previously been 8-0 after a loss.

The Golden State Warriors are heading back to the Bay with home-court advantage again.

Despite playing through a foot issue, Stephen Curry poured in a game-high 43 points as the Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics 107-97 at TD Garden to take Game 4 and tie the Finals at two games apiece.

Golden State’s Klay Thompson contributed 18 points on 4-of-10 shooting from deep. Andrew Wiggins grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds to go along with 17 points.

“Been here six times, you got a lot of experience in terms of staying composed, confident, what you can do, the endurance to be able to fight through the foot and just play my game for how many minutes I’m out there,” Curry told ESPN’s Lisa Salters in regards to the injury he suffered in Game 3.

“I’m just thankful for everybody on our team because we brought a lot of toughness tonight and physicality to get off to a better start, which allowed us to stay in the game and then go win it at the end.”

Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 23 points while adding 11 rebounds, six assists, three blocks, and one steal. Jaylen Brown recorded 21 points and six rebounds.

Curry scored 14 points in the third quarter alone and finished the night shooting 14-of-26 from the floor, including 7-of-14 on threes. He also registered 10 rebounds and four assists. Golden State outscored Boston 30-24 in the third frame after trailing 54-49 at the half.

“Just stunning,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said postgame about Curry’s performance, courtesy of NBC Sports. “The physicality out there is pretty dramatic. Boston’s got, obviously, (the) best defense in the league. Huge and powerful at every position.

“For Steph to take that kind of pressure all game long and then still be able to defend at the other end when they’re coming at him … I think this is the strongest physically he’s ever been in his career, and it’s allowing him to do what he’s doing.”

Thompson believes Curry’s effort may have been his greatest on the Finals stage to date.

“I think probably number one,” Thompson said of where he’d rank Curry’s Game 4 outing among his Finals performances. “I mean this was nearly a must-win game and to go out there and shoot as efficiently as he did, oh and grab 10 rebounds. … I mean his conditioning is second to none in this league.”

Warriors forward Draymond Green scored just two points for the second consecutive game. However, the veteran filled the stat sheet elsewhere with nine rebounds, eight assists, and four steals. Kerr pulled Green from the floor with 7:32 left in the fourth, but he returned with 3:41 remaining as part of an offense-defense tandem with Jordan Poole.

Both teams return to Golden State for Game 5 Monday. One team will have the opportunity to clinch the title back in Boston for Thursday’s Game 6.

The Boston Celtics used balanced scoring production to pull away in the fourth quarter and defeat the Golden State Warriors 116-100 in Game 3 to take a 2-1 series advantage in the NBA Finals.

In a back-and-forth second half, Golden State used a vintage spurt in the third quarter to briefly take the lead. However, Boston returned the favor with a dominant 23-11 fourth quarter.

Jaylen BrownJayson Tatum, and Marcus Smart played a large role offensively, with each contributing at least 24 points, five assists, and three 3-pointers.

Big man Robert Williams was massive defensively, recording 10 rebounds, four blocks, and three steals.

On the other side, Warriors stars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 56 points in the loss. Draymond Green struggled to get going for Golden State, scoring just two points before fouling out in 34 minutes.

The Warriors looked to get back into the game with their perimeter scoring, but the Celtics out-rebounded the undersized group 47-31 and outscored them 52-26 in the paint.

Boston will now look to take a commanding 3-1 series lead at TD Garden on Friday night.

The Golden State Warriors blew out the Boston Celtics 107-88 in Sunday’s Game 2 clash to even up the Finals.

Golden State led by just two points at halftime but outscored Boston 35-14 in the third quarter to pull away for a comfortable victory.

Stephen Curry followed up a big Game 1 with a strong two-way performance, posting 29 points, six boards, four assists, and three steals in 32 minutes. Jordan Poole and Gary Payton led the Warriors’ second unit with 17 and seven points, respectively.

“Steph was breathtaking in that (third) quarter. Not just the shotmaking, but the defensive effort,” Warriors bench boss Steve Kerr told reporters postgame. “He just doesn’t get enough credit for his level of conditioning, physicality, and defense.

“People go at him to try to wear him down because they know how important he is to us offensively. And it’s pretty dramatic the difference in Steph’s strength and physicality in his body now than from eight years ago when I first got here.”

Celtics star Jayson Tatum bounced back from a poor shooting night in Game 1, recording 28 points on 8-of-19 shots, including a 6-of-9 mark from deep. However, he didn’t have much support.

Three nights after his fourth-quarter heroics, Jaylen Brown shot 5-of-17, while Al HorfordRobert Williams, and Marcus Smart combined for only six points.

Golden State’s defense stepped up after a subpar Game 1 showing. The Warriors limited the Celtics to just 37.5% shooting and scored 33 points off 18 turnovers.

“We didn’t give ourselves a chance with those turnovers,” said Boston head coach Ime Udoka, according to Spotrac’s Keith Smith.

Udoka added: “That’s been an ongoing theme for us in the playoffs.”

Game 3 is on Wednesday in Boston at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Jaylen Brown and Al Horford combined for 50 points as the Boston Celtics mounted a fierce fourth-quarter rally to stun the Golden State Warriors 120-108 in Game 1 of The Finals.

The loss is Golden State’s first defeat at home this postseason.

After entering the final frame down 12, the Celtics outscored the Warriors 40-16 in the fourth to draw first blood in the championship series. Horford collected 11 of his 26 points in the contest within the last five-and-a-half minutes of the game.

Star guard Stephen Curry finished with 34 points after registering 21 points in the opening frame. His six 3-pointers in the first quarter established an NBA record for the most threes ever converted in a single frame in The Finals.

The Boston Celtics booked their ticket to the NBA Finals by holding off the Miami Heat 100-96 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday.

Boston will take on the Golden State Warriors in hopes of winning its first championship since 2008.

The Celtics led by as many as 17 points in the contest before Miami cut the lead to two with under a minute to play. Crucial Heat misses down the stretch helped Boston hold on.

“Credit to our guys for bouncing back, keeping our composure, and finding a way to win it,” Boston head coach Ime Udoka said after the victory.

Jayson Tatum led the way for the winning side with 26 points, while Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart scored 24 apiece. Grant Williams was the only other Celtic to reach double figures with 11 points of his own.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler dropped a game-high 35 points while playing all 48 minutes in the contest. He and Bam Adebayo (25 points) accounted for 60 of his team’s 96 total points.

Despite Butler’s brilliance, he squandered an opportunity to pull off a miraculous late-game comeback by falling short on a transition 3-pointer that would have given Miami the lead with 16 seconds remaining. He finished just 1-of-4 from beyond the arc.

“My thought process was: Go for the win,” Butler said postgame. “My teammates like the shot that I took, so I’m living with it.”

“That was the right look,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of his star’s shot selection. “When it left his hand, I thought it was going down.”

Missed jumpers were a theme for the Heat, who shot just 6-for-30 from deep, tied for their second-worst percentage all season. Each of Miami’s three worst 3-point shooting performances this season came in the playoffs.

On the other side, Boston will have four days to regroup before taking on the Warriors after Brown, Tatum, Smart, and Al Horford all topped 40 minutes in Game 7.

The full schedule for the NBA Finals is as follows:

GAMEDATEAWAYHOMETIME (ET)TV
1June 2BostonGolden State9 p.m.ABC/TSN
2June 5BostonGolden State8 p.m.ABC/SN
3June 8Golden StateBoston9 p.m.ABC/TSN
4June 10Golden StateBoston9 p.m.ABC/TSN
5*June 13BostonGolden State9 p.m.ABC/SN
6*June 16Golden StateBoston9 p.m.ABC/SN
7*June 19BostonGolden State8 p.m.ABC/TSN

* if necessary

Kyle Lowry listened politely while Jimmy Butler shared the credit for Miami’s Game 6 victory until his fellow All-Star took the humility too far and called his 47-point, elimination-avoiding performance “decent.”

“It’s (expletive) incredible,” Lowry corrected him, apologizing for his language to the TV cameras in the back of the room and begging not to be fined by the league. “It’s incredible to have a guy like him next to me. I’ve played with some great players, and he’s one of the best.”

Butler scored 47 points — a career playoff high and one of the best performances by a player facing elimination in NBA history — and the Heat forced the Eastern Conference finals to a decisive seventh game by beating the Boston Celtics 111-103 on Friday night.

Ten years after LeBron James scored 45 points in a Game 6 in Boston en route to the first of the Heat’s back-to-back NBA titles, Butler scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to top him and send the series back to Miami.

With a victory at home, the Heat would advance to the NBA Finals for the second time in three years.

“This is the way it should be, with these two teams. It should have gone seven games,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I’m just really thrilled that our group gets an opportunity to compete in a Game 7 in front of our home crowd.”

The winner of Game 7 on Sunday will advance to the NBA Finals against Golden State, which eliminated the Dallas Mavericks in five games Thursday night. Warriors forward Draymond Green said afterward that he expected to play the Celtics.

In the most back-and-forth game of the series, Boston took a 97-94 lead on Derrick White’s 3-pointer with under five minutes to play — the first time all series the lead has changed hands in the fourth quarter. Lowry answered with a 3 and then added two free throws as Miami scored 11 of the next 13 points.

Lowry finished with 18 points and 10 assists before fouling out with 2:18 left. Butler made 16 of 29 shots — including 4 of 8 from 3-point range — and all 11 free throws.

“He came out from the jump and kind of put his imprint on the game,” White said. “That’s just who he’s been his whole career, constantly attacking and doing what he does to help his team win. We knew it was coming, and we’ve got to do a better job in Game 7.”

Jayson Tatum had 30 points and nine rebounds for Boston, and White came off the bench to score 11 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter. The Celtics are trying to reach the finals for the first time since 2010, two years after the New Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen won the franchise’s 17th NBA title — a record since tied by the Lakers.

“It’s no secret: It’s Game 7, trip to the NBA Finals, a lot on the line,” Tatum said. “We know what’s at stake. We know how much this means to everybody.”

Jaylen Brown scored 20 points for Boston, missing a pair of free throws with the game tied at 99 after Lowry fouled out. Brown fouled out himself on a charge offensive that was assessed after a challenge on a missed dunk with 13 seconds left and the Celtics down by four.

AVOIDING ELIMINATION

Butler’s 47 points were the seventh-most in NBA history for a player facing elimination.

Elgin Baylor had 61 against Boston in Game 5 of the 1962 finals. Wilt Chamberlain topped 50 three times, Sleepy Floyd had 50 against the Lakers in 1987 and Jamal Murray scored 50 against Utah in 2020.

It was also the third-most to stave off elimination against the Celtics. In addition to Baylor, Chamberlain had 50 in Game 5 of the East finals in 1960.

James’ 45 against Boston in Game 6 of the 2012 conference finals set the stage for a Game 7 win in Miami.

The Heat are hoping Butler’s performance can do the same.

“I get it, people can easily draw the comparisons between the two,” Spoelstra said. “That’s a different era. That’s a different team. I want our guys to embrace this moment.”

IN AND OUT

Miami guard Tyler Herro missed his third straight game with a strained groin, costing the team its No. 2 scorer. Kyle Lowry (hamstring), Max Strus (hamstring) and P.J. Tucker (knee) had been listed as questionable but were in the starting lineup.

Boston’s Marcus Smart (sprained right ankle) and Robert Williams III (sore knee) tested their injuries pregame and were also in the lineup.

TIP-INS

Heat: Butler had 14 points, five rebounds and four assists in the first. He scored or assisted on 24 of Miami’s 29 points in the quarter.

Celtics: Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, who was inducted into the ballclub’s Hall of Fame on Thursday night, was courtside. Ortiz threw out a ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park earlier in the evening. Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez was also at the game, wearing his World Series ring.

The Boston Celtics know the formula. They believe their defense, as has been the case time and again in these playoffs, will eventually wear down teams.

Hard to argue.

Jaylen Brown scored 25 points, Jayson Tatum added 22 and the Celtics are now one win from the NBA Finals. They ran away after halftime to beat the Miami Heat 93-80 on Wednesday night and take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference title series.

“I think the mental stress and strain we put on some teams with our defense has worked and carried us through the playoffs at times,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said.

Al Horford had 16 points and Derrick White added 14 for the Celtics. Tatum finished with 12 rebounds and nine assists.

Bam Adebayo scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Heat, who shot 32% in the game — after shooting 33% in Boston’s 20-point win in Game 4. Gabe Vincent added 15, Jimmy Butler had 13 and Duncan Robinson scored 11 for Miami.

The Heat were 7 for 45 from 3-point range. They played without the injured Tyler Herro (groin), and several Miami players were questionable entering the day for a variety of ailments.

“We are not going to make any kind of deflection or any kind of excuse,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Boston beat us tonight. And let’s be clear about that. There’s guys that are far from 100% on both sides.”

Game 6 is in Boston on Friday night, where a pair of trophies bearing the names of Celtics legends will be waiting. The Bob Cousy trophy goes to the East champs, the Larry Bird trophy to the East finals MVP, and the Celtics are one win from hoisting them.

“We’ve got an opportunity to do something with this group that’s special,” Brown said. “Let’s not take that for granted.”

This series has seen massive momentum swings — a 44-14 Miami run in Game 1, a 60-21 Boston run in Game 2, a 46-20 Miami run to open Game 3 followed by a 57-33 Boston run in the same game, and a 26-4 spurt by the Celtics to open Game 4.

The Game 5 run was just as big.

The score over a 6 1/2-minute stretch of the second half: Celtics 24, Heat 2. The turnaround was 59-58 Boston to 83-60 Boston.

“In the first half it was tough because we weren’t hitting shots and we were turning the ball over,” Horford said. “But the key for us was continuing to do what we do defending, and then on offense playing how we play. And eventually we were able to get it going.”

Boston outscored Miami 32-16 in the third quarter, holding the Heat to 17% shooting. The margin was only 11 at that point — but a 14-2 spurt was how Boston opened the fourth quarter, Brown capping the flurry by making three 3-pointers in a span of 2 1/2 minutes, and the lead was out to 23.

Brown then sealed matters with a down-the-lane dunk with 5:19 left, the lead was 18 at that point and the countdown was on for Boston.

“We’re still lining up,” Adebayo said. “We’ve still got to play these games. We still want to win.”

The Celtics haven’t reached the NBA Finals since 2010. There have been four East finals trips since then, with two losses to Miami and two to Cleveland. There were also two chances like the one that awaits Friday — Game 6 in 2012 against the Heat and Game 7 in 2018 against the Cavaliers — when the Celtics had a chance to claim the conference title simply by winning a game on their home floor.

They lost both, LeBron James serving as the official thwarter both times, with 45 points to save Miami in the 2012 game and 35 to lift Cleveland in the 2018 clincher.

He won’t be in the Celtics’ way this time.

Miami will need somebody to provide some semblance of an impersonation.

“We know what we’re capable of,” Butler insisted.

Offense was in short supply in the first half. Miami led 19-17 after one and 42-37 at the break. Tatum was 1 for 9 at intermission, Butler 2 for 8, and the teams combined to shoot 37.8% from the field and 21.6% from 3-point range.

Miami, somehow, got colder to start the second half. The Celtics did not.

The Heat missed their first nine shots from the field after the break, not getting anything to fall until Butler fended off contact and scored on a drive that got Miami within 49-48 with 6:53 left in the third.

But soon, the Celtics had control. Of the game. And the series.

“If you want to break through and punch a ticket to the finals, you’re going to have to do some ridiculously tough stuff,” Spoelstra said.

TIP-INS

Celtics: Boston is now 42-7 this season when holding teams to 105 points or less. … Marcus Smart tested his sprained ankle pregame, declared himself good to go and had only five points but the Celtics outscored the Heat by 13 points in his nearly 24 minutes. … White and Robert Williams III were a combined 7 for 8 in the first half, while the rest of their teammates were a combined 6 for 26.

Heat: Max Strus was 0 for 9, Kyle Lowry was 0 for 6, and the Heat starting guards are a combined 1 for 28 in their last two games. The 0-for-15 on Wednesday was the worst playoff showing for a starting backcourt since the NBA began tracking starters in 1970. … It was the third-lowest point total of the season for the Heat (78 vs. Boston on Nov. 4, 79 vs. Philadelphia on May 6).

HORFORD WATCH

Game 6 will be the 140th playoff game for Horford. Nobody has been in more postseason contests without appearing in the NBA Finals — something that he and the Celtics could change with one more win over Miami.

ANOTHER ROUT

It was the 14th time in the last 19 games during these playoffs where the final margin was at least 10 points.

The Miami Heat left Jayson Tatum lying on the court with a pain in his neck in the closing minutes of Game 3.

The Celtics All-Star did his part to make sure the Heat were hurting after Game 4.

Tatum scored 31 points and Boston took its turn pounding Miami early, jumping out to a 26-4 lead and cruising to a 102-82 victory that evened the Eastern Conference finals at two games apiece.

“Obviously, we knew how important this game was,” Tatum said. “Everybody just had to come up with a different sense of urgency.”

Miami missed 15 of its first 16 shots as this bizarre series produced another game that was all but over after 12 minutes. The Heat led 39-18 after the first quarter of Game 3.

Boston improved to 5-0 this postseason following a loss. Coach Ime Udoka said the challenge is finding more consistency.

“Just got to muster that same energy when we came off a win as well as a loss,” Udoka said. “This is a three-game series now. Can’t always just flip the mindset when we come off a loss and get a little desperate.”

Game 5 is Wednesday in Miami.

Payton Pritchard had 14 points for the Celtics. Derrick White added 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Robert Williams finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.

“We just wanted to up the effort all-around,” Williams said.

The Celtics led by 27 points in the second quarter and stretched their advantage to 32 in the third. Each game in this series has featured a lead of at least 20 points, and none has been close down the stretch.

Victor Oladipo led the Heat with 23 points. Miami’s starting five of All-Star Jimmy Butler (six points), Kyle Lowry (three points), P.J. Tucker (no points), Max Strus (no points) and Bam Adebayo (nine points) were a combined 7 of 36 shooting. They all sat out the fourth quarter.

“They came out and jumped us,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’re not making any excuses. They outplayed us tonight for sure. We never could get any kind of grip on the game.”

And the Celtics stymied the Heat without Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, who sat with a sprained right ankle he suffered in the second half of Game 3.

The Heat were without Tyler Herro, who suffered a groin injury late in Game 3.

Butler was in the starting lineup after missing the second half of Game 3 with swelling in his right knee. Lowry (strained left hamstring), Strus (strained hamstring) and Tucker (left knee irritation) all tested their injuries pregame before being cleared to go.

“It’s a part of playoffs. You learn to adapt,” Adebayo said. “Guys being out, guys playing half, guys playing 20 minutes in the game, just depends. You’ve just got to find a way to win.”

Boston’s Williams returned after missing a game with soreness in his surgically repaired left knee.

Even with their banged-up roster, the Celtics enjoyed their fastest start of the series. Starting in place of Smart, White scored the game’s first seven points as Boston took an 8-0 lead.

It quickly grew to 18-1, with Miami misfiring on its first 14 shots. The Heat didn’t get their first points until Adebayo’s free throw at the 7:56 mark. Miami made its first field goal at 3:22, a 3-pointer by Oladipo, and finished the quarter 3 for 20.

The Celtics took a 29-11 lead into the second quarter and led 57-33 at the half.

TIP-INS

Heat: Shot 33% (30 of 90). … Finished with 64 bench points. … Miami had one point in the first eight minutes, the lowest total by any team in a playoff game in the last quarter-century, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Celtics: Outrebounded Miami 20-8 in the first quarter. … Several current and former New England Patriots were in the crowd, including Devin and Jason McCourty, Malcolm Butler and Damien Harris.

STARTING DIVE

Per ESPN Stats & Info, the 18 points scored by Miami’s starters is the lowest total by a starting five in a playoff game since starters were first tracked beginning in 1970-71.

TURNOVER FORMULA

After finishing with 23 turnovers in Game 3, the Celtics had nine in Game 4. They improved to 10-2 this postseason when they have 15 or fewer turnovers. Boston is 0-3 when it has 16 or more giveaways.