Boston – It was only the second quarter, but the Celtics’ Jason Tatum seemed determined to rely on the topic as he saw the opportunity Wednesday night. He took a heavy dribbling with Stephen Carr, spun to his right and went straight into the lane before Leiap leaned on his little guard.
The Celtics wanted to see the basket in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. So they used their size on various members of the Golden State Warriors in the low post and outside of dribbling. They were trying to run. Sunk. Short jumpers were dropped from the glass.
In the process, Boston escaped a run in one of Golden State’s characteristic third quarters to escape TD Garden with a 116-100 win and a 2-1 lead in the series. The 4th game will be held in Boston on Friday.
The Celtics, who opened the fourth quarter by creating a healthy pillow, were led by Jalen Brown, who had 27 points and 9 rebounds. Tatum had 26 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds, while Marcus Smart finished with 24 points. Cary had 31 points in the loss, while Clay Thompson had 25. The Celtics did the most damage in the colors, where they beat Golden State 52-26.
After the first two games were in San Francisco, the series moved to Boston, a suitable place for the finals as the league celebrates its last flashes on its 75th anniversary. The Celtics are pursuing the 18th championship, while Golden State is competing in the sixth final in eight seasons.
The league’s two original franchises, the Celtics and the Warriors, now reflect each other in a significant other way: both lists were mostly elaborate. And while Boston is making its first final since 2010, Celtics coach Ime Udoka said he hoped to emulate Golden State’s long-term success.
“This is a model of what we want to do here,” Udoka said.
The Celtics, who lost their second game on Sunday, have not lost a game in a row this post-season. Ahead of Wednesday’s game, Udoka named his team’s endurance.
“I think we’ve moved on quite quickly,” he said, “and we’ve kind of attacked areas that we’ve done badly and we’ve been trying to improve them. ‘
About an hour and a half before Game 3, when some Golden State players were on the court for individual warm-ups, reserve defender Gary Peyton II noticed that one of the rings looked a bit off. He was right: it was about Two inches too high.
“It happens from time to time,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said before the game. “The players have a very sharp eye on this.”
The ring was soon lowered to a height of 10 feet, but this did not help. Golden State got off to a brutal start, missing 11 of their first 15 attempts on the field when Boston drew 24-9. To make matters worse, Karim made two early fouls.
If there was any concern for the Celtics, it came in the form of Tatum’s right shoulder, which he first injured in the Eastern Conference Finals against Miami. On Wednesday, he was grimacing in pain after breaking into an early drive.
But his 3-pointer in the middle of the second quarter pushed the Celtics forward 18 points. Boston hit 57.4 percent from the field and took a 68-56 lead in the half.
However all eyes were on the start of the second half. In games 1 and 2, Golden State dominated both quarters and beat Boston by a total of 35 points. The third quarter was particularly problematic for the Celtics in Game 2, when they kicked 4 of 17 from the pitch, made five rebounds and advanced, 35-14. The closed game quickly escalated into a route.
Golden State fell 9 points on Wednesday when the team called in a few more third quarters. Curry threw a 3-pointer and absorbed contact well when the Celtics’ Al Horford slipped under him. A rough-1 was recorded, which meant Golden State would retain possession after a free kick.
Karim sank a free kick, then Otto Porter Jr. buried another for a 3-pointer with a 7-pointer, reducing Boston’s lead to 2.
It was a disturbing moment for the Celtics, who could have collapsed but instead once again showed their resilience. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Smart scored 3 points. Minutes later, Grant Williams made an offensive rebound for a backhand, forcing Kerry to call for a timeout when the home crowd roared.