NBA Finals: Warriors at the Gates of Glory, Celtics Back on the Wall

If they win in Boston on Thursday, Stephen Curry and his Warriors will revive the colors of their golden dynasty with a 4th NBA championship in six playoffs; but the resilient Celtics, 3-2 down and with their backs against the wall, cannot be counted in front of their adoring fans.

Starting at 21:00 local time (01:00 GMT, 03:00 French), this sixth game begins, the first decisive one of an intense and close series that may have ended in Golden State’s favor on Monday night.

Steve Kerr’s players did indeed win (104-94), despite a big air hole from Curry, who failed to make a single three-point basket for the first time in 133 playoff games, 72 hours after his masterclass with the Celtics seven planted (43 points).

His teammates, like Andrew Wiggins (26 points), a sparkling man from the shadows, took the helm and honored the team’s slogan “Strength in Numbers” during its first winning campaign of 2015.

And Boston conceded a second straight loss for the first time in this playoff after leading 2-1 without being able to break in Match N.4 at its volcano TD Garden, which Curry worked to obliterate.

– “It will be very difficult” –

But the Ime Udoka-coached team proved they knew how to turn around that kind of compromised situation in the Eastern Conference semifinals at the expense of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Bucks, who were beaten in games N.6 and N.7. “We’re used to playing with our backs to the wall, it’s like second nature. It’s one more game,” Marcus Smart played down.

Logical enough to raise suspicions among the Warriors, who recall experiencing even worse misfortunes in 2016. They led 3-1 in the final against Cleveland before the LeBron James-carried Cavaliers won the next three matches.

“We’ve been there before, yes… At that time we were too impatient. So, even if we are in a favorable position, we haven’t achieved anything yet. The mission remains the same, to win four games,” Klay Thompson recalled.

“We have two chances to become champions but we know it will be very difficult. That’s why nobody is celebrating in the dressing room,” said coach Steve Kerr on Monday evening.

After this fifth lost match, the Celtics were “a bit frustrated”, which was due to too many mistakes and clumsiness in attack as well as a lack of gas in the last quarter. But no depression.

“The message is to keep the confidence to go home, rest and prepare to come back here. The key is regularity and consistency in the efforts made,” said coach Ime Udoka.

– “Keep the Faith” –

And to Jaylen Brown, the strong words: “You have to keep the belief, it has to be at the highest level there is. We have to play as one man. All season it was a bit like us against the rest of the world. “I don’t see any difference now. I’m looking forward to Game 6. It’s about survival. We have to take it with that mentality and play Celtics basketball. We’re not afraid.”

No doubt the Boston fans dreaming of a record 18th title and winning the Decibel game in this series will be chasing their team hard.

This hostile environment within the TD Garden will force the Warriors to “try to capture our emotions,” Curry said, in their quest for a seventh overall title (the first two were won with Philadelphia in 1947 and 1956, and the third with Golden State in 1975). .

“It doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to play the best game of the year in terms of intensity and concentration,” added the shooter, determined to find the target behind the bow.

“After a 0/9 three-pointer like that, Stephen will be very angry in the next game. That’s all we need,” says his teammate Draymond Green in advance.

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