Streaky Celtics hit cold spot at bad time in Game 5 loss

The Celtics committed 18 turnovers in Game 5 and made just four shots in the fourth quarter.

The Boston Celtics couldn’t make a 3-pointer to start the game and found themselves in a deep hole. Then they couldn’t miss and turned the game around.

But when the outside shooting failed them down the stretch, the Celtics had no answer against the Golden State Warriors and now head home on the brink of elimination following a 104-94 loss in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night.

“For us, it’s really about consistency,” coach Ime Udoka said. “That’s the thing we’re not having throughout a full game, is consistent efforts, sustained effort, more so offensively than anything.

That’s the part where we got to have carryover not only game to game but quarter to quarter, where we saw it happened in the third but not the fourth.”

The Celtics went on an outside shooting rollercoaster ride never seen before in the NBA Finals, becoming the first team ever to miss its first 12 shots from long range and then the first team to make eight straight from 3, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

They then missed seven straight down the stretch and head back home for Game 6 on Thursday night after first back-to-back losses this postseason.

“I think definitely we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be during times there,” Al Horford said. “Just tough. Definitely now, our backs are against the wall, and we have to see what we’re made of.”

The Celtics will look to turn things around and force a decisive seventh game on Sunday back in San Francisco but will need much more consistency from 3.

The scoreboard mirrored Boston’s outside shooting as the Celtics fell behind 16 points early when they couldn’t make a 3 and then turned things around after Jayson Tatum and Horford made back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the second quarter.

Marcus Smart added another one and then Boston made its first five 3-pointers in the third quarter — including three from Tatum — and led 66-61 after a three-point play from Grant Williams.