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Ime Udoka identifies Celtics’ big issue at end of Game 4 loss

Ime Udoka coaching the Celtics

Mar 23, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka watches from the sideline as they take on the Utah Jazz in the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics scored just three points during the final five minutes of Friday’s 107-97 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Head coach Ime Udoka was not pleased with his team’s finish and offensive performance in general.

After the game, Udoka was asked by Celtics sideline reporter Abby Chin why his team struggled to score in the final minutes.

“[We had] some poor offensive possessions where the ball didn’t get moving,” Udoka said. “We got a little iso-heavy at the end there. Credit to [the Warriors]. They stepped up defensively. If our offense is as sharp as it needs to be, we’re walking out with a win.”

The iso-heavy offense hurt the Celtics.

Boston’s uninspiring end to the fourth quarter was surprising given the fourth quarter success they had over the first three games of the series. Boston had outscored the Warriors in the fourth quarter by a combined 40 points entering Game 4. In Games 1 through 3, Boston had scored 40, 24 and 23 fourth-quarter points, but had just 19 in Game 4. For perspective, Steph Curry alone had 10 fourth-quarter points on Friday.

Boston’s stars were noticeably quiet during the fourth quarter. Jayson Tatum scored a team-high 23 points, but only had two points in the fourth. Jaylen Brown had just six points in the quarter and 21 overall.

Another similar effort in Game 5 on Monday could have them facing elimination in Game 6.


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