Issued on: 06/15/2022 – 22:52
Boston (AFP) – Boston have their backs to the wall going into game six of the NBA Finals, but Celtics star Jaylen Brown vowed they won’t back down against the Golden State Warriors.
“We look forward to the challenge,” Brown said on Wednesday. “We have to accept it. There is no other way. The last game on our home floor to embody our entire season.
“We want to give everything we have. We’re not afraid. We’re not afraid of the Golden State Warriors. We want to come out and play the best version of basketball we can.”
The Warriors took one win away from their fourth title in eight years with a 104-94 win in game five on Monday in San Francisco.
Warriors star Stephen Curry had a rare night off, but former No. 1 draft pick Andrew Wiggins made it big at both ends of the court, pouring in 26 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and coming up with two steals and a block, as Golden State won a 3-2 series lead.
The Celtics, meanwhile, have churned out 18 turnovers, which they can’t afford on Thursday if they’re looking to force a crucial seventh game in California.
Brown said Boston’s bumpy start to the season will now benefit the team as they try to recover from back-to-back losses.
“Everything has been a learning experience,” Brown said of a season in which the Celtics languished under .500 at halftime.
“We wear everything we’ve learned this year as a badge of honor,” Brown said. “We’re not going to let it go. We’re fighting back. We’ve been able to react well all year.”
Teammate Marcus Smart, Defensive Player of the Year, echoed those sentiments.
“We were kind of forced to play with our backs to the wall,” Smart said. “We’ve really gotten used to it where it kind of belongs to us, in our nature. It’s nothing new to us. It’s a different game. It’s another tough game.”
Smart said it doesn’t take a revolutionary plan to stop Curry and Co., just great attention to detail.
“We all know that in this run and in this game when you’re up against some of the all-time greats, the margin of error is very small,” he said.
While the Celtics are chasing a record-breaking 18th NBA title for the franchise, none of the current players had previously appeared in the Finals.
Still, Brown said there’s no doubt among the Celtics they can force Game Seven.
“We have all the faith in ourselves,” he said. “We’re going to come out and leave everything out there. That is the whole intention.”
© 2022 AFP