Wiggins lifts Warriors to 3-2 series lead

Published June 14, 2022, 1:00 PMMiguel Flores

Andrew Wiggins delivers in Game 5, pouring in 26 points and grabbing 13 boards to help Golden State take a 3-2 lead against Boston in the NBA Finals.


Warriors 104, Celtics 94 (GSW leads series, 3-2)

What went down

These playoffs have been about attrition for the Boston Celtics. They wore down Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Jimmy Butler. It was only a matter of time until they got to Steph Curry.

Game 5 was Curry's reckoning. Right from the start, the Celtics sent waves of players at him as he came off on-ball screens or hand-offs.

Luckily for the Warriors, the rest of the team came to play. Draymond Green eclipsed any point total he had in the first four games of the series by the first quarter. Andrew Wiggins came out firing, as well.

Though the Celtics had successfully tamed Curry, the Warriors still took it to Boston with their own defense and clutch contributions from their role players. It felt like the Celtics were down by 30 at the half. They were only down by 12.

This has also been the story of the Celtics this series – they've taken Golden State’s best shot with the expectation of being able to retaliate. That’s what happened in the third quarter. After missing their first 12 3-point attempts, the Celtics drilled eight straight and eventually took the lead, 58-55.

That lead would hold as the Celtics fended off any Warriors rally until the last three seconds of the third period. By all definitions, Jordan Poole had played a horrid game up to this point. It didn’t matter after he drilled another buzzer-beater from near halfcourt. After that shot, nothing was stopping Golden State.

As if they got a splash of cold water on their face, the Warriors woke up and went up by 11 points early in the fourth quarter. This was a masterclass from a team that knew how to close out big games. Boston, on the other hand, got caught up in mind games and never really found their footing again.

The scariest part? Steph Curry had one of his worst postseason games ever, missing all nine of his 3-point attempts and finishing with 16 points on 7-for-22 shooting.

Game 5 should have been a disaster for the Warriors. Now, they’re one game away from another ring. 

Big-time baller

It’s been discussed over and over during the playoffs – Andrew Wiggins’ transformation has been both marvelous and pivotal for the Warriors. The guy everyone expected to be the next big superstar has turned into the perfect complementary piece for a potential championship squad.

He isn’t LeBron. He’s James Worthy.

Game 5 was the full Wiggins experience – he clamped Jayson Tatum while punishing the Celtics defense with tricky, off-balance shots in the lane.

Wiggins finished with 26 points on 12-for-23 shooting with 12 rebounds and two steals. Another big performance could launch him into legitimate Finals MVP contention.

What he said

The internet is great because anything you say – or tweet – is pretty much etched in cement. No use deleting this now, JT.

Did you see that?

For old NBA fans that have watched Jay-Z get into all the big games ever played, seeing him in Game 5 should not have been a surprise.

But it should have made them feel old seeing Blue Ivy sitting next to him.