The Celtics Dominated Early And Late In A Game 3 Win Over The Warriors

After getting run out of the building in Game 2, the Celtics came back home clearly looking to make a statement against the Warriors in Game 3. With both rims properly set to 10 feet, Boston came out on fire to start the game, jumping all over Golden State to take as much as a 15-point lead in the first quarter.

Keying the early run for Boston was Jaylen Brown, who knocked down his first three shots on the way to a 17-point first quarter.

The Celtics would open their lead up to as many as 18 in the second quarter, as the Warriors finally got their offense going but could not get any stops against a Boston team clearly looking to push the tempo and use their athleticism to their advantage. Where Brown was lethal scoring, Tatum started the night facilitating as Golden State sent extra attention his way and he accepted it and found the open teammate, before eventually asserting his scoring will.

The lone bright spot for the Warriors in the first half was Klay Thompson shaking off his shooting woes as he got himself going in the second quarter on the way to a 15-point half, keeping Boston from completely running away with the game.

Golden State would trail by 12 at halftime, and at that point everyone was awaiting whether they would find the same third quarter dominance they had in the first two games of the series. Sure enough, the Warriors came out swinging out of the locker room, led by Stephen Curry who brought Golden State all the way back into their first lead of the game at 83-82.

However, Boston would find a response they hadn’t had in previous third quarters on the road, stemming the tide at least a bit to only lose the quarter by eight and take a four-point edge to the fourth. As was the case early in the game, Boston was able to pull ahead by double digits once again thanks to some improved defensive effort, holding the Warriors to just 11 points in the quarter as the Celtics ran away to a 116-100 win.

The exclamation point on the victory came in the form of an Al Horford to Robert Williams lob, that precipitated both teams emptying the benches in a double-digit game with just over two minutes to play.

For Boston, it was an impressive bounceback performance as their stars led the way, with Tatum (26 points, nine assists, six rebounds) and Brown (27 points, nine rebounds, five assists) putting forth terrific all-around games. They got a big boost from Marcus Smart (24 points, seven rebounds, five assists), who continues to be something of a barometer for the Celtics’ offense’s overall success, and much improved two-way efforts from Al Horford and Grant Williams, who each reached double figures.

On the Warriors side, they finally saw Klay get going (25 points, 5-of-13 from three) and Curry continues to play well (31 points, 6-of-11 from three), but Draymond Green was dreadful and fouled out with just two points, one game removed from a scintillating defensive performance, and their bench gave them nothing with 18 combined points. They’ll need to find a more balanced attack and get a much better defensive effort, headed by Green, if they’re to snag Game 4 and reclaim homecourt advantage, if not they’ll go back to San Francisco facing elimination.