Celtics-Warriors score, takeaways: Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum lead Boston to Game 3 victory


Celtics-Warriors score, takeaways: Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum lead Boston to Game 3 victory

The Boston Celtics reclaimed the lead in the 2022 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. At home for the first time in the series, the Celtics broke away from the Warriors in Game 3 on Wednesday night with a 116-100 win. Boston, who had led 2-1 in the Finals, withstood an attack from Golden State in the third quarter and sat out the game in the fourth quarter. Jaylen Brown (27 points), Jayson Tatum (26) and Marcus Smart (24) combined with 77 points led the Celtics, who led by as much as 18 points in the first half.

Stephen Curry posted a game-high 31 points on 12-of-22 shooting and had 15 in the third quarter as the Warriors temporarily held the lead. Klay Thompson had his best game of the series and added 25 points, but it wasn’t enough. Draymond Green struggled, scoring just two points and adding three assists before fouling in the fourth quarter

Boston is now 7-0 in the playoffs after losing. Golden State, on the other hand, is undefeated after losing in the 2022 postseason, and the Warriors have won at least one away game in their last 26 playoff series. Game 4 is scheduled for Friday night in Boston.

Here are three key takeaways from Game 3.

The Celtics’ balanced attack withstood the Warriors’ onslaught

Here’s a fun stat that shows just how impressive Boston’s Game 3 win was: Tatum, Brown and Smart become the first trio to each have 20 points, five assists and five rebounds in a Finals game since 1984. per ESPN stats and info. The last trio to do that, oh just the Showtime Lakers with Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Cooper.

Brown got the Celtics going early, amassing 17 points in the first quarter to wow Boston’s home crowd and give the C’s an early lead. He tapped in 3 seconds, hit the free-throw line and worked with some middle-class jumpers to show Golden State the full range of his offensive skills. Although Brown did much of his damage in the first quarter – when he only scored 10 points in the next three quarters – it didn’t matter because Smart and Tatum took the baton from him for the rest of the game. Smart’s performance was particularly notable given his two-point dud in Game 2. He got to the edge with ease and had some favorable rolls from across the arc to help Boston maintain their lead at crucial moments.

But it wasn’t just the Big 3’s of Tatum, Brown and Smart that made it for the Celtics. Grant Williams gave Boston huge minutes off the bench and compiled his best performance of the series with 10 points and five rebounds. Ditto for Robert Williams III, who was just two points from a double-double (eight points, 10 boards). Despite struggling with an ongoing knee injury, Robert Williams still looked lively on the floor and finished the night with four blocks. Because he patrolled around the perimeter, the Warriors were limited to just 26 points in the suit, a precipitous drop from the 40 points they scored in Game 2.

Despite nearly letting things fall apart in the third quarter – once again – the Celtics managed to withstand a tremendous performance from Curry to take the series’ 2-1 lead.

Warriors lost, but Klay might be back

Going into Game 3, Thompson joked about what he would do to get his shooting feel back for that series. After all, he shot just 30.3 percent from the field and was 4 of 15 on 3s.

“Gosh, probably just YouTube ‘Game 6 Klay’ because I’ve been in some very high-pressure situations,” Thompson said. “In the end I shot the ball well. If you can do it, if you have your back against the wall, you can do it anytime. It’s just about staying mentally strong.”

I’m not sure if Thompson actually loaded some of his biggest hits from the playoffs ahead of Wednesday’s game, but whatever he did, it certainly worked. Thompson shot 41.2 percent from field and 38.5 percent from deep to finish with 25 points. He punished the Celtics every time one of their bigs went into drop coverage on pick-and-rolls and showed he could take care of himself in the arc too.

The only problem, though, is that even his bounce back performance wasn’t enough to propel the Warriors to victory. Though Golden State was still losing, it should be an encouraging sign for the Warriors to heat up Thompson in Game 3.

Curry’s possible injury could change the series

Towards the end of the fourth quarter, players from both teams dived to the ground in search of a loose ball. When the whistle blew and everyone gathered, Curry was still on the ground, wincing in pain. He slowly got up and limped around and stayed in the game, but he didn’t look the same after that incident. The replay showed Horford accidentally falling on Curry’s leg while scrambling on the floor. After the game, Curry said he had pain in his foot but was confident he could play in Game 4.

Here’s a look at the piece:

After the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr declined to give details, saying: “We’ll know more (Thursday).”

Thompson also weighed in on Curry’s injury: “Steph will do everything in his power to play. I really hope he’s okay because he’s our identity.”

Thompson hit it right on the head. Curry was the undisputed MVP for the Warriors throughout the playoffs, and even in Game 3, his 15-point performance in the third quarter was the reason Golden State was back in that game. We’ll have to wait and see what the Warriors say about possible injuries, but unless Curry is 100 percent healthy going forward, Golden State will be in trouble. The fact that Curry will only have one day off between now and Game 4 on Friday only makes matters worse for the recovery time needed.

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