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NBA Finals: Warriors rely on history to shut down Celtics

Stephen Curry and the Warriors have come close to winning the championship in three of Golden State’s five previous NBA Finals trips in his 13-year NBA career.

Curry says that after coming back again with a 3-2 series lead over the Celtics, he will build on that experience when he hits the court at Boston’s TD Garden on Thursday night.

“You just understand what nerves are,” Curry said. “After all, once you get there, you just have to be in the moment. You should be present as much as possible without worrying about the consequences of winning or losing. The only opportunity you have is these 48 minutes.”

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The core of the Warriors in Curry, Clay Thompson and Draymond Green still exists after the 2015 championship. They are on the verge of winning their fourth title in eight seasons with new players on the court like Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Pool who have never been in the position.

Curry’s advice to them: Lie to yourself a little.

Warriors vs. Celtics Game 5: Thompson and Wiggins help Warriors lead 3-2

“The more you can trick your mind into being in the present moment and staying in it, that’s the best advice I can give anyone in a situation like this,” he said. “Because it’s going to be the hardest game you’ve probably ever played in your career because of what the stakes are.”

The stakes will be just as high for the Celtics, who have allowed the turnover demons that have plagued them throughout the postseason to prevent them from taking a 3-1 series lead.

Boston limited Curry to his lowest finish in the Game 5 Finals, but could not overcome 18 losses. The Celtics have fallen to 1-7 this postseason with 16 or more turnovers and lost consecutive games for the first time since late March.

But they have a chance to force Game 7 – and that chance comes in the Garden, where they are 6-5 in the playoffs.

The mood at the end of Wednesday’s practice was relaxed, with the players smiling and joking as they took a few shots. Celtics star Jason Tatum said the optimism comes from the team’s recent playoff history.

Boston’s path to the Finals included Game 7 victories over Milwaukee in the second round and over Miami in the Conference Finals. The Celtics advanced to the Finals as the 12th team in league history to win a 7th consecutive game in the previous rounds.

“At times like this, we just responded. I don’t know exactly what it is, but I think it’s just our will to win, just trying to figure it out,” Tatum said. “I think my thought process, like in that game, game 7 against the Heat, was just to do my best to win.”

Stephen Curry is the clear favorite for Finals MVP

That, as well as a reminder to myself and teammates that basketball has yet to be played.

“It’s first at four. It’s not over yet,” Tatum said. “So while it’s not over yet, you have a chance.

MY BALL

Tatum and Green had one of their most memorable moments in Game 5 when Tatum refused to let Green take the ball from him as he walked to the bench during a timeout.

This game was an example of the heading that Green tried to play against the young Celtics throughout the Finals.

On Wednesday, Tatum held a basketball in his hands throughout his press conference. The reporter asked him if he kept it away from Green.

— Oh, how are these days? Tatum asked. “Yes, that’s my ball.”

STOP TALKING

One thing that Celtics coach Ime Udoka wants to get rid of ahead of Game 6 is that his team is complaining about calls to the umpires.

Boston picked up a couple of technical fouls in the loss – one in the first quarter from Udoka and another from Marcus Smart early in the fourth. Smart’s technical hit was immediately followed by a offensive foul against him that resulted in a Golden State three-pointer.

“I think there was too much talk from time to time. It feels like after fouls or dead balls, free throws, timeouts, someone is talking to the referee,” said Udoka. “We have to spend our energy on the game and everything else that goes on between them, except for the referees.”

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