#Celtics #resist #3rd #quarter #Warriors #win #Game
Boston entered the game as expected, carried by a seething TD Garden. They outplayed the Warriors at their own game dominating the key (52-26), offensive rebounding (15-6) and second chances (22-11). Regardless, a “Splash Brothers” fest allowed the Warriors to believe in the third quarter before Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum responded with authority. As before Game 2, Golden State finds itself with its back to the wall, but this time on enemy soil and with Stephen Curry suffering from his left leg after contact with Al Horford in the fourth quarter.
Back on their floor, the Celtics hit hard from the start. They start the game at 3/4 from 3, being much more disciplined than they were in Game 2 on their spacing and each player’s positioning to make the Golden State defense pay. Boston also targets Stephen Curry in one-on-one with his back to the basket and the latter receives two quick fouls. Dominated in intensity but also in concentration, the Warriors rush in attack and chain errors in defense. Thanks to 17 points from Jaylen Brown, the Celtics are up to 15 points ahead, before five points from Klay Thompson limit the break (33-22).
The “Splash Brother” confirms his awakening by scoring seven points to keep Golden State on the prowl but Golden State’s defense continues to suffer from the relentless onslaught of the Celtics. If the Warriors help, Boston punishes from afar. If they don’t help, the C’s end up in the circle. Like a Jayson Tatum who is all the rage in both sectors, the Celtics confirm that they are taking a 17-point lead (56-39).
However, two missed free throws by Al Horford, a missed layup by Jayson Tatum and a fumble by Marcus Smart gave the Warriors a 10-0 lead in 60 seconds thanks to two winning threes by Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, and a dunk. Andrew Wiggins (56-49). A 2 + 1 from Derrick White, however, allows Boston to raise its head. They benefited from a Draymond Green fumble that should have kept the Warriors at -8, but at halftime it was the Celtics who kept the momentum going (68-56).
The Warriors do it twice but continue to dominate the 3rd quarter
Two winning shots by Stephen Curry take Golden State to -8 and send chills down the spine of the TD Garden (72-64). Will we witness a new dominance of the 3rd quarter by the Warriors? However, Steve Kerr’s men turn the stick again to be hit. Stephen Curry commits his fourth foul on Marcus Smart on the 3-pointer. The Boston leader keeps causing a turnover and the Warriors forget to back up as Jaylen Brown goes in for a dunk. Everything is to be redone for Golden State (77-64).
However, the Warriors are not giving up. His defense raises the tone and Stephen Curry’s hot hand turns scalding. The two-time MVP adds a third 3-point shot, with a flagrant foul as a bonus as Al Horford prevented him from landing cleanly. Curry converts the free throw and Golden State retains possession that ends with another winning shot, this time from Otto Porter Jr. In the process, Curry hits the target again from long range to finish off an 11-0 that puts the Warriors in front. (83-82)! Then it takes a big 3-pointer from Marcus Smart to stop the bleeding before six points and two assists from Jayson Tatum put the Celtics (93-89) back on track.
Boston takes advantage of this good passage to dictate its law during the first three minutes of the last quarter. They forced three turnovers, grabbed two offensive rebounds, and the Smart-Tatum duo launched a 9-2 run that put Golden State back on the ropes (102-91).
The Warriors will not be able to re-enter. They keep turning the ball over to Boston’s aggressive defense and dropping offensive rebounds. As the Dubs run again, Jayson Tatum meticulously attacks the circle and the Celtics race to a well-deserved victory. Therefore, they regain the upper hand in these Finals and will have a golden opportunity to take the break on Friday at the TD Garden!
WHAT TO REMEMBER
– Boston finally pressures the opposing circle. While the Celtics had finished the first two games of this final with the fewest points in the bracket in Finals history, they turned the tide to start this third game. Buoyed by their fans, Brown, Tatum and Smart attacked the circle relentlessly, overcoming Golden State’s overly rough defensive rotations. However, Boston has changed its way of attacking the circle. They targeted Stephen Curry in the low post and were much more aggressive than they were in the first two games on the offensive rebound. At halftime, Boston led 32-16 in the key, 16/22 in shots, and added 13 points in their 8 offensive rebounds. This attack from the circle also resulted in open 3s for Boston.
– The “Splash Brothers” relaunch the game. All of the Warriors’ opponents had a chance to watch Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson go up in flames on the field in front of their home crowd. Boston was no exception to the rule. The two gunmen blew up the Celtics’ defense in the third quarter. It was Curry who struck first, scoring his first three attempts from long range, before adding a shot from midrange and a fourth flag to put the Warriors ahead. Klay Thompson took over to prevent Boston from recreating the gap late in the third quarter. Between them, they scored 25 of Golden State’s 33 points on 8/13 shooting, including 6/9 from 3-point range.
– The Celtics respond like a boss. After Stephen Curry’s 3-pointer put the Warriors ahead with just under four minutes left, the Celtics could have imploded. On the contrary, they accepted this challenge. Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum not only stopped the bleeding, but also stopped their opponent’s rhythm. They continued strong in the fourth quarter, scoring 16 of their team’s 23 points. The Celtics also finished the game the way they started it, with much more intensity, determination and focus than the Warriors. While Golden State had 9 turnovers in the first three quarters, it had 8 turnovers in the fourth quarter due to defensive pressure from Boston. As a symbol of that extra will, the Celtics also grabbed 4 offensive rebounds that hurt Golden State’s morale.
Jayson Tatum. The leader of the Celtics took responsibility at the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth to stop the “momentum” of the Warriors and give the victory to his team. He finished with 26 points, 9/23 shooting, 9 assists, 6 rebounds.
✅Smart Marcus. After turning over 5 turnovers in the first three quarters, Marcus Smart came to support Tatum after the Warriors woke up to reverse the trend. He finished with 24 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.
✅Jaylen Brown. As in Game 2, it set the tone for Boston. He scored 22 of his 27 points in the first half and was decisive on defense late in the game. He also had 9 rebounds and 5 assists.
✅ Robert Williams. Still on one leg, the Celtics center was fundamental tonight. He finished as the game’s leading rebounder (10) and managed the pick & roll better against Stephen Curry.
✅ Stephen Curry-Klay Thompson. The “Splash Brothers” scored between them 56 points, including 11 prize shots, to limit the break in the first half, before making their effort in the third quarter. However, they only scored 2 points in the fourth quarter.
⛔Draymond Green-Kevon Looney. The Golden State interior pair have been under fire all night. Kevon Looney only played 17 minutes and lost his duel with Robert Williams, while Draymond Green finished with 2 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 6 personal fouls.
Game 4: Friday night through Saturday in Boston.