2022 NBA Finals Game 4 Recap

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Game 4 of the NBA Finals came to a thrilling conclusion with the Golden State Warriors earning a 107-97 victory. How did they earn their win over the Boston Celtics, and what can you anticipate for Game 5 in San Francisco now that the series is tied 2-2?

2022 NBA Finals Game 4 Recap

NBA Finals Game 4 Recap

In a repeat of Games 2 and 3, Boston got off to a hot start early. Steve Kerr’s decision to start Otto Porter Jr. in place of Kevon Looney worked in the Celtics’ favor. Boston started the game up 11-4 on the strength of Robert Williams’ offensive rebounding. Stephen Curry’s run of excellent play continued to buoy the Warriors’ comeback, but the Celtics ended the half up 5 thanks to Jayson Tatum’ stepback threes and drive-and-kick assists to open shooters.

The Warriors continued their third-quarter dominance and took a one-point lead into the final frame. Curry got hot from beyond the arc, and the Celtics turnovers started to pile up as Golden State feasted in transition. Klay Thompson knocked down some shots after a cold start, and Boston found the ample second chance opportunities from the first half wither away in the second.

Fans were then treated to the first close fourth quarter of the Finals. Golden State took control after an early push from Boston. Kerr kept Draymond Green on the bench for much of the fourth quarter, and the Warriors played tenacious defense in holding Boston to three points in the final 5:15 of the quarter. Curry provided clutch shot-making and iced the win from the foul line.

NBA Finals Game 4 G.O.A.T.

Curry was the Greatest Player of All Time (of this NBA Finals game). He hasn’t had a poor performance so far in this series, and Game 4 was unquestionably his finest. Curry finished with an astonishing 43 points on 26 shots, made half of his 14 threes, and contributed 10 rebounds. He held up defensively when switched onto Tatum and while being posted up by Marcus Smart. Kerr brought Curry back into the game with over 9 minutes left when Boston appeared to continue their run of fourth-quarter dominance, and his superior stamina won the day.

Andrew Wiggins deserves a special shoutout as well. He’s been the primary defender on Tatum all series. Tatum has shot well from three, but hasn’t found success in other areas of the floor. He’s shooting 14-51 (27%) from two in this series. Wiggins found life offensively with 17 points, and grabbed a career-high 16 boards; his previous career-high was just 11. Boston outscored the Warriors by 10 points in the 4½ minutes he sat, and he’s clearly the most critical non-Curry Warrior in this series.

NBA Finals Game 4 Goat

It’s hard to pick the worst player in Game 4. This was a high-level game, and even those who didn’t play to their normal standards like Green showed flashes of incredible talent and skill. Even so, Tatum will regret aspects of his play in this game. He finished with 6 turnovers and telegraphed a number of passes to teammates in the corner. Those fueled the Warriors transition offense, especially in the first half when they struggled to score against Boston’s half-court defense. 

Tatum also flubbed a number of layups badly, with one even bouncing off the side of the backboard. Williams got that offensive board, but the Warriors seemed content to let Tatum drive and attempt a layup over help defense. He’s hurt them far more by creating threes for himself and his teammates.

Ime Udoka surely hoped to get more from Grant Williams in this series as well. He committed four fouls in just 12 minutes tonight, and has been targeted by Curry throughout the series. Robert Williams seems to be recovering from his injury, but one wonders if Horford is getting worn down without Grant Williams effectively subbing in for him.

Looking ahead to NBA Finals Game 5

Game 5 will be played Monday night at Chase Center, and this could be the most important game of the series. Per NBA.com, teams that win Game 5 of a 2-2 best-of-seven series go on to win the series 82.8% of the time (164-34). Golden State has homecourt advantage, but Boston hasn’t lost back-to-back games in the playoffs. Unstoppable force, meet immovable object.

Golden State still seems to be adjusting lineups; expect that to continue in Game 5. Boston abused the smaller starting lineup on the glass, and Green lost playing time down the stretch of Game 4. Looney seems likely to start and at least match his 28 minutes played tonight. The Warriors will keep challenging Tatum to beat them with self-created two-point shots. 

Boston generated their best offense this game after getting into the paint. On one memorable first-half possession, Jaylen Brown drove and kicked to Smart in the corner, who was able to drive to the paint and find Tatum for an open catch-and-shoot three. Shifting Tatum to be more of a play-finisher than play initiator could help him find his way offensively, and in turn force the Warriors to help further off Boston’s shooters. Smart is the Celtics’ best option, and he’ll need to limit his turnovers if given more ball-handling responsibility.

These two teams are evenly matched; the Warriors have outscored the Celtics so far by exactly one point. This series seems likely to go seven, a fitting outcome for these formidable foes.