Celtics weather Warriors’ storm, win Game 3 to take 2-1 NBA Finals lead

Celts

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown reacts as he takes a three-point shot against the Golden State Warriors in the first quarter of Game 3 of the Basketball NBA Finals. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Spurred on by stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics broke away from the Warriors in Game 3 of the NBA Finals to secure a 2-1 consecutive lead.

See how the game played out below:

fourth quarter

0:00 – Celtics 116, Warriors 100.

We will have takeaways soon. Thank you for reading.

2:02 – The Warriors have pulled their boys. The Celtics are about to do the same. They take a 2-1 lead.

2:19 – Steph Curry looks a little bruised after Horford accidentally landed on his leg and dived for a loose ball. The Celtics deliberately let the clock run down and then had Smart attack him. Smart scored easily (the Celtics lead by 14) and Curry doubled as he flinched.

4:00 – Draymond Green fouls out. “F— you, Draymond” chants follow. He finishes the field 1-on-4 with four rebounds and three assists.

5:05 – Sometimes basketball is easy: The Warriors couldn’t stay ahead of Tatum, so he drove, pulled a cornerback and stepped to Marcus Smart. Smart waved the 3 hand.

6:00 – Fascinating move from Ime Udoka, returning to his double-sized lineup where Williams is playing so well. Tatum, meanwhile, just finished a brutally difficult layup and the Celtics are back in double digits.

8:52 – Williams punched away a curry floater at the very peak of his trajectory. He’s looked a little healthier and the difference for the Celtics is huge.

9:07 – Robert Williams also falls behind in the pick-and-roll against Curry, but his length and athleticism make it a (slightly) more viable strategy.

He needs to be careful though – as Curry proved in the third, jumping on him can result in a 7-point ball.

9:07 – Grant Williams has had a tough final so far, but he’s putting together a nice Game 3 with a 3-pointer and several tough finishes on the edge. His last pushed the lead back to 11.

9:30 – CHAOS.

10:52 – Curry missed a 3-pointer and Marcus Smart put in a 3-pointer, so you know the third quarter is over.

Third quarter

0:00 – Celtics 93, Warriors 89

Okay, everyone can exhale for a minute.

The Celtics cut their lead to seven when Curry went on the bench before a Klay Thompson three reduced it to four.

Besides that, the Celtics are so bad at 2v1. Tonight, Tatum attempted a hard, off-balance 3-pointer that missed badly, leaving the Celtics with just three seconds on the shot clock after the Warriors drove him all the way down. Was a doomed Grant Williams lever really worth blowing up an offensive possession?

2:53 – Marcus Smart hit a 3 and put the Celtics back in front. The best the Celtics can hope for right now is weather the storm (and maybe get up a little higher on Curry’s pick-and-rolls).

4:00 – Horford falls too low on the pick and roll again and Curry hits a 3 again. The Warriors lead.

4:45 – And Otto Porter turns it into seven-point possession. The Celtics are reeling and only two up.

5:06 – Al Horford has struggled mightily with Curry in the pick-and-roll and tonight is no exception. Curry was about to make a four-pointer play and Horford picked up an obvious flagrant foul as he tried to close. The Warriors close the gap again in the third quarter.

6:02 – The Celtics have held up so far, but Green and Brown are starting to get very snappy.

9:00 – A rollercoaster ride so far: After Curry and the Warriors cut the lead to eight, Smart made all three free throws and then forced a turnover. As the Warriors debated the turnover, Brown licked in transition and got a dunk on Al Horford’s touchdown pass. The lead is back at 13.

9:11 – Bad continuation: Two easy 3-pointers for Curry that cut the lead to eight.

The upside: Four fouls for Curry, who put his hand in where it shouldn’t have while trying to defend a Smart 3-pointer.

11:30 – Nice start for the Celtics – Rob Williams overpowers Draymond Green and gets a layup.

second quarter

0:00 – At halftime: Celtics 58, Warriors 46

Really nice stretch from Marcus Smart at the end of the half getting a pair of buckets to ward off a Warriors offense looming like a thunderstorm on the horizon. Crucially, the Celtics had an answer for every run and mini-run the Warriors put together in the first 24 minutes.

Still, the Celtics need to prepare for a barrage – the Warriors dominated the third quarter and with Klay Thompson Cooking and Steph Curry unleashed after three fouls in the first half, they could really use a good stretch.

Capping sales will be key. A game embodied that perfectly in the second quarter – the Celtics nearly flipped the ball late but Brown dove to the ground and batted it off a plunging green. The Celtics maintained possession, then found Brown for an open 3 (he buried it) and returned to force a stop with a set defense.

Avoid losing possession and the Celtics give themselves a great chance to win.

2:27 – After the Warriors reduced the lead to seven, a steal from Horford led to a transition dunk from Brown, who ended a timely small run to bring the lead back to 12. The Celtics needed that badly.

4:27 – As for the stretch for the Celtics, the Warriors put down an 8-0 run almost immediately that included two poor defensive decisions by Tatum. The Celtics can’t afford turnovers (eight turnovers, 14 points so far) and they can’t afford to miss out.

5:52 – The Warriors have a lot of defensive targets on the ground in their current lineup, including both Steph Curry (who’s improved a lot but is trying to avoid his third foul), Jordan Poole and Kevon Looney. That doesn’t work against the Celtics, who have a chance to move up 19 if Al Horford gets on the line after a time-out.

UPDATE: He didn’t do any.

8:02 – Rob Williams put in his second foul as a rim guard after a very nice stint but looked great as a lone big. Importantly, he also bought some bench time for Horford – keeping Daniel Theis, who has struggled immensely to defend the Warriors, on the bench.

8:49 – The good news for the Celtics, they held a double-digit lead for the first few minutes of the second quarter and are moving the ball beautifully, demolishing the Warriors’ attempt at a zone.

The bad news: Klay Thompson is suddenly white-hot.

first quarter

0:00 – Celtics 33, Warriors 22 after a quarter.

Brown ended the first quarter with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists. He and the Celtics look ready at both ends.

One area of ​​concern: Klay Thompson, who has shot poorly throughout the series, hit a 3-pointer and two free throws before the end of the quarter. Thompson sometimes gets hot when the Warriors need it most, and he’ll eventually return to his mean.

4:00 – Jaylen Brown heads straight to Draymond Green.

5:44 – Curry stays in the game after a time-out. The Celtics have to attack him hard.

5:44 – Two big plays in a row from the Celtics: Jaylen Brown went straight to Draymond Green after being waved off a screen by Derrick White and scored a floater over the Warriors’ star defender, then Marcus Smart missed Steph Curry a savvy pump fake and drew Curry’s second foul of the first quarter. The Celtics lead by nine.

8:45 – Quick replacement for Robert Williams as Derrick White comes in. It will be interesting to see how much Rob Williams we actually see tonight.

9:22 – Fantastic attacking start by the Celtics, moving the ball nicely against the Warriors aggressive defence. One worrying thing: Jayson Tatum is already grabbing his burly right shoulder.

11:30 – Jaylen Brown has started the last two games with a 3-pointer over the break from the same spot.

foreplay

– Paul Pierce is in the building for Game 3.

– The Celtics will start with the same lineup, according to Ime Udoka. Robert Williams, who is struggling with knee pain, is available.

– Joke or human error? You decide. (Almost certainly human error).

Warriors coach Steve Kerr took a moment or two in stride.

“It’s good that the game starts at midnight,” joked Kerr. “We will have enough time to fix it. … It happens every now and then. The players have a very keen eye for that. Players can tell. I imagine someone walked out there, looked at it, didn’t look right. As long as they take care of it, everything is fine.”

The player who caught it for what it’s worth was Warriors guard Gary Payton II.

– The Celtics still haven’t lost two games in a row in the postseason – a statistic Udoka credits to their ability to put losses behind them quickly.

“I’ll look for more of that tonight,” said Udoka. “We looked at the areas where we obviously could have done a lot better in the game but according to your guys we missed the third quarter and we need to have great starts like we have, have solid starts and then carry that into the second Half. It’s more or less an indifferent attitude that we move on to the next game pretty quickly.”

– The Celtics struggled to keep the ball in Game 2, coughing up 18 costly turnovers, many of which helped the Warriors continue their massive run in the third quarter.

“The majority is too pervasive and plays in the crowd, as I often say,” said Udoka during training on Tuesday. “I just don’t keep it easy. You look at Game 1, where we had 33 assists in 43 baskets, crisp and sharp with our ball movements, not in the crowd. Led to many open threes against a team grabbing the paint.

“To have 19 for 33 and 11 in the first half of the last game was 15 of those 19 steals. That plays right in the crowd. Sometimes casual, but also exaggerated. In this area we need to have portability and consistency.”

– If you were hoping to see a game in person, here’s your chance to support Marcus Smart’s YounGameChanger Foundation and have a good time at Game 4.

– Match 3 tips at 9 p.m

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