A beast has awakened that appears ready to vanquish its foes from Boston come Thursday night.
That beast is the 2022 Golden State Warriors, who have captured two straight wins by 10 points apiece over the Celtics, en route to a 3-2 NBA Finals lead.
The Warriors' latest conquest came Monday, a 104-94 victory that moved them within a win of the franchise’s seventh NBA title.
Golden State’s latest victory came about largely on defense, where it stymied the Celtics’ breakneck pace, holding them to 41.3% shooting (and 34.4% from behind the arc).
It was a night where former No. 1 pick-turned-castaway Andrew Wiggins asserted his newfound confidence — leading all Warriors with 26 points on 12-of-23 shooting.
Mostly, it was a night where the longstanding NBA favorites assuaged any fears they’d let another NBA title slip from their grasp, as more than 82% of Game 5 winners have gone on to capture that series.
Monday’s stage certainly didn’t seem too grandiose for a team that has won three rings since 2015, with the ringmaster of that run saying as much to members of the media postgame.
“Bottom line is he’s just having fun playing basketball,” Curry said of Wiggins.
It’s hard to argue with that simple statement, as Curry and the Warriors are now a win away from bringing the Larry O’Brien Trophy back to San Francisco.
First, they’ll have to beat Boston on the road, in a game that tips off at 6 p.m. Pacific time Thursday.
There is no legal California sports wagering.
But two different sports betting initiatives will go before voters in November.
NBA Finals Schedule
- Game 1: Boston 120, Golden State 108
- Game 2: Golden State 107, Boston 88
- Game 3: Boston 116, Golden State 100
- Game 4: Golden State 107, Boston 97
- Game 5: Golden State 104, Boston 94 (Warriors lead 3-2).
- Game 6: Thursday at Boston, 6 p.m., ABC
- Game 7: Sunday at Golden State, 5 p.m., ABC (if nec.)
Warriors Slight Road Underdogs in Game 6
Oddsmakers have two beliefs about Golden State.
One is the Warriors are on a collision course with history, as at least four major sportsbooks have Golden State as a sizable favorite to win the 2022 title.
The other is the 2022 NBA Finals are destined to go to Game 7, as the sites all list Boston as a favorite in Thursday’s Game 6.
To that point, the Warriors enter Game 6 as a 3.5-point underdog on BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook, echoing the operators’ lines in Game 4, when the teams last met in Boston.
BetMGM had Golden State at +3.5 for Game 4, which the Warriors went on to win, 107-97.
Steve Kerr’s squad will look to turn the tables on oddsmakers once again Thursday.
Golden State Expands NBA Title Odds Lead
The Warriors have expanded their already massive odds lead in the NBA Finals on BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook.
Golden State has gone from -150 on BetMGM ahead of Game 5 to -400, while improving their odds from -140 to -390 on Caesars Sportsbook.