Celtics Gain NBA Finals Edge on Golden State With Physical Play

In Game 3, the Celtics regained that advantage.

“We had to,” Smart said of the physicality with which Boston dominated the Golden State. “Game 2, they brought us the heat. It left a bad taste in our mouths for us because we are attached to the defensive effort and to being a physical team.”

Golden State couldn’t keep up, at least not long enough.

Golden State outplayed Boston by 43 points in the third quarter of this series, taking a lead in Game 3, 83-82, with a 3-pointer from Curry. That basket was followed by a quick stretch of 7 points without Boston gaining possession. Curry was fouled shooting a 3-pointer and since the foul was obvious, Golden State got the ball back and scored another 3.

But as the quarter drew to a close, Golden State lost the game out of hand.

“Take the punches, keep fighting,” Williams said, was the message in the scrum after the third quarter. “Obviously they’re a great team that makes runs, lots of runs, but just withstands the hit.”

Golden State couldn’t come through the defense nor stop the Celtics from taking second chances. Hustle tunes usually went to Boston.

At one point in the fourth quarter, several players tangled around a loose ball and Smart got on it before Draymond Green shoved him. It was Green’s sixth foul and the crowd taunted him after spending the evening cursing at him.

Golden State’s Klay Thompson complained about fans swearing at “kids in the crowd.”

“Great. Good job, Boston,’ he said.

Green said the chants didn’t bother him. What bothered him more, he said, was that he was playing “soft.” He was a catalyst for Golden State’s more physical play in Game 2, but he was ineffective in Game 3.

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