7 takeaways as Steph Curry’s all-time performance leads Warriors over Celtics in Game 4

Curry finished with 43 points, putting the Warriors on his back.

Celtics Warriors Game 4
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry drives against Boston Celtics guard Derrick White during the second quarter of Game 4. AP Photo/Steven Senne

Here are the takeaways as the Warriors evened the Finals in Game 4 against the Celtics with a 107-97 victory.

1. Steph Curry was otherworldly — 43 points on 14-for-26 shooting, as he continues to put together one of the more impressive Finals performances in recent memory. He buried the Celtics with a varied shot selection that included some brutally difficult 3-pointers as well as a couple of mid-range jumpers, a tough floater, and several layups.

Curry has been the only star on the court for the Warriors — sometimes, it seems like he’s the only good Warriors player on the floor — but he is cementing his legacy as a top-10 player of all time whether the Warriors pull out the series or not.


“Just stunning,” Steve Kerr said when asked about Curry’s transcendent evening. “The physicality out there is pretty dramatic. I mean, Boston’s got obviously, the best defense in the league. Huge and powerful at every position, and for Steph to take that kind of pressure all game long and still be able to defend at the other end when they are coming at him shows you, this is the strongest physically he’s ever been in his career, and it’s allowing him to do what he’s doing.”

2. Robert Williams played brilliantly once again, but he came up hobbled in the fourth, which limited the Celtics. Williams is a huge difference-maker on both ends — offensively, he opens up the paint, and defensively, he is the Celtics’ best defender in the pick-and-roll against Curry as well as one of the league’s best rim protectors. The Warriors also have no answer for him on the glass when he’s healthy. The rest of the series might swing on whether Williams can give the Celtics consistent minutes going forward.

Ime Udoka said he didn’t see anything wrong with Williams outside of the usual knee soreness, but the Celtics pulled him late in the fourth even though he was a team-high +21.


3. For once, the Celtics weren’t a disaster in the third quarter — they lost the period by six and limited their turnovers — but Curry’s brilliance was too much in the fourth.

Interestingly, the Warriors benched Draymond Green in the fourth quarter for several minutes, and it worked well. The Celtics scored just three points in nearly six minutes, which sealed their fate.

4. Jayson Tatum was 8-for-23 with 23 points, including just 2-for-9 shooting in the second half and 1-for-4 from 3-point range. The Celtics have survived some mediocre games by Tatum in the Finals, but they need him to be a lot better in Game 5 — he is yet to have a real breakout game since the Finals began.

Udoka said he “wouldn’t be opposed” to Tatum taking more 2-pointers without getting all the way to the rim.

“[The Warriors] are a team that loads up in certain games,” Udoka said. “He’s finding the outlets. Shooting over two, three guys. That’s the balance of being aggressive and picking your spots and doing what he’s done in previous games, which is kicked it out and got wide-open looks.

“That’s the ongoing theme so to speak, him getting to the basket, being a scorer as well as a playmaker. They do a good job with their rotations. Sometimes hunting fouls instead of going to finish. I’ve seen that in a few games so far.”


5. Andrew Wiggins has arguably been the Warriors’ second-best player in this series. He was solid again on Friday — 17 points and 16 crucial rebounds (also a career-high) against a Celtics team that dominated the glass for much of the game against everyone else.

“I just know last game, they had out-rebounded us, and got all the offensive rebounds,” Wiggins said. “Today just wanted to come in and be aggressive on the boards and try to help out.”

6. After the game, Brown was asked about “M-V-P” chants and whether he thinks he is the MVP of the series.

“I don’t know how to answer that question,” Brown said shortly. “Next question.”

Brown has been good — perhaps the most consistent Celtics player in the Finals — but asking him about his MVP candidacy after his team lost a playoff game at home that evened the series 2-2 feels like odd timing at best.

7. The Celtics can still win this series. Despairing after a player has an all-time performance is premature, as evidenced by Jimmy Butler putting together an all-time performance in a losing effort against the Celtics during the Eastern Conference finals.

The game-to-game overreaction is getting to be a bit much. The Celtics were not going to sweep just because they won Game 1. They were not going to struggle to score every night just because they lost Game 2. Winning Game 3 did not give them overwhelming momentum. Curry’s enormous performance in Game 4 did not decide the series.

The Celtics did make things a little bit more difficult for themselves, but that is a pattern.


“We don’t do this s— on purpose,” Tatum said with a smile. “I promise you, we don’t. We trying as hard as we can. There’s certain things we got to clean up. Obviously turnovers, movement on the offensive end.

“Would we have liked to have won today and be up 3-1? That would have been best-case scenario. But it’s the Finals. The art of competition, they came here feeling like they had to win. It wasn’t easy. I think that’s kind of the beauty of it, that it’s not going to be easy. It shouldn’t be.

“We know we both want it and we’ve got to go take it.”

Game 5 tips off at 9 p.m. on Monday.


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