The Golden State Warriors produced a spectacular defensive second half to defeat the Boston Celtics 107-97 in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
With the win on the road, the Warriors tied the series at 2-2, avoiding the dreaded 3-1 deficit that history shows is almost impossible to come back from.
From the jump, it was the Stephen Curry show, scoring 12 points in the first quarter to keep the Warriors in the fight, trailing 28-27 at quarter-time.
Eight quick points from Jordan Poole off the bench gave the Warriors a jolt to start the second period, before Jaylen Brown answered with 10 of his own.
Ultimately it was the Celtics’ defense controlling the second quarter, holding the Warriors to two-of-12 shooting from long range in the frame to win it 26-22 and head into half-time leading 54-49.
Curry scored another 14 points in the third, with a late three giving the Warriors a 79-78 lead heading into the last.
All series the Boston defense has gone up a gear in the fourth quarter, but this time the Warriors gave them a taste of their own medicine, holding the home side to 19 points.
A Marcus Smart three-pointer with 5:18 remaining put the Celtics up 94-90, but they would score just three points the rest of the way, spanning nearly four minutes between Smart’s bucket and Al Horford’s three with 1:32 on the clock.
Curry capped off his magical performance with 10 of the Warriors’ last 12 points, finishing with 43 points while shooting 14-of-26 from the field and seven-of-14 from long range. He added 10 rebounds and four assists.
Also shining when the Warriors needed him most was Andrew Wiggins, who snatched a career-high 16 rebounds, including some important offensive rebounds and put-backs with his team trailing, as he also chipped in 17 points and finished with a plus/minus of plus 20. His plus/minus trailed only Kevon Looney’s plus 21.
For the Celtics, Jayson Tatum was solid, but scored inefficiently, with 23 points on eight-of-23 shooting, while adding 11 rebounds, six assists and three blocks. Brown was also respectable, scoring 21 on nine-of-19 shooting, while Derrick White added 16 off the bench.
Everyone expected the Warriors to come out hot in the third quarter, and they did not disappoint, with Curry and Klay Thompson both hitting jump shots in the first 40 seconds, igniting a 30-24 period for the visitors.