Andrew Wiggins churned out a monumental performance to help the Golden State Warriors to a 3-2 lead in the NBA Finals on Monday night and he was all smiles in his postgame press conference.
Wiggins dropped 26 points and snatched 13 rebounds in the crucial victory against the Boston Celtics, picking up the slack during a rare off-night or Stephen Curry. He also had a dagger dunk in the fourth quarter that had the Chase Center crowd going crazy.
“It’s something I dreamt about for sure, being in the league, and this is the ultimate stage,” Wiggins told reporters after Game 5. “It doesn’t get bigger than this. I was out there being aggressive. It was a good game.”
Wiggins has carved out a role with the Warriors and has grown leaps and bounds as an all-around player since landing in the Bay Area via a 2019 trade.
“There are just a lot of great people here. Great people here that challenge you,” Wiggins said. “They hold you accountable. The support system, everyone on this team, this organization, they support you and they want to see you do good, and they put you in a position to do good.”
Andrew Wiggins Talking Pride in Rebounding, Defense
Wiggins is averaging 18.4 points and a whopping 9.4 rebounds in the Finals — more than double the boards he averaged during the regular season. He’s also played a key role on the defensive end, often having to keep an eye on Celtics star Jayson Tatum.
“I think it’s just, you know, staying active. You know, staying — asserting yourself, even when you’re tired or just finding reasons to motivate yourself to win, and I feel like it’s just a competitive spirit in me,” Wiggins said of his amped up defensive effort. “I love guarding every team’s best player. I know it’s huge. It’s going to help win games, and it’s something I look forward to.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr credited Wiggins for adapting and filling the role that’s needed for Golden State.
“I think throughout the playoffs, really, he’s rebounded well,” Kerr told reporters. “I think it’s just a sense of what’s needed and being on this team, where he’s got veteran guys who are helping him to understand what we need from him, and he’s just using his athleticism in a lot of different ways. He’s just been fantastic, not just in this series but throughout the playoffs.”
Steph Curry Thankful For Teammates Stepping Up
Curry had been on absolute fire heading into Game 5 but never found his rhythm in the crucial content. Luckily, he had Wiggins and others step up to fill the void.
“The fact everybody stepped up — Wiggs, [Jordan Poole], Klay hit some big shots; Draymond found his life and his spirit and the way he impacts the game,” Curry said. “We could withstand going 9-for-40 as a team and me 0-for-9, and still come away with a win.”
The series heads back to Boston for Game 6 and the Warriors can clinch their fourth title of this dynastic run. Curry is eager to get back on track with the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy in the building.
“Obviously, track record says I shoot the ball better the next game,” Curry said. “Looking forward to that bounce-back.”
Game 6 between the Celtics and Warriors is scheduled for Thursday at TD Garden.