We're going back to Boston, but the advantage belongs to the Golden State Warriors after a crucial 104-94 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. To state the obvious, we entered Monday's matchup with the series tied 2-2 and the knowledge that one team would leave the Chase Center one win away from hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy, while the other would have its back against the wall. What was less obvious: How the latest installment of this fascinating series would play out.
Thecombined scorethroughout the first four games was 422-421, with the Warriors holding the ever-so-slight advantage. While Games 1 and 4 were similar in that the road teams used impressive fourth-quarter runs to secure wins, Games 2 and 3 were similar in that they were both relative blowouts.
In other words, trying to predict how this series would play out has proved futile thus far. So we shouldn't have been entirely surprised that it was a standout performance fromAndrew Wiggins-- rather than a Game 4 encore byStephen Curry--that led the Warriors to the win.
As the series shifts back to the East Coast for Game 6, we've got you covered with everything you might have missed from Game 5:
Dubs get the win
All series long, my colleague Brian Windhorst and I have been monitoring two things: Condition Green, and Condition Gold.
When Boston has 15 or fewer turnovers, and Jayson Tatum has seven or more assists, it's Condition Green. When the opposite happens, it's Condition Gold.
Well, in Game 5, Boston had 18 turnovers, and Tatum had four assists.
It was Condition Gold, and it's 3-2 Warriors as this series heads back to Boston for Game 6.
That the Celtics lost the "Stephen Curry Regression Game" -- when Curry went 0-for-9 from 3 after going 24-for-50 in the first four games -- is going to haunt this team for a long, long time if the Celtics can't find a way to win the next two games.-- Tim Bontemps
Wiggs has himself a night
Oh my,Andrew Wiggins. The 27-year-old former No. 1 pick stepped all the way up in Game 5 on both ends of the floor. Naturally, NBA Twitter reacted accordingly.
It's a Poole party
After knocking down a 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer,Jordan Poolewalked to the corner of the court and screamed back at fans as they cheered him on. He high-fived several of them before punching the air and returning to his teammates. -- Kendra Andrews
Three down, one to go
For Boston, these playoffs have been a series of examples of what's down being up, and vice versa.
Playing well in the third quarter of Game 5 -- after being bludgeoned by Golden State in each of the first four games of this series -- was no different.
The Celtics outscored Golden State 35-24 in the third, which allowed Boston to cut what was a 12-point halftime deficit to one. The Celtics, after missing 12 straight 3s to begin the game, made eight straight over the second and third quarters to surge back in front -- only to then have a terrible end of the third quarter to allow the Warriors to slip back in front.
Still, after the way the early portions of this game went, Boston entered the fourth quarter thrilled it was a one-point game, instead of the blowout it looked like it would be for most of the first half.-- Bontemps
Not your average halftime show
There are halftime performers, and then there are the Jabbawockeez. The dance crew, which rose to fame as the winner of the first season of "America's Best Dance Crew" in 2008, brought the heat.
A Nelly concert at Game 3, then the Jabbawockeez at Game 5? The early 2000s would be proud of this series.
Halftime heat check
Boston managed to stick around in the game despite a generally awful offensive performance throughout the first half. The Celtics missed their first 12 3-pointers, eventually finishing the half 3-for-15 from deep; committed 9 turnovers that became 13 Golden State points; and went 4-for-9 from the foul line.
Yet, despite all that, Boston trailed by only 12 points at halftime.
The focus then shifted to the third quarter, where -- if the Celtics wanted to avoid going down 3-2 in this series -- Boston simply had to play better than it had so far.
The Celtics had been mauled in the third in each of the first four games of this series, losing all four quarters and being outscored by a combined 49 points. That includes being outscored by 35 points in the two games back in Boston.
Since Boston didn't get a different result on Monday, this series is headed back to Beantown with Golden State up 3 games to 2. -- Bontemps
Celtics' support system
Miles apart but close at heart. The Celts were getting some serious support in the form of at least one Hall of Famer, 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell.
If Russell's show of support wasn't enough to make Tatum & Co. feel the love, the city of Boston lit up for the occasion.
HOV in the house
He might be Brooklyn or bust, but that didn't stop Jay-Z from taking in some championship basketball alongside his daughter, Blue Ivy Carter. Monday's courtside appearance marked his second of the series as he was also in attendance at Game 1.
One quarter down
It's a miracle the Celtics ended the first quarter down 11.
The Warriors shot over 50 percent from the field. Boston went 0-for-5 from 3 and committed four turnovers.Jaylen Brownwent 2-for-8 from the field. The Celtics committed a foul, and picked up a technical, with 0.2 on the clock.
And yet, after all that, it was only 27-16 Warriors. The Celtics clearly needed to play better than they had if they were going to win this game, but the fact they couldn't have played much worse -- and were only down 11 -- had to be classified as a win.
Two things of note on the Warriors side:Andre Iguodalagot some first quarter minutes that did not go well whatsoever. AndKevon Looneypicked up three fouls in three minutes. Given Looney's role as a force on the offensive glass throughout these playoffs, that could loom large later on. --Bontemps
The Bay all day
E-40 is nothing if not consistent. The rapper, and Bay Area legend, left no doubt who he was rooting for ahead of tonight's game.
E-40 rang the bell here, as has been the pregame tradition at Chase Center.-- Ohm Youngmisuk
Jay-Z state of mind
Jay-Z's "It's Alright" followed by "Change the Game" were heard pumping out of the speakers outside the Celtics locker room -- where there was a mini makeshift workout area as well. Jay-Z was in attendance on Monday. He was also at Chase Center for Game 1 of the Finals.-- Youngmisuk
Bring on the fits
Chef Curry was in the building. The Warriors star kept it casual and clean as he arrived back at his home arena.
Meanwhile, Tatum, who has paid homage to Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan throughout the postseason, looked poised to drop 50, er -- was back on his GOAT vibes rocking a T-shirt with Tiger Woods on it. Not only did the shirt boast "TIGER" in large letters, but it featured images of the legendary golfer in his signature winning red.