Boston backed into a 3-2 series deficit and elimination is on the mind of the visiting Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.
Andrew Wiggins dropped 26 points and snared 13 rebounds for the Warriors in a Game 5 win that puts the Celtics on the verge of watching Golden State celebrate at TD Garden.
But Boston isn’t out of it yet, and a win to force Game 7 would set the stage for a winner-take-all finale Sunday night in San Francisco.
Steph Curry was off. That’s the bulletin. He snapped a streak of 233 games with a made 3-pointer in Game 5 but is still producing the best jump shooting performance in NBA Finals history and averaging 30.6 points per game in this series. With a fourth ring on the line, Curry is unlikely to deliver another icy shooting night and backing him is an easy call.
The Pick: Curry over 28.5 points at -120 with FanDuel
On the other side, Jayson Tatum stands in the spotlight for the Celtics and another big effort should be expected. Tatum leads the playoffs in points and assists, but also turnovers. Even though he was a combined 17 of 26 in the previous two home games in this series, we like Tatum to go for 40-plus and step away from share mode to top Curry and lead the game in scoring. He’s 9 of 17 from 3-point range in the past two games and the threat of driving past the closeout defender has kept the Warriors honest.
The Pick: Tatum top points scorer at +160 with FanDuel
Something to Lose
The Warriors lost Game 6 of the 2019 Finals on their home court to the Toronto Raptors, and complacency should not be a challenge Steve Kerr and Golden State consider on Thursday. Even though the first opportunity to end series with the Nuggets, Grizzlies and Mavericks were all losses, in each instance there was more margin for error than the Warriors will have Thursday.
The Pick: Warriors to win money line at +142 with FanDuel
–Field Level Media