BOSTON — Steph Curry was Steph Curry on Friday night, and now the NBA Finals is down to a best-of-three. The Warriors went on a furious run late in Game 4 to beat the Celtics, 107-97, in Boston.
The Celtics haven’t done themselves a favor either. They scored just three runs in the streak and let the Warriors go on a 10-0 late run to steal the game. Golden State dominated Boston in the second half, beating the Celtics 58-43 in the final 24 minutes. They outscored the Celtics 15-3 in the final five minutes.
Now the series returns to San Francisco tied at 2-2.
Curry was phenomenal, and that may sell his performance short. He led the way for Golden State with 43 points, including 24 after halftime. He made 14 of 26 shots and seven of 14 threes in the game. This all came despite the Celtics playing a pretty solid defense against him.
As he has done a few times in his career, Curry hit a pair of late clutch threes to lead the Warriors to a victory.
Klay Thompson (18 points) and Andrew Wiggins (17 points, 16 rebounds) also scored for the Warriors. The Celtics got 23 points from Jayson Tatum and 21 from Jaylen Brown, but it didn’t matter that the team couldn’t hit a bucket in the final stretch. (Or with Curry almost surpassing the duo on his own.)
Tatum was just 8 for 23 on the night and made just one of his five shots in the fourth quarter. The Celtics needed a superstar performance from him, but didn’t get it. He was responsible for six of Boston’s 16 turnovers on the night.
The Warriors, meanwhile, got exactly what they needed from Steph Curry, and now the title is up for grabs again.
Boston took an early lead, but the Warriors went 17-6 in the first quarter after Rob Williams left. Curry turned a Derrick White turnover into a deep three, then drained another on his next trip to the floor to give Golden State a 23-18 lead. He had a few words for Boston fans after that:
The Celtics didn’t play particularly well in the first half with 10 turnovers and five missed free throws (out of 15 attempts). But they got a strong start from Robert Williams, who had five points, 10 rebounds (four offensive) and a pair of blocks in 15 minutes. As usual, the Celtics were a different team when Williams was on the floor Friday night.
Boston finished the second quarter strong thanks to Tatum and White. White was fouled as he put in a nice spin to cap a 10-0 Celtics run and put the team ahead 49-42. He hit a few possessions later, and Tatum followed with a nice finger roll to give Boston a 54-47 advantage. The Celtics took a 54-49 lead at the break.
The Celtics lost the third quarter again, largely because Steph Curry did things with Steph Curry.
Curry hit another triple with 58.5 left to put the Warriors on top 79-78, which was the lead they took in the fourth quarter. Curry scored 14 points in the third quarter, hitting four of his five threes.
The Warriors outshot the Celtics 30-24 in the frame, and Boston losing the quarterback by just six points felt like a win considering the team’s poor showing in third through the first three games of the series.
Brown boosted it for a few minutes in the fourth, turning two straight Golden State turnovers into easy buckets to put the Celtics on top 90-86 midway through the quarter. But then the Celtics turned icy and the Warriors kept pushing.
After Boston took a 94-90 lead on a Marcus Smart three, Golden State has gone seven straight. Andrew Wiggins missed Jordan Poole, Curry fed Klay Thompson for a three, then Curry hit a floater to put the Warriors up 97-94 with 3:49 left in the game.
The Celtics then missed their next four shots – all from downtown, including two from Smart on a floor trip – only for Curry to drain a three at the other end to put Golden State ahead 100-94. with 1:42 to play. . Boston went nearly four minutes without a score and scored just three in the game’s final 5:18. It cost them dearly.
Now the Celtics face a must win in San Francisco on Monday night. At least they’re 7-0 after a playoff loss, a streak Boston will look to continue with a Game 5 win.