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    Here’s What That ‘Ayesha Curry CAN Cook’ T-Shirt Is All About

    After Game 5, Stephen Curry walked into his postgame news conference wearing a gray T-shirt that said “Ayesha Curry CAN cook.”His shirt was in response to a sign outside a bar near Fenway Park in Boston that had written in chalk, “Ayesha Curry can’t cook.”It was a pointed dig at Ayesha Curry, Stephen’s wife of more than 10 years, who has made cooking a central part of her public persona. She has written a cookbook, starred in a Food Network show and opened restaurants.And it was just one example of the back and forth between Celtics fans and Golden State players this series. During his 43-point explosion in Game 4, Curry was yelling at fans in the stands. During Games 3 and 4, the TD Garden crowd in Boston chanted expletives at Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, prompting Thompson to sarcastically call them “real classy.”At this point in his career, Curry enjoys the sparring.“I’m the petty king, so I know all about everything,” he said on Wednesday. “I use it as entertainment and just have fun with it.”He understands it’s born out of how much a championship can mean to a city.“Maybe back in the day, the first year, first two years, maybe things catch you off guard just because it’s so new,” Curry said. “You wonder how these narratives come up, all the distractions pop up here and there. I think the more you get into these environments, the more you use it as entertainment, fun, embrace it.“Honestly, you wouldn’t want to have it any other way, knowing that you’re on this stage and you’re playing for something that really matters to a lot of people.”The bar, Game On, near Fenway Park, also noticed Curry’s response to its sign.On Wednesday, it posted a photo on Instagram of a group wearing green Celtics T-shirts that said “Ayesha Curry can’t cook,” standing next to a new sign. This one said, “Steph saying his wife can cook is like your mother telling you you’re HANDSOME.” More

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    NBA Finals Game 6 Preview: What’s at Stake for Boston and Golden State

    Stephen Curry is one win away from his fourth N.B.A. championship. Boston is trying to come back from its second 3-2 deficit this postseason.The Boston Celtics are in dire straits after losing to Golden State on Monday in Game 5 of the N.B.A. finals, leaving them in a 3-2 deficit as the series shifts to Boston on Thursday. Teams with 3-2 leads in best-of-seven N.B.A. finals have won the championship 39 of 48 times — 81.3 percent. Some of the Celtics’ regular-season woes are reappearing in the finals: They haven’t been able to sustain effort for entire games and have watched fourth-quarter leads evaporate.Golden State, meanwhile, is in the driver’s seat. On Monday, Stephen Curry had his first underwhelming game of the series, and his team still won — a bad sign for the Celtics.But there is still at least one game to be played. The Celtics have made a habit of coming back at unexpected times, including in Game 1, which featured an unexpected fourth-quarter implosion by Golden State.Here’s a look at where the series stands before a potential elimination game on the N.B.A.’s biggest stage.For Boston to Win:Can the Celtics locate Jayson Tatum?Jayson Tatum, 24, is the biggest reason the Celtics reached the finals. He is one of the best scorers in the league and is capable of dropping 50 points in a playoff game, as he did last year against the Nets in the first round. But against Golden State, he has had difficulty scoring near the basket and has had trouble with turnovers. On Monday night, he set a league record for turnovers in a postseason. Tatum is shooting 37.3 percent from the field against Golden State.If the Celtics are going to stave off elimination, they’ll need more from Tatum. But there is hope for Boston: In Game 6 of this year’s Eastern Conference semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks, with the Celtics facing the same deficit, Tatum pulled out a 46-point performance.Turnovers have been a problem for the Celtics throughout the playoffs, particularly for Jayson Tatum, right, and Jaylen Brown.Elsa/Getty ImagesCan the Celtics stop turning the ball over?In Game 5, the Celtics had 18 turnovers, and Golden State had six. In Game 2, the Celtics had 18, and Golden State had 12. This has been a problem for the Celtics throughout the playoffs, particularly with their stars, Tatum and Jaylen Brown — who often have been stripped while dribbling into the paint. If Boston doesn’t take care of the ball, it doesn’t win. End of story.Defensively, the Celtics have been fine. Golden State has scored from 100 to 108 points in each of the first five games, which, considering its offensive talent, is acceptable. It’s on the offensive end where Boston has struggled to generate consistent looks.For Golden State to Win:Can the supporting cast show up again?For most of the series, Curry has had to shoulder an enormous offensive burden. In the first four games of the series, the Warriors shot only 37.3 percent on attempts considered wide open. That’s mostly on the rest of the Golden State players who haven’t been able to make Boston pay for tight defense on Curry.That is until Game 5, when Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole punished the Celtics from deep, making up for Curry’s 0-for-9 night from 3. Even Draymond Green, who has had a dismal series, had 8 points, serving as a crucial release valve for Curry.If Golden State’s non-Curry players hit their shots, Boston will find it very difficult to win.Does Curry have another pantheon performance in him?Golden State showed that it could win despite a bad game from Curry. But it doesn’t want to take that chance again. Curry’s 43-point performance in Game 4 was remarkable. If he can dig deep for another similar outing, he puts himself in the conversation for one of the best finals performances in history.The StakesIf Boston wins:The series will head to a winner-take-all Game 7. And if the Celtics win that, they will have completed an astonishing turnaround from January, when they were 18-21. It will prove that a team can win a championship with two ball-dominant wings who play similar games, in this case Tatum and Brown. It will also validate the team’s decision not to trade its young players for any of the established ones who have hit the market in recent years.Golden State will have to wonder whether not trading any of its young players — the rookies Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga and the second-year center James Wiseman — for immediate help would have been the right move to take advantage of Curry’s dwindling window.If Golden State wins:The ascension of Andrew Wiggins will reach new heights.For the first five years of Andrew Wiggins’s career, he was known mostly as a cautionary tale. The Cleveland Cavaliers selected him first overall in the 2014 N.B.A. draft and then traded him to the Minnesota Timberwolves weeks later to build a title contender around LeBron James. He showed flashes of elite athleticism, enough for Minnesota to invest a maximum contract extension in him. But the production never matched the contract. Since joining Golden State through a trade in 2020, however, Wiggins has turned his career around. This year, he played in his first All-Star Game. And in the finals, he has been, at times, the best player on either team. If Golden State wins the championship, Wiggins will have been a huge reason — and it will complete a remarkable turnaround in his career.The Stephen Curry legacy grows.If Golden State wins Game 6, it is a virtual certainty that Curry will win the finals Most Valuable Player Award, which would fill the one remaining hole in his résumé. But a championship has larger stakes for Curry. His previous titles — according to some N.B.A. observers — have not been legacy-burnishing championships in the way they have been for other stars. In 2015, Golden State beat a James-led Cavaliers team missing two of its three best players. In 2017 and 2018, Golden State beat the Cavaliers again, but Kevin Durant was arguably the best player on those teams. This would be Curry’s first championship in which he was unambiguously the best player on Golden State and the opposing team was at full strength. This championship would vault Curry higher in the discussion of N.B.A. greats.Boston will consider tinkering.Most of Boston’s key players are young and still entering their primes. Tatum and Brown are dynamic wings who can, in theory, be All-Stars for years to come. But if they lose, questions will arise about whether they can do it together. The issue for Boston is that it doesn’t have much free-agency wiggle room. With several teams expected to make improvements next year — including the division-rival Nets and Toronto Raptors — the Celtics will face difficult questions about whether making changes at the edges is enough.Draymond Green will podcast to his heart’s desire.Green has offered insightful commentary on his podcast after every game. With a championship, he’ll be able to do so guilt-free and without fans telling him to stop, in spite of his mostly poor performance in the series. More

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    49ers’ Ronnie Lott Lives His N.B.A. Dream Through Golden State

    Ronnie Lott won four Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers — but basketball is his favorite sport. He’s all-in on Golden State in the N.B.A. finals.SAN FRANCISCO — When Ronnie Lott watches Golden State play basketball, he might as well be analyzing old All-22 film of himself from his days as an All-Pro safety and cornerback with the San Francisco 49ers.He watches how Andrew Wiggins positions himself for rebounds. He watches how defenders deal with screens. He watches how Stephen Curry wriggles free for jump shots, and he watches how the team threads the needle with its passes.“It’s an art, really,” Lott said. “In football, you might have one person who can do that. In today’s basketball game, everybody’s got to be pretty capable of making great passes.”For Lott, 63, there is an analytical side to the experience. But there is also an emotional one. As a Warriors season-ticket holder since the mid-1980s, Lott has seen a bit of everything. Now, with Golden State looking to clinch another N.B.A. championship, in Boston on Thursday night against the Celtics, he is bracing himself once more. Golden State leads the series, 3-2.“I know how much it means to those guys,” Lott said.It might come as a surprise to football fans to learn that Lott’s first love was basketball. He was good enough to play in Division I for a season as a walk-on point guard at Southern California.“I wanted to be Magic Johnson,” he said.Lott was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000. REUTERS/Ron Schwane
    Lott said he learned a lot that season about teamwork and winning, and it gave him an invaluable opportunity to work on his quickness. But after he scored a total of 4 points while collecting 10 personal fouls in limited minutes, he knew his future was in football.He was in the midst of winning four Super Bowls with the 49ers when he found an outlet for his other passion: He bought season tickets to Golden State’s home games at the start of the Chris Mullin era.“It’s my favorite sport,” Lott said. “It’s probably the one sport I dream about more than anything.”He last played in the N.F.L. in 1994, and announced his retirement in 1996. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.Aside from savoring the vicarious joy, and coping with the occasional sadness, that has come with watching Golden State play over the years, Lott has noticed how much overlap there is between basketball and football — overlap that has been especially evident in the finals.“The players are so physical,” he said. “You see guys grabbing jerseys, and I’m like, ‘Man, they’d have a couple of yellow flags being thrown at them if they were playing football.’”Lott compared defending 3-point shooters like Curry to football’s “bump and run” coverage, in which defensive backs impede the path of wide receivers coming off the line of scrimmage. In fact, Marcus Smart, one of the Celtics who has tried to chase Curry around in the finals, grew up playing free safety.“It helped me learn how to change directions and how to use my hips,” said Smart, this season’s defensive player of the year.Winning, too, is universal, and Lott has seen shades of the 49ers’ championship D.N.A. in the way Golden State has gone about its business. Lott recalled seasons when quarterback Joe Montana and receiver Jerry Rice were beat up and tired but still found ways to engineer Super Bowl runs.In recent weeks, Lott said, Golden State has won games that it probably had no business winning. There was the team’s comeback from a 19-point deficit against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. And in its own way, Golden State’s win over Boston in Game 5 on Monday night was another weird one: Curry missed all nine of his 3-point attempts. But experience builds on itself.“What makes a great team a great team,” Lott said, “is that you can go back to moments and say, ‘Oh, we’ve been in this situation before, and we know what it takes.’”At the same time, Lott was particularly impressed by Wiggins, who had 26 points and 13 rebounds to lead Golden State on Monday. Lott thought back to 2020, when Wiggins joined the team through a midseason trade with Minnesota and no one knew whether he would have much of an impact. But sometimes a change of scenery can turn good players into indispensable ones.“I’m playing basketball, and I’m playing hard, and I feel like people respect that,” Wiggins said, adding: “There are just a lot of great people here — great people who challenge you and hold you accountable.”Lott has seen it happen. In 1981, Lott’s rookie year, the 49ers were coming off a lukewarm start to the season when the defensive end Fred Dean joined them following a contract dispute with the San Diego Chargers. With Dean wreaking havoc as a pass-rush specialist, the 49ers went on to win their first Super Bowl.Running back Walt Easley, left, and Lott, right, hugged 49ers Coach Bill Walsh after beating the Giants at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in November 1981.Carl Viti/Associated Press“When we got Fred Dean, everything got better,” Lott said. He drew a parallel to Wiggins: “He’s elevated his game and his effort. When you find a guy like that, you get the sense that, ‘Oh, this is what I’ve been waiting for all my life, to be in this environment, to be on this stage.’”Though he was a regular at Golden State’s early-round playoff games this season, Lott has not attended a finals game since 2016. It was in 2016, of course, that LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers stunned Golden State on the road in Game 7 of the finals to win the franchise’s first championship, after having trailed the series 3-1. The loss seemed to sting Lott nearly as much as it would have had he been in uniform.Since then, he has watched Golden State’s various finals appearances with his wife, Karen, from the safety and relative seclusion of his self-described “man cave.” It is better for everyone involved, he said. He knows it might sound strange, but nothing he does or says or feels in his basement can affect the game.“I don’t want them to lose,” he said, “and so I feel like the times that I’ve gone and they’ve lost — I just don’t like that feeling. And you don’t want to feel like you’re holding them back from anything.” More

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    The Boston Celtics Have Faced Elimination, but Not Like This

    The Celtics have drawn confidence from previous season-saving wins. But watching a championship trophy drift away is another challenge altogether.SAN FRANCISCO — Jayson Tatum offered a resigned chuckle when he was asked about the Boston Celtics’ confidence level after losing Game 5 of the N.B.A. finals.If any nihilistic thoughts tormented him after a game in which he scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a losing effort against Golden State, he suppressed them.“You better be confident, right?” Tatum said. “We ain’t got to win two in one day. We just got to win one game on Thursday. We’ve been in this situation before. So it’s not over. Got to win on Thursday.”The idea that Boston knows what to do when cornered in a playoff series has been repeated by the Celtics many times this postseason. They did it again Monday night after falling to a 3-2 series deficit in the N.B.A. finals, and now they face elimination on Thursday in Boston. But the assuredness with which they spoke in previous series was missing.For many reasons, the situation they find themselves in now is new territory and has left the Celtics searching for answers for how to recover in time for Game 6.“Our faith got to be at an all-time high,” Celtics guard Jaylen Brown said. “Our faith got to continue to be there. We got to play as a team, as a unit. All season long it’s kind of been like us versus everybody. I look at it as no different now.”Center Robert Williams said: “We have to look each other in the eye now. Our backs are up against the wall.”What’s familiar is that the Celtics are in an elimination game.They have played in three during this season’s playoffs and advanced by winning all of them.They were down 3-2 to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals, then won the next two games to reach the conference finals. There, the Miami Heat forced a Game 7, which Boston won, 100-96.Often it seemed the Celtics were making their own path harder than it needed to be, giving into lulls when they played in games that were not must-wins. They had an opportunity to finish their series against the Heat at home in six games but couldn’t. They gave up 47 points to Miami’s Jimmy Butler that night. They have been blown out by the same teams they have beat convincingly, suggesting a lack of focus.Their disregard has manifested through missteps like careless turnovers — the Celtics have given up 16.8 turnovers per game in each of their losses during the playoffs and only 12.8 in wins this postseason. They gave up 18 turnovers on Monday night.Their offense has gone stale at times, but their defense has helped save them.Before Game 5, Boston Coach Ime Udoka said the Celtics would have been 3-1 in the series if their offense had simply played better. Then they started Game 5 by missing their first 12 3-pointers.What’s changed now is that Golden State seems to have decoded the Celtics. Boston’s physicality no longer scares them. Shut down Stephen Curry? Golden State still won.The Celtics spent a lot of time complaining about fouls, called and uncalled, during Game 5.Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesFor most of the playoffs, each time Boston lost a game, it recovered in the next. Game 5 was the first time this postseason that the Celtics had lost twice in a row — the result of a disparity in poise and adaptability, with the young Boston team on the lower end.As the series has progressed, Golden State has seemed more and more ready to pounce on the Celtics’ weaknesses.Celtics forward Al Horford said he felt that his team was “almost playing into their hands, some of the things they want us to do, which is taking contested midrange shots and probably play a little faster than we want at times. I feel like that’s part of the reason our offense hasn’t been clicking like it needs to be.”In Game 5, the Celtics also fell victim to their frustrations with the officiating, which compounded their offensive struggles. The team complained and argued for most of the night.“Probably something we shouldn’t do as much, and we all did too much,” Udoka said.What’s also unfamiliar for the Celtics as they face elimination this time is the pressure that comes with this stage of the season.After Boston took a 2-1 lead in the series, all the talk of Golden State’s advantage in championship experience seemed nonsensical. It seemed, at the time, that the Celtics lost that one game only because they lost focus, as they sometimes do. It seemed, at that time, that Boston was too big, strong, athletic and young for Golden State’s experience to make much of a difference.But now the series has reached a point that these Celtics have never seen before.“We understand what we need to do,” Curry said. “It’s just about going out and executing, trying to bottle up your emotions, knowing how hard a closeout game is.”As Boston searches for answers, Golden State smells blood.Said Klay Thompson: “I’ve never been so excited to go to Boston, I’ll tell you that.” More

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    The Celtics Broadcaster Mike Gorman Hopes He Cheered a Championship Run

    Mike Gorman, who has done local play-by-play in Boston for more than 40 years, considered retiring. Staying on may have made him the soundtrack to a title team.To generations of Celtics fans, Mike Gorman is just as revered as many of the beloved Hall of Fame players who have taken the floor in Boston.Gorman has been the play-by-play broadcaster for the team since 1981, a steady and reliable voice documenting some of the team’s most memorable moments, from the rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s to the team’s resurrection in the late-2000s. He was there for the lean times, such as the Rick Pitino era of the 1990s and the death of Reggie Lewis in 1993. For almost 40 years, right beside him was Tommy Heinsohn, the Hall of Fame player and coach.Heinsohn and Gorman could not have been more different as voices. Heinsohn, as the color commentator, was a gregarious personality known for his vociferous criticism of referees who dared to make calls against the Celtics. Gorman is more reserved, raising his voice only for big shots with his catchphrases “Takes it. Makes it!” or “Got it!”After Heinsohn died in 2020, Gorman, a former Navy pilot from Dorchester, Mass., considered stepping away without the other half of “Mike and Tommy.” But Gorman stayed, in large part to see if he could be a part of another championship run.He may have gotten his wish. The Celtics have made an improbable run to the N.B.A. finals, where they are facing Golden State. Boston is down in the series, 3-2, and faces elimination in Game 6 on Thursday.Gorman, alongside Heinsohn’s successor, Brian Scalabrine, called games through the first round of the playoffs. (Under the N.B.A.’s television deals, only national networks broadcast playoff games after the first round.)In an interview with The New York Times about his career, Gorman, 74, said he most likely has two years left as the voice of the Celtics.“I want to go see the world,” Gorman said. “I want to go and do a lot of things that my wife and I made sacrifices to not do because of a basketball game conflict.”This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.What was it like to call this season, which may result in a championship, without Tommy next to you?I want to say there was a real void, because there was a real void. Scal had nothing to do with that. Scal couldn’t change that. Nobody could change that. Nobody was going to fill Tommy’s shoes and be able to instantly get the chemistry that Tommy and I had.The Boston Celtics broadcasters Tommy Heinsohn, left, and Gorman in 2011 as they celebrated 30 years on air together.Elise Amendola/Associated PressCalling all of these games without Tommy, No. 1 was I thought a lot about once he had passed away that maybe I should just quit, too, and just let the legacy be the two of us and not be anything else. But I could see promise with this team, and I think this team is ahead of schedule right now. But they have a chance to win one or two titles if they can keep this group together for an extended period of time.Why did you stick around?I could see this team had potential. It’s great to do a good team because when you do a good team, everyone thinks you’re a good broadcaster. When you’re a bad team, everyone thinks you’re a terrible broadcaster.What was it like being around the team in the first half of the season compared with the second half?Very different to be around the team, period, because of all the restrictions with Covid. And that really hurt, because what we had is when Brad [Stevens] left, a majority of his assistants left with him.So all of a sudden, there were a lot of guys out there that I have no relationship with. I had no relationship with Ime [Udoka]. I had no relationship with any of his assistant coaches. So it was very hard to get any kind of relationship. I would say there wasn’t much of, really, necessarily trying hard to befriend the players, but over the period of years, you have some guys you become friendly with. But you become friendly with them in hotel lobbies. That’s where relationships are made. So when I stopped doing the away games, as I did this past year because of the virus more than anything else, I didn’t see players at all.The season gets off to a difficult start. Was there any part of you that said, “I don’t want to do this anymore?”I started to have those thoughts when we had such a terrible start.Last year, you did something I’ve never seen you do, which was you publicly criticized the Celtics in a radio interview, particularly Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for playing too much as individuals instead of as a team. You said the team was “really sad to watch.” Now that they’re in the finals, how do you reflect on those comments now?I did them a favor, to be honest with you. Because I took the pressure off some of the other people who felt the same way within the organization that weren’t going to say anything.And then Marcus Smart comes out, and he says the same thing I did. And then to somebody in the hierarchy — I’ll just say, of the Celtics — I said: “Why are you guys so mad at me for what I said? It’s true.” And he said: “Oh, we know it’s true. We just wish that you hadn’t said it right now.” I could understand that. But I love the Celtics. The Celtics have been my life. However, I don’t work for the Celtics. I work for NBC.Gorman said he had made a lot of sacrifices to be available to call basketball games. Now he wants to see the world.Allison Dinner for The New York TimesWhat’s been your favorite Celtics season to call?2008. The one with [Paul] Pierce, [Ray] Allen and [Kevin] Garnett.Least favorite?A decade. Probably the ’90s, where we didn’t make the playoffs a whole bunch of years.What do you think Tommy Heinsohn would say about this year’s Celtics team?I think he’d be very proud of what they have done and how they turned things around. I think he would have been yelling at them before I was about not moving the ball and not doing some of the things that would make them a better team.I would see a player bring the ball across halfcourt and stop, and then all of a sudden, nobody is moving at all. Put on any game in November or December and look at five minutes. Now, put on a game from last week, and all of a sudden, the same players are crossing halfcourt with the ball, and guys are cutting. Guys are moving. Guys are setting screens. Everybody is in motion all the time. It’s just a completely different game. It’s day and night. More

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    Moscow Court Orders Brittney Griner Held in Jail for Another 18 Days

    A Russian court on Tuesday extended the pretrial detention of the W.N.B.A. basketball star Brittney Griner on drug smuggling charges until July 2, pushing her jail stint past the four month mark, according to the official state news agency TASS.The Khimki Court of the Moscow region granted the 18-day extension at the request of investigators, the agency quoted the court’s press service as saying. It is typical of Russian courts to extend detention repeatedly until trial. Ms. Griner’s lawyer, Aleksandr Boikov, could not immediately be reached for comment.The American basketball star was arrested four months ago after Russian officials said they found vape cartridges bearing traces of hash oil in her luggage while she was passing through Sheremetyevo Airport, Moscow’s main international airport. The charge carries a jail sentence of up to 10 years.Ms. Griner was arrested on Feb. 17, one week before Russia invaded Ukraine, but officials did not reveal that she had been detained until days after the war began, raising fears that she might be used as a bargaining chip in the overall crisis. There has been some speculation that once convicted, Ms. Griner might be part of a prisoner exchange with the United States.A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Ms. Griner plays for the Phoenix Mercury, and U.S. officials met with the team on Monday to discuss efforts to secure her release. In May, the State Department said it determined that Ms. Griner had been “wrongfully detained.”When she was taken into custody, Ms. Griner was returning to Russia to play for UMMC Ekaterinburg, a professional women’s basketball team. Many W.N.B.A. players supplement their incomes in the league’s off-season by playing internationally. More

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    Golden State Beat Celtics in Game 5, Moving 1 Win From N.B.A. Title

    Andrew Wiggins powered Golden State’s victory on an off night for Stephen Curry, who went 0 for 9 from 3-point range.SAN FRANCISCO — Golden State had been mucking up its offense for nearly the entire third quarter on Monday night when Andrew Wiggins pushed the ball ahead to Jordan Poole, a young guard with enormous confidence. Just before time expired, Poole launched a 3-pointer from 33 feet that banked off the glass before rattling through the hoop.The heave was a buzzer-beating breath of life for Golden State in Game 5 of the N.B.A. finals — and for the team’s white-knuckled fans, who rode waves of highs and lows before the Warriors pulled away for a 104-94 victory that put them on the cusp of another championship.Golden State, which took a 3-2 lead in the series, can clinch its fourth title in eight seasons, and its first since 2018, when the team goes on the road to face Boston in Game 6 on Thursday night.Wiggins led Golden State with 26 points, and Klay Thompson added 21. Jayson Tatum had a game-high 27 points for the Celtics in the loss.After a solid start, Golden State was leading by 12, but four Jaylen Brown free throws and back-to-back 3-pointers by Tatum gave the Celtics the first 10 points of the second half, a surprising turn of events given Golden State’s famously torrid third quarters. The Celtics soon took the lead when Marcus Smart and Al Horford connected on consecutive 3-pointers of their own, part of a 19-4 run.Golden State missed its first eight 3-point attempts of the second half before Thompson finally made a couple, a much-needed boost for Golden State — and for Thompson, who had been having his share of struggles in the series.After Poole punctuated the third quarter with his deep 3-pointer, a shot that had the home crowd at Chase Center in a state of near-delirium, his teammates seemed to ride that crest of emotion. By the time Thompson shed Smart to make another 3-pointer, Golden State was back up by 8 points.After scoring 43 points in Golden State’s Game 4 win, Stephen Curry had a muted effort in Game 5, finishing with just 16 points and shooting 0 of 9 from 3-point range. But his teammates delivered. Golden State appeared locked in from the start, passing the ball from side to side, from corner to corner, in constant pursuit of the best possible shot. Not that the team was always able to connect, shooting 3 of 17 from 3-point range in the first half.Still, Golden State went ahead by as many as 16 late in the first quarter before Boston began to chip away with Curry resting on the bench. Smart sank a 10-foot jumper. Robert Williams forced his way inside for a layup.Golden State recalibrated as Curry secured a 51-39 lead at halftime with an up-and-under layup.Draymond Green fouled out in the fourth quarter, but his energy on offense and defense was significant in Golden State’s victory.Cary Edmondson/USA Today Sports, via ReutersIn the first half, Golden State was buoyed by Wiggins, who had 16 points and 7 rebounds, and by Draymond Green, who assembled one of his more assertive stretches of the finals. In the first four games of the series, he scored a total of 17 points. By halftime of Game 5, he had 8 points and was flying around the court.Tatum, after laboring with his shot for much of the series, was doing what he could to keep the Celtics close, collecting 13 points and 8 rebounds in the first half.Before the game, Celtics Coach Ime Udoka expressed concern that Tatum had been preoccupied with hunting for fouls rather than taking good shots. Udoka wanted him to be “more physical” on his drives.“A lot of times he’s kind of floating, going off one leg, when he can plant and go off two, finish a little stronger,” Udoka said, adding: “We’re just telling him to be decisive. He’s done it all year, seen every coverage, and for the most part has kind of picked those apart.”For Golden State Coach Steve Kerr, Monday was the 25th anniversary of a poignant moment from his playing career. It was Kerr’s jump shot in Game 6 of the 1997 finals that clinched another championship for the Chicago Bulls — their fifth of the Michael Jordan era — against the Utah Jazz.“Something every young basketball player dreams of,” he said, adding: “The finals are the finals, whether you’re playing or coaching. It’s the ultimate competition in the world of basketball.” More