There was just over a minute left in the third quarter when Gary Payton II received the ball at the 3-point line. He had time and he had a shot, but there was also Stephen Curry around, so he gave him the ball and made room for him: why bother with anything else? Payton got out of the way and the star of the Golden State Warriors hit his sixth triple of the night: 33 points had the point guard by then.
The play sums up well what happened in the fourth game of the NBA finals, in which the Boston Celtics led the tie (2-1) and left with disappointment drawn on their faces. The Warriors, who in the decisive moments of Friday night was equivalent to saying “Curry”, who was injured in the last game and almost did not play the fourth, won (107-97) on the Celtics’ court, taking away their sleep of an easy tie. The next assault will be Monday in San Francisco.
Things seemed possible for a good part of the match for the Boston team, which had it by the hand for 42 minutes and reached the half with a slim lead (five points) that they did not give up in the third quarter, and that is known, third quarters are the specialty of the San Francisco team.
Despite the fact that the locals started those final minutes decisively, they never found a way to get off the scoreboard in a sticky game, which was flat almost all the time, were it not for Curry’s acrobatics, who scored in positions more typical of an artistic gymnast (like Aly Raisman, who was in the audience) than of the physical laws of basketball.
When in the last quarter he made the first of the series of free throws with which he closed his score at 43 points, some of the Celtics fans began to leave TD Chase Stadium. And the truth is that they had done their part, cheering as loudly as the occasion deserved: it is the first time that their team has brought them an NBA final at home in 12 years. They even seemed capable of shutting down the Warriors’ indomitable Draymond Green with their shouts, giving him a mocking standing ovation designed to grate on his nerves.
In the end, Curry prevailed, who, rain or shine, does not fail: he has been the top scorer in the four games of the final so far, with 34, 29, 31 and 43 points respectively. And on Friday, who had seven 3-pointers, 10 rebounds and four assists, he became the first player to score at least five three-pointers in four straight Finals games (the NBA is like that: there’s always a stat on hand). when you need it). It is fair to say that Andrew Wiggins (17 points and 16 rebounds) and Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole, who together contributed 32 points, also counted on the Warriors side.
The Celtics, for their part, paid for their inexperience against a more experienced team in this trance. And it was another disappointing night for star Jayson Tatum, who shot just 8 of 23, scored 23 points and turned the ball over six times.
For the rest, after these first four games, the Celtics and San Francisco Warriors seem to have a good grasp of the measure and the dispute seems more towards a game of who blinks first. The next appointment is Monday at the Chase Center in San Francisco. After the rounds of two consecutive games on each of the coasts, the tie now enters the alternation, match by match, between the two cities. So the thing will be resolved next Thursday in Boston or Sunday in California.