After a wash in the previous game, Boston were allowed to play in front of their home fans for the first time on this final night. In a busy TD park, the Celtics set the tone early on.
They paired their no-nonsense defense with a high finish rate, and the Celtics’ big boys dominated the rebound. In the first half, the difference was 12 points in favor of the hosts.
But then the famous third quarter almost didn’t come in the Golden State. The Warriors again put in a middle sprint after the break. Stephen Curry scored 15 of 31 points in the third quarter, giving visitors a taste of the lead.
Boston went into critical gear and scored a smooth all-around victory in the final quarter: 116-100. The Brown-Smart-Tatum trident was good for a total of 77 points, but Rob Williams’ role as defensive anchor was crucial as well. The strong position recorded 10 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 3 steals.
The Celtics, who are chasing their 18th NBA title (which would only make them the record holder), will be allowed to play indoors again on Friday. After tonight they already have the stats on their side. Of the 39 times the score was 1-1 in the NBA Finals after two games, the game three winner had won the title 82% of the time.
Golden State had to lick his wounds after the third game. The Warriors owe 2-1 and top scorer Stephen Curry (31 points) may have to deal with an injury.
In the middle of the fourth quarter, Boston’s Al Horford fell at full weight on Stephen Curry’s leg, who lay there for a moment, then rose to his feet with an aching grimace on his face. Moments later, he also had to take a heavy blow to his rib cage from Marcus Smart and vanished to the side.
“I replaced Stephen Curry not because of his injury, but because we were 14 points behind that we couldn’t make up in two minutes,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr, raising doubts about a potential injury. “We’ll see how serious he is tomorrow.”
Carrie himself limps with a grimace on his face, but he showed himself combative. “It hurts. It’s the same foot you injured earlier this season, but it’s less serious. You’ll be fine,” he reassured his fans.
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