The Golden State Warriors tied the 2022 NBA Finals 2-2 with a huge win over the Boston Celtics. Stephen Curry's historic, 43-point performance led the way for the Dubs as they won with a score of 107-97.
Curry's outrageous game will be remembered fondly for a long time, especially if the Warriors win the series. The shots he made were absolutely insane, even for his standards. He could have added to his point total if the officials gave him a kinder whistle, as he got knocked to the floor on a lot of his shots. Still, Curry played out of his mind and posted one of the most iconic performances of his career.
However, to say that Curry had put the entire team on his back, as Jeff Van Gundy suggested on the broadcast, is blasphemous. Several Warriors players stepped up to even up the NBA Finals. They deserve to be praised for their part in tying up the series.
3 Warriors not named Stephen Curry who stepped up to win Game 5 of 2022 NBA Finals vs. Celtics
While Stephen Curry was having an unbelievable shooting night, Thompson had himself a solid performance on both ends of the floor. The quintessential shooter/defender provided both in a crucial victory.
Thompson scored 18 points on 7-17 shooting, including 4-10 from deep, while recording a team-high two blocks. He also held opponents to 4-13 shooting when he was the primary defender. The Warriors entrusted him to guard Tatum later in the game and he held his own. Even when he wasn't on the Celtics star, he did his best to ensure Tatum didn't get an open look.
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Thompson's 3-and-D game shined and showed how he can be so good in the background of an unbelievable Curry performance. He scored eight points in the fourth quarter on 3-4 shooting, which helped the Warriors massively after struggling in the final period throughout the series.
The Warriors' most reliable scorer aside from Curry in the NBA Finals has been Wiggins. He provided that same solid scoring with the best rebounding performance of his career.
Wiggins scored 17 points and collected 16 rebounds, the most of any game in his career and the most in a single game in this year's NBA Finals. Across the whole playoffs, only 15 games have beaten it and all were done either by centers or Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Wiggins' strong performance included consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter where he collected the offensive board and scored on a putback. Without those key buckets, the Warriors would have trailed later into the game. Overall, his hustle and timely scoring have been absolutely crucial for the Dubs.
1. Kevon Looney
Steve Kerr admitted himself that not playing Looney as much in Game 3 was a mistake. He rectified the issue — even though Otto Porter Jr. started in his place — and it changed the tides for the Warriors.
The Celtics dominated the Warriors on the glass in Game 3, when Looney played just 17 minutes. In Game 4, he played 28 minutes and helped Golden State own the glass. The Celtics got way fewer shots off in the paint and the Warriors outrebounded them 55 to 42. Wiggins may have gotten more boards but Looney's impact inside cannot be overlooked.
Looney's 11 rebounds featured four on the offensive end. He scored six points on 3-4 shooting. The basic stats won't tell the story of his impact. The final score, though, will. Kerr certainly won't make the mistake of keeping Looney on the bench for over half of the game.