The Boston Celtics have not lost two games in a row since March, are still in the regular season, and once again showed why on Wednesday night. Strength and physical play were crucial to the 116-100 win over the Golden State Warriors in Game Three of the NBA Finals. With the score at home, Boston made it 2-1 and two wins away from the title, which they have not won since 2008.
Jaylene Brown (27 points), Jason Tatum (26) and Marcus Smart (24) led the attack, and defensive power limited the Warriors—the most efficient offensive system in playoffs—to 100 points. The team took the lead in the first half and watched the classic Warriors reaction in the third quarter. But he resumed the rhythm in the last part and only allowed 11 points from the opponent in the last 12 minutes.
Jason Tatum climbs to the basket (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA Today Sports
The Celtics scored 52 points in the pass, compared to 26 for Golden State. They took 15 offensive rebounds for 6, making them 22 for 11 in second chances. In total, there were 58 rebounds against 39 in favor of the landlords. Visitors also made more sales (16 to 12) due to tough tags.
Stephen Curry scored 31 points, 15 of them in the third game, but managed only two passes. The star led the comeback at the return of the first half, after losing 18 points in the second quarter, but he scored only 2 in the latter part. In the final minutes, Curry left the field with a leg injury after falling with Al Horford. He will be checked on Thursday but said after the match that he is fine.
Klay Thompson also had a good offensive performance with 25 points. Andrew Wiggins scored 18 goals with 7 rebounds. Draymond Green was the disappointment of the night. The Celtics have dominated the emotional and physical play of the Warriors from start to finish. He finished with 2 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and was eliminated for a foul again. The experienced Golden State team’s chance of redeeming is Friday at 10 p.m. at Game 4, also in Boston.
|splatter||bounces||help||theft||stumps||Court use||use three||free throws|
Stephen Curry climbs into the basket – Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Golden State Warriors
|splatter||bounces||help||theft||stumps||field shots||three shots||free throws|
|Boston Celtics||Golden State Warriors|
|field shots||43/89 (48.3%)||36/78 (46.2%)|
|three shots||13/35 (37.1%)||15/40 (37.5%)|
|free throws||17/24 (70.8%)||13/15 (86.7%)|
|Points resulting from transformations||17||19|
|points in the bottle||52||26|
|Second Chance Points||22||11|
Scoring chart – Photo: NBA
First period – Celtics 33 to 22: Jaylen Brown completely dominated the first quarter with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in 12 minutes. The Celtics opened 15 points by dominating the paint (14 points at 6, 20 rebounds at 8) and on the periphery (4 of 10 for 2 out of 10). Curry made two mistakes and left the field with 7 points, the same as Horford’s.
Second period – Celtics 35 to 34: Golden State’s attack woke up in the second half, but Boston continued the avalanche without much resistance. The host team finished the first half with 27 out of 47 on the field (57.4%), as well as 8 out of 18 on the field (44.4%). Golden State scored 20 out of 41 (48.8%) and 7 out of 19 (36.8%).
Boston continued to dominate the edge in the partial (18-10), with a much more physical match than the Warriors. Jaylen reached 22 points. The other baskets were Tatum (11) and Smart (10). On the flip side, Thompson had 15. Curry already had 14 and Wiggins, 13. He scored from 68 to 56 in the first half.
Jason Tatum vs Warriors defense – Photo: Elsa/Getty Images
Third Period – Warriors from 33 to 25: Curry scored 15 points in the third inning for a total of 29, and Golden State returned to the game. The score was 7 points for the team in one shot: three pointers and a blatant landing foul by Curry, plus a triple pointer for Otto Porter. The Warriors’ historical intensity was repeated in the third quarter – and so it was throughout the Finals. Score from 93 to 89.
Fourth Quarter – Celtics 11-23: Golden State couldn’t match the intensity of the Celtics in the last quarter, when they scored just 11 points. Draymond Green, on a less than critical night, was eliminated from the match by a 4-minute lead over the clock. Stephen Curry also injured his leg in a fall with Al Horford. Boston reaches the second victory. Only two wins left for the title.
Game 1 (02/06): Golden State 108 x 120 Boston
Match 2 (06/05): Golden State 107 x 88 Boston
The third match (06/08): Boston 116 x 100 Golden State
Game 4 (10/06): Boston – Golden State at 10 pm
Game 5 (06/13): Golden State vs Boston, 10 p.m.
Match 6 (6/16): Boston v Golden State at 10pm (if required)
Match 7 (6/19): Golden State v Boston at 9 pm (if necessary)
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