2022 NBA Finals: Warriors vs. Celtics

24 thoughts on Game 5 of 2022 NBA Finals

Instant observations and real-time tweets from Game 5 of the 2022 NBA Finals as it happened in San Francisco on Monday night.

Game recap: Warriors 104, Celtics 94 (Golden State leads series, 3-2)

• Complete coverage: 2022 NBA Finals

Behind a transcendent performance from Stephen Curry — 43 points, 10 rebounds, seven 3-pointers and four assists — the Warriors evened the 2022 NBA Finals at 2-2 with a 107-97 Game 4 win over the Celtics in Boston on Friday night. Entering Monday’s Game 5, neither team has won consecutive games in The Finals.

Can the Warriors break that trend and defend their home court and move within one win of the championship? Or will the Celtics earn their ninth road win of the postseason and remain unbeaten following a loss in this year’s playoffs? Here are 24 thoughts on Game 5 as it unfolds in the Bay.

24. A few pregame notes:

We have to start with the stakes of tonight’s game: This is the 31st time the Finals have been tied 2-2. The team that wins Game 5 has gone on to win the series 73.3% of the time (22-8).

As the teams warm up, here are the 3-point leaders in this series so far: Stephen Curry (25 3PM on 49% shooting), Jayson Tatum (14 3PM, 45.2%), Klay Thompson (13 3PM, 34.2%), Jaylen Brown (11 3PM, 35.5%), Derrick White (10 3PM, 50%) and Marcus Smart (10 3PM, 56.2%).

While the Splash Brothers warm up, check out this incredible stat:

Good news on the injury front, as Celtics center Robert Williams III has been upgraded from questionable to available for Game 5.

23. Stephen Curry has scored 137 of Golden State’s 422 points through the first four games of the series. That’s 32.5% of the Warriors’ offense coming from No. 30. With all eyes on Curry, will Boston have any adjustments to how they check him in Game 5?

In Game 4, Curry was the ballhandler for 39 screens and saw 29 switches — both were the most by any player in these Finals. Curry scored 1.23 points per possession when he received a screen and 1.14 points per possession when the Celtics executed a switch.

22. Porter remains in the starting lineup for the Warriors and gets the first bucket of the game on a nice back cut and a feed from Draymond Green. Kevon Looney will come off the bench once again. Keep in mind he played a personal series-high 28 minutes off the bench in Game 4.

The Warriors have struck first as they jump out to a quick 8-4 lead, including this transition layup by Curry.

21. How important is Game 5? Take a look at this effort by Draymond Green to save a loose ball from going out of bounds. Similar to Tatum sliding all the way down the sideline toward his bench in Boston, here Green flies into the courtside seats. He didn’t get the save, but the crowd is going crazy for the effort.

Draymond with a sweet fake and drive for the dunk to put the Warriors up 12-4 and force a Celtics timeout with 7:28 to play in the first quarter. After scoring a combined four points in Games 3 and 4 combined in Boston, Draymond Green has four points in the first five minutes of Game 5.

20. Klay Thompson gets on the board with a contested pull-up jumper. Then he knocks down a triple a few possessions later to push the Warriors’ advantage to 17-6.

19. That’s three personal fouls on Kevon Looney in just 2:40 on the court. Remember, in Game 4 it was Looney who led the Warriors at a plus-21 in his 28 minutes on court. Not sure he gets close to that many minutes tonight.

The Warriors may not need much from Looney tonight as Gary Payton II knocks down a triple and a pair of free throws to give the Warriors a 22-8 lead with under three minutes to play in the first quarter. The Warriors have been great defensively and have looked to push at every opportunity they can.

If Curry wins his first Finals MVP this year, his offense will get the headlines, but his defense in this series has been great. Steph is no longer a player that needs to be hidden on defense. He’s holding his own on the perimeter and in the post.

18. A tough runner gets Jayson Tatum on the scoreboard with just over two minutes to play in the opening quarter. He follows it up with a nice turnaround jumper against Payton in the post. Good defense, better offense, two points for Boston.

After Wiggins answers with a fadeaway jumper of his own, Tatum sticks again as he has hit three buckets in a row for Boston, this one off a nice back cut to the hoop as Robert Williams III finds him with the assist.

Williams gets a putback layup to cut the lead to 10. This has been an important stretch for Boston as it looks like the Warriors had a chance to blow them off the court in the opening quarter.

17. The Warriors lead 27-16 at the end of the first quarter, delivering the first punch of the night. Andrew Wiggins leads all players with seven points, while Klay Thompson and Payton II have five apiece for Golden State, followed by Green and Curry with four each. Tatum leads the Celtics with six points, while Williams and Jaylen Brown each have four through the first 12 minutes.

16. The Warriors once again start the second quarter with Curry on the bench. Let’s see how well the Warriors offense flows without him. Curry is so important that he doesn’t even need to score to impact Golden State’s offense, just his presence is enough to help everyone in white and blue.

A pair of Williams free throws off an offensive rebound cuts the lead to single digits in a game that feels like Boston should be trailing by more.

The Warriors get a quick 5-0 burst thanks to a Poole three and a pair of free throws from Draymond Green, who got a steal and went for a monster dunk in transition but was fouled by Williams.

The Celtics answer with an 8-0 run that includes a runner by Smart, a jumper by Tatum, a jumper by Smart and layup by Williams III. Great response by Boston.

15. Curry checks in with 6:43 to play in the half. The Warriors’ offense is anemic without Curry so far tonight.

Wiggins with the drive, the runner, and the foul on Horford. Wiggins completes the three-point play to push the lead back to 11.

The Celtics finally get a 3-pointer to drop after missing their first dozen to start the game as Tatum cuts the lead back to eight points. The teams trade baskets as the Warriors’ lead hovers between seven and 11 points. Wiggins has been big for the Warriors on offense as Curry may not have it tonight after carrying the Warriors through the first four games of the series.

14. After missing their first 12 3-pointers of the night, the Celtics have made three in a row to keep themselves within striking distance late in the second quarter.

4:34 J. Tatum 26′ 3PT (11 PTS) (A. Horford 1 AST)
3:51 A. Horford 27′ 3PT (5 PTS) (J. Tatum 1 AST)
2:34 M. Smart 27′ 3PT (7 PTS) (J. Brown 2 AST)

13. So far Curry does not have the long ball to rely on, so he’s finding other ways to score. He hits a pair of free throws, gets a step-back jumper on the baseline as the Celtics send two defenders at him, and follows it up with a sweet driving layup off the glass. He’s up to 10 points just before the half.


Curry’s not the only one struggling from deep so far as we’ve seen some ice-cold shooting from beyond the arc from both teams in the first half. Boston is 3-for-15 after missing their first 12 attempts from deep, and they’re actually shooting better than the Warriors at 3-for-17.

But even with the cold 3-point shooting to start Game 5, the Celtics have still made 3-point history tonight with the most 3-pointers made in a single postseason. Of course, the team they top is the Warriors (from 2016).

12. At the half, the Warriors lead 51-39, which is by far their biggest halftime lead of the series. Here is the game-by-game halves for the Warriors:

Game 1: -2
Game 2: +2
Game 3: -12
Game 4: -5
Game 5: +12

The fact that Golden State is up a dozen before their third-quarter explosion is a scary situation for the Celtics. Is tonight finally the night that Boston has an answer in the third quarter and keep the Warriors’ avalanche at bay?

11. What will be the story of the third quarter? Will the Warriors dominate once again and take a commanding lead into the fourth? The first few possessions have gone Boston’s way. Brown earns a shooting foul on Klay in the lane. Then Brown gets a steal and draws another foul on Klay in transition. Then a shot clock violation for Golden State leads to a Tatum triple. That’s a 7-0 run in the first 80 seconds for Boston.

Make that an 11-0 run thanks to another 3-pointer from Tatum. Timeout Warriors with 10:15 to play in the third quarter and their lead is down to two points, 51-49.


10. The Celtics have turned the tables on the Warriors and outscored them 19-4 through the first 5:33 of the third quarter. Down 12 at the break, the Celtics could not afford another lackluster third quarter and have shown it with their execution to open the second half.

Al Horford gave the Celtics their first lead of the game with this triple:

After missing their first 12 3-pointers of the game, the Celtics have made eight straight.

9. Boston continues to dominate the third quarter. Check out this defense-to-offense from Grant Williams with the blocked 3-point attempt by Curry, leading to a three-point play on the other end with the layup and the foul on Looney.

Klay hits two big 3s for the Warriors — both from the top of the key — in just over a minute of game time to keep the Warriors close. His second triple makes it a one-point game with 2:31 to play in the quarter. With Curry only having 12 points in this game, will this be the Klay game in this series? He’s up to 15 points for the Warriors.

Jordan Poole gets a triple, followed by a Payton layup and the Warriors are back up by one with under a minute to play. But Brown strikes back with a driving layup and-one to put Boston back on top by two.

8. Poole strikes again! For the second straight game in the Bay, Poole has ended the third quarter with a 3-point bomb from just inside half court. This one came off a pass from Wiggins as Poole launches it from 38 feet away and it drops off the glass.

Here’s another look at Poole’s 3…

7. Even with Poole’s buzzer-beater, the Celtics finally win a third quarter in this series as they trail by one heading into the final frame.

6. Curry once again starts the fourth on the bench. It will be interesting to see how long Kerr keeps him out. Poole tries to follow his third quarter buzzer-beater with another triple, but it’s no good. Wiggins hits a lefty layup to put the Warriors up by three. Poole then gets a pair of free throws to push the lead to five.

It’s Klay vs. Smart on the left wing. Smart goes down trying to sell the contact, but there’s no call. Klay is wide open and nails the 3 to make it a 7-0 run to start the fourth, an 82-74 lead for Golden State and a timeout by Boston. Oh, and a mean mug by Klay to cap it off.

5. The stat no one expected to see tonight after Steph’s 43-point masterpiece in Game 4. After accounting for nearly a third of Golden State’s total points heading into Game 5, the fact that the Warriors are up eight while Curry has just 12 points is big for Golden State.

4. A crazy sequence as Draymond Green picks up a foul, followed by a Marcus Smart technical, followed by a Smart offensive foul on contact to Poole’s face on the ensuing inbounds pass from the original foul by Green. Poole then hits a pull-up jumper to push the lead back to 11 and the Chase Center is getting loud.

The Celtics get a layup by Brown and a pair of free throws by Tatum to cut the lead to seven, but the Warriors strike back with Wiggins with a strong drive off the cut as he gets a perfect pass from Curry and finishes. This is back-to-back huge games from Andrew Wiggins.

Another great sequence from Wiggins. On defense, he plays strong defense on Tatum and forces a fadeaway jumper that is short. Then on the offense, he hits a sweeping layup across the lane to put the Warriors lead back up to 11.

3. Missed free throws are killing the Celtics. With five minutes to play, Tatum drives to the basket and draws a foul on Wiggins. With a chance to cut the lead to eight, Tatum misses both free throws. Boston is now 14-for-23 at the line as a team. That’s nine points left off the board in a 10-point game on the road.

Curry responds with a runner in the lane. He can’t get a 3 to fall to save his life tonight (he’s now 0-for-7), but he’s taking the shots the defense is giving him to push the lead to 12 with 4:40 to play and force a Boston timeout.

2. Brown misses a 3 coming out of the timeout, followed by another missed three by Curry. Draymond stifles Tatum on the other end, forcing a tough fadeaway that comes up short. Payton is then fouled by Tatum and does a few pushups before rising to his feet to get some cheers from the crowd.

Wiggins delivers again! This time it’s a drive against Robert Williams III, as Wiggins uses the push shot in the lane. Can’t say enough about how good Wiggins has been. Help me out, Ros.

Green fouls out with 3:01 to play and a pair of Smart free throws cuts the lead to 11. This is the last chance for Boston to make a run. Instead it’s a Curry lefty layup on a drive against Derrick White. That’s followed by a Tatum airball from 3 and then a huge throw-down from Wiggins that may just be the dagger. Golden State is up 99-84 with 2:10 to play.

If the Wiggins dunk was the dagger then this corner 3 by Klay is just an exclamation point.

Another miss from 3 for Curry to make him 0-for-9 for the night, but Payton is there for the putback to give him 15 points and a 16-point lead for the Warriors with 1:19 left. The Warriors have outscored the Celtics 29-14 in the fourth quarter after losing the third for the first time in the series.

1. Both teams empty their benches with 1:19 to play as Golden State has this one wrapped up. For the first time this postseason, the Celtics have lost back-to-back games in the playoffs. They’ll be playing for their playoff lives on Thursday in Boston.


The final score is 104-94 as the Warriors win the fourth quarter 29-20 and now lead The Finals 3-2. They have two chances to win the title, the first coming Thursday in Boston and the second (if necessary) on Sunday back in San Francisco.