Celtics in historic NBA meltdown as Warriors take Finals lead

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·Sports Reporter
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A standout NBA Finals performance from Andrew Wiggins helped the Warriors to a game five win over Boston. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
A standout NBA Finals performance from Andrew Wiggins helped the Warriors to a game five win over Boston. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Golden State Warriors have taken a 3-2 lead in the NBA Finals thanks to an impressive 104-94 win over the Boston Celtics, thanks to a historic three-point anomaly on behalf of the visitors.

The Warriors lead by as many as 16 points late in the fourth quarter thanks to a career best game from Andrew Wiggins, the oft maligned former 1st overall pick who Golden State acquired in a trade with Minnesota in February 2020.

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Wiggins dropped 26 points and added 13 rebounds in 42 minutes, proving to be the difference maker for the Warriors as Boston struggled mightily to shoot from outside in the first half.

It took until midway through the second quarter for Boston to hit their first triple, but by that point they'd missed their first 12 attempts.

It marked the most missed three-point attempts by any any team to start a Finals game in 25 years - but incredibly, the Celtics would bounce back and actually finished the game with more made threes than the Warriors.

Neither team shot particularly well from the perimeter, with Steph Curry going an unthinkable 0-9 from deep - but it was the Warriors who managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over early.

The last time Curry finished a game without hitting a single triple was back in November 2018, while it was the first NBA Finals game he played in which he failed to hit from deep as well.

The Celtics never let the lead blow out though, even leading heading into the final quarter, but the Warriors always seemed to find an extra gear.

As if to reverse their fortunes from the first half, the Celtics hit an NBA record eight consecutive triples in the third quarter as they outscored the Warriors 35-24.

But a Jordan Poole buzzer-beater, the second in as many games for him, trimmed the margin back to two heading into the final quarter but crucially, whipped the Warriors crowd into a frenzy and stole any momentum the Celtics had built.

Warriors win crucial game five of NBA Finals over Boston Celtics

The Warriors are now one game away from their fourth title in eight years.

It would also be their seventh championship all time, which would put the Warriors alone in third all time and break a tie with Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls. Game 6 is at 9 p.m. ET Thursday in Boston.

The back-and-forth game saw runs of no 3-pointers, then stretches of nearly impossible consecutive makes and all that still amounted to abysmal shooting from distance. It didn’t matter for the Warriors, though.

Wiggins finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds. Wiggins missed all six of his 3-point attempts, though. Klay Thompson had 21 points, including five triples.

Steph Curry failed to hit a three in an NBA Finals game for the first time in his career, but it didn't stop the Warriors from winning game five over Boston. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Steph Curry failed to hit a three in an NBA Finals game for the first time in his career, but it didn't stop the Warriors from winning game five over Boston. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Draymond Green fouled out for the third time this series after a slightly better offensive night with eight points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Poole added 14 points of his own.

Boston struggled with turnovers and had 18 for the game.

Celtics star Jayson Tatum, who has struggled throughout the series, looked like he was about to have a breakout game, but floundered in the fourth quarter.

Tatum finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. He was 2-of-6 from the free-throw line.

The Celtics melted down midway through the fourth quarter as Marcus Smart argued a non-call and then drew a foul against him, which he also argued.

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