The Boston Celtics host the Golden State Warriors trailing 3-2 in the NBA Finals, forcing a must-win scenario for the Celtics.
Golden State pulled out a victory on Monday night in the Bay Area to take advantage in the series. If Boston is able to pull out a victory in Game 6, the series will return to San Francisco for a decisive Game 7 on Sunday, June 19th.
Thursday’s contest tips off at 9 p.m. EST inside TD Garden in Boston, MA. The Celtics are a four-point home favorite, and the over-under total is 210 points.
What to Know – Golden State Warriors
Golden State is on its win away from securing the franchise’s seventh NBA Title and fourth under head coach Steve Kerr. The Warriors, led by the scoring duo of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, have been with Golden State since their championship run began in 2015.
Curry leads the Warriors’ offense, averaging 27.0 points per game through the playoffs. The sharp-shooter is connecting on 39% of his attempts from beyond the arc. Thompson (19.4 ppg), Jordan Poole (17.0 ppg), and Andrew Wiggins (16.4 ppg) have stepped up at different times during the postseason to be a complementary scorer to Curry.
The Warriors average 112.3 points per game during the playoffs, hitting 48.4% of their shots from the field and 37.3% from the 3-point line.
Golden State’s defense surrenders 105.5 points per game, 43.8% shooting from the floor and 33.9% from beyond the arc.
What to Know – Boston Celtics
The Celtics face elimination again this postseason, something they are very familiar with during their playoff run. Boston had to win games six and seven to move on past Milwaukee and knocked off Miami in Game 7. The Celtics lost consecutive games for the first time since the end of March.
All year its been the scoring duo of Jayson Tatum (26.2 ppg) and Jaylen Brown (22.6 ppg), pacing the offensive output of the Celtics. Either Tatum or Brown have led Boston in scoring in all but two games this postseason. When those two are pouring in buckets, Marcus Smart (15.8 ppg) and the veteran Al Horford (11.7 ppg) have been there when called on.
Boston’s offense scores 106.2 points per game in the postseason, connecting on 45.0% of its shots from the floor and 37.3% from three. The Celtics’ defense allows opponents to average 104.5 points per game, 43.4% shooting from the field and 33.9% from deep.
The Pick is In
An elimination game is nothing new for these Celtics this postseason, Boston becoming just the 12th team in playoff history to go to back-to-back Game 7’s in consecutive rounds. Golden State has been within a game of clinching the NBA title in three of its last five trips to the Finals.
The Celtics can lean on past experiences the reduce the pressure of an elimination game and give their fans something to cheer for. Golden State is 2-6 ATS over its previous eight games on the road, and that trend continues Thursday.
Betting Pick: Boston Celtics -4