Boston Celtics: The good, the bad, and the ugly from grueling Game 5 loss

Boston Celtics (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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The Boston Celtics fell to the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night. After an extremely slow start, the C’s pulled ahead in the third quarter before being stalled in the final period, leading to a 104-94 defeat.

For the second straight game, Boston had nothing going in the fourth quarter, as they were outscored 29-20. Six of those points came in garbage time with less than 90 seconds remaining–the C’s main rotation scored 14 points in the biggest quarter of their careers.

It was encouraging to see the C’s fight back once again when their backs were against the wall, taking the lead in the third despite the Warriors’ constant success in the quarter. Now, they’ll have to find a way to force a Game 7 back in the Bay Area, with a Game 6 in Boston on Thursday night.

The Warriors certainly seem more composed compared to a relatively inexperienced Celtics team, so it won’t be an easy task for them to accomplish. But the shamrocks have been doubted and counted out many times before in this playoff run alone.

We know they’re capable of winning an NBA Championship.

They have to fix up some weaknesses that are present in each one of their playoff losses. If they can play within themselves, stay connected, and take care of the basketball, Boston should be favored in both of these upcoming games.

Let’s look into the good, the bad, and the ugly from this grueling Game 5 loss:

The good for the Boston Celtics: Third-quarter demons

Before Game 5, the Warriors had dominated every third quarter. Tonight, when Boston absolutely needed to, they flipped the script, outscoring Golden State 35 to 24 to cut the lead to a single point.

The C’s hit their first five 3-pointers of the second half after starting the game going 0-of-12 from downtown, reminiscent of the fourth quarter back in Game 1.

They were getting great dribble penetration, kicking out for open looks for shooters such as Al Horford and Marcus Smart. Unfortunately, Boston couldn’t complete the quarter on their own terms, with Jordan Poole hitting a 33-foot buzzer-beater to take back the lead.

The quarter could have been even more one-sided if the Celtics took care of the ball. They ended the 12 minutes with five turnovers, leading to multiple easy buckets on the other end.

The series has been broken down into one simple trend: if Boston limits their turnovers, they win. If they don’t, they lose.

Despite the greater outcome, it was good to see the Celtics come out of halftime with a strong 10-0 run instead of rolling over and succumbing to the expected third-quarter Warriors avalanche.

Jayson Tatum got going and looked like his superstar self for periods of this game, scoring 11 points and three assists in the third.