When the series is tied, the Game 5 winner wins the series roughly 83 percent of the time. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and Celtics head coach Ime Udoka will prepare their teams for the proverbial dogfight at the raucous and rowdy Chase Center.
Kerr, whose team avoided falling behind 3-1 with Friday’s win, talked about many things in his postgame presser.
“Well, I think the whole focus has to be or energy and our force. It’s obvious how much more alert we were, how much more force we played with, and you know, they completely outplayed us in Game 3 from that standpoint.”
“The series is now 2-2. I would expect both teams to bring every ounce of energy and emotion the rest of the way.”
"I think this is the strongest physically that he's ever been in his career, and it's allowing him to do what he's doing."
Steve Kerr on Stephen Curry's physicality in Game 4.
Game 5: Mon. 9pm/et on ABC #NBAFinals presented by @YouTubeTV pic.twitter.com/ZwEV6TWXHt
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Steph Curry led the Dubs with 43 points, ten rebounds, five assists, and three steals. He became the third point guard to have a 40-point, 10-rebound game in the NBA Finals, joining Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and Jerry West. For the series, he’s averaging 34 points, six assists, and four rebounds per game on shooting splits of 50/49/85. It was his signature Finals moment against the league’s best defense.
NO ONE IN HISTORY HAS EVER PLAYED BASKETBALL THIS WAY. #NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/x91laeN54E
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Steve Kerr Makes Tough Call On Draymond
The Finals haven’t been kind to Warriors emotional leader Draymond Green, who in four games has as many points (17) as he does fouls (17). He’s shooting a frigid 6-for-26 from the floor, including 0-9 from three.
Green has also fouled out of two games, letting his emotions get the better of him. In the fourth quarter of Game 4, Kerr made an executive decision, pulling Green off offense and only using him on defense.
It paid off as an extra shooter like Otto Porter Jr. or Jordan Poole gave Curry the space needed on offense to operate and cook. We saw too many minutes of Green, Kevon Looney, and Gary Payton II in the previous games on the floor together.
While that lineup is excellent defensively, they don’t threaten the Celtics offensively, allowing them to load up on Curry more.
Congrats to @Money23Green of the @warriors for moving up to 8th on the All-Time #NBAFinals Steals list! #NBA75 pic.twitter.com/6JbQcjSiYn
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Kerr Discussed the Green Move
“Like most coaches, if you’ve got a group that’s going well, you just stay with it.”
Green shared how he felt when the move occurred
“I’m never thrilled coming out of he game with seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter in a must-win game. I’m not going to sit here and act like I was thrilled. I’m a competitor.”
“But at the end of the day, if that’s what coach decides, then you roll with it. You know, I had to keep my head in the game and, you know, and whenever I went back in, try to make some plays. That was just my mindset. You know, don’t make too much of it. I’ve always been on the bandwagon of if you’ve got something and it’s rolling, you stick with it. So it is what it is.”
Warriors Supporting Cast Showed Up
Two nights after not getting much help from his teammates, Curry received contributions from them in Game 4. Andrew Wiggins, who’s been great all series, chipped in with 17 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. His defense on Jayson Tatum has been great all series.
Klay Thompson had 18, including three big threes in the second half. Jordan Poole had 14, and Looney provided rebounding (11) and rim protection. They also got quality minutes on both ends from Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr.
The Warriors need to bottle that effort up and have it on full display as the Celtics, who boast an 8-3 road playoff record this postseason, will be ready. They won Game 1 at Chase Center and won’t be afraid of the moment.