Inside the Finals: Celtics fit to be tied, Steph raining 3s

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The NBA Finals are tied 2-2. If this sounds familiar to Boston Celtics fans, it should.

For whatever reason, when the Celtics reach the NBA Finals, 2-2 ties seem normal. And that’s where they are now, tied tightly to face the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of this year’s series on Monday night.

This marks the 13th time in Boston’s 22 appearances in the title series that they have come to a 2-2 Game 5 draw. In the previous 12 such situations, Boston has won the title nine times—but not in 1985 and 2010, the last two times the Celtics were involved in a four-game tie final.

A 2-2 draw in the final is a rarity for the Warriors. This is only the second 2-2 draw in the franchise’s 12 finals; the other was in 2015 when Golden State won Game 4 in Cleveland and then clinched the title in six games.

Warriors guard Stephen Curry’s 137 points so far in this series is the most in four games of any NBA Finals, as Kevin Durant also had 137 for the Warriors at this point in 2017.

Curry has 25 3-pointers so far, the most in four games of a final. There have been seven instances where a player had at least 15 3s in the first four games of a final – Curry accounts for six of those, Danny Green (17 in 2013) for the other. Curry had the most in four games, 22 in 2018.

He had 17 3s in four games in the 2016 and 2017 finals and 15 3s in four games in the 2015 and 2019 finals.

Curry holds the record for most 3-pointers in a Finals, up from 32 in 2016. He’s on track to break it whether that streak lasts six or seven games.

The Celtics will set an NBA record with their first 3-pointer in Game 5 of the finals. It will be their 307th of the playoffs, the most by any team in a single postseason.

They currently share that record of 306 with the Warriors from 2016.

This season’s Warriors have up to 280 3s in these playoffs. That’s already the fifth-best in a postseason, behind 2016 Warriors, this year’s Celtics, 2019 Toronto Raptors (286), and this year’s Dallas Mavericks (284).

The Warriors have a chance to set the mark for most 3-pointers in an entire season, including the playoffs. They’ve made 1,456 this season, 39 shy of the Houston Rockets’ 2018-19 record.

Every game in this series was decided by at least 10 points. It’s the first time since the Golden State-Cleveland series in 2016 that the first four games of an NBA Finals have been in double digits — when the first six games were.

Before that, in 2005, the San Antonio-Detroit series didn’t have a single-digit lead in the first four finals games.

Golden State has decided nine of its last 11 games by at least 10 points. The two exceptions just missed; both were nine-point games.

Depending on whether that series is six or seven games, Boston will play either 106 or 107 games this season.

That will be record breaking.

The 2007-08 Celtics played 108 games, which is the most of any team in an NBA season. The 2004-05 Detroit Pistons and the 1994-95 New York Knicks played 107, placing second most.

Golden State plays either 104 or 105; If the Finals spans seven games, the 105-game season will be the second-longest in Warriors history. The 2015-16 Warriors played 106 games.

The Warriors regained home field advantage in these NBA Finals by winning Game 4 in Boston.

It is still unclear whether this still plays a role.

Regardless of what happens in the rest of the finals, this season will end with teams winning at home less than 55% of the time.

It will be the second-lowest home win rate in all of NBA history, anywhere from 54.7% to 54.9% depending on how the last two or three games of the series end.

It’s also a trend now, although the arenas were once again filled with screaming fans this season. The two lowest home win rates have been recorded over the last two seasons: 54.65% in 2020-21 (when, in fairness, many arenas were empty for much of the regular season because of the pandemic) and 55.1% in 2019-20 (excluding games played in the bubble).

Warriors guard Klay Thompson has 99 3-pointers in Finals games, two fewer than LeBron James at No. 2 on the all-time list.

The record, as you might expect, belongs to Stephen Curry. He’s up to 146 3s in finals games and counting.

After Curry, James and Thompson, no one in NBA history has surpassed 59 — the totals equaled by Danny Green and JR Smith.

The NBA’s playoff pool — the bonus money shared between postseason teams — was $17.3 million this season. Roughly half of that will go to the Celtics and Warriors to be shared among players and staff as they see fit.

If the Celtics win the Finals, they will receive a total of $4,490,613 from the playoff pool. If they lose the series, they get $3,455,946.

If the Warriors win the title, they will receive $4,403,194. If they lose in the final, they will receive $3,368,527.

The payouts are slightly higher for the Celtics because one of the factors in determining how much a team gets from the pool is based on seeding. The Celtics will get $349,660 for being the No. 2. The Warriors will be paid $262,241 for being seeded 3rd.

Both teams received $258,449 for entering the first round, $307,520 for making the conference semifinals, and $508,174 for making the conference finals.

Final payouts are $3,066,810 for the winning team and $2,032,143 for the losing team.

Among non-final teams, Miami ($1,511,221) received the largest payout, followed by Phoenix ($1,502,472).

The minimum payout for playoff teams this season was $258,449.

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