Boston Celtics Dominate Game 3, Seize Control in Series while GSW’s Curry Sidelined by Leg Injury

The Boston Celtics Take Control of NBA Finals with Game 3 Victory

The Boston Celtics showed resilience in Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Despite struggling in the third quarter, the Celtics rallied in the fourth quarter to secure a 16-point win, putting them ahead 2-1 in the series and just two wins away from clinching the championship.

The Warriors, now facing the pressure of not losing another road game, will be looking to even the series in Game 4, set to take place on Friday night at TD Garden in Boston.

Celtics Favorites to Win Series and Championship

With their Game 3 win, the Celtics opened as -3.5 favorites. Overnight, the line shifted to -4, indicating increased confidence in the team’s ability to secure another victory. As of now, the Celtics have -240 odds to win the series and the 2022 championship, while the Warriors face +200 odds for a potential comeback.

The Celtics’ Big Three Propel them to Victory

In their Game 3 triumph, the Celtics’ key players, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart, demonstrated their skill and determination. Together, they combined for an impressive 77 points. It is noteworthy that all three players achieved at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists, a feat not seen since the 1984 NBA Finals when the Showtime Lakers, led by Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Michael Cooper, accomplished the same.

Leading the Celtics’ charge, Brown contributed 27 points, nine rebounds, and five assists, while Tatum added 26 points, nine assists, and six rebounds. Smart also played a crucial role with 24 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.

Tatum’s Distribution Skills Drive Celtics’ Success

Interestingly, the Celtics have maintained an undefeated record of 15 wins in games where Tatum recorded seven or more assists. This highlights the impact of Tatum’s passing ability when he penetrates the defense or attracts double teams. By distributing the ball effectively, Tatum becomes a catalyst for the team’s success.

The Celtics, however, remain vulnerable to third-quarter struggles. Although the situation in Game 3 wasn’t as dire as in previous games, they were outscored 33-25 by the Warriors during this period, allowing their opponents to make a comeback. Despite this, the Celtics managed to stay composed and displayed resilience, which contributed to their eventual victory.

Al Horford, reflecting on the team’s performance, acknowledged their ability to remain poised during challenging moments. Earlier in the season, the Celtics might have let such situations unravel their game, but in Game 3, they stayed focused and avoided panic, ultimately coming out on top.

The Warriors managed to reduce a double-digit deficit to just two points during the game, but the Celtics regrouped during a timeout, reassessed their strategy, and made the necessary winning plays to secure the victory. This bounce-back performance from the Celtics impressed their head coach, Ime Udoka, who emphasized the importance of responding positively not just after losses but after wins as well.

Golden State Warriors Face Offensive Struggles

While the Celtics showcased their offensive prowess, the Golden State Warriors faced challenges in finding their rhythm. Scott Foster, the controversial official, served as the crew chief for Game 3, and the Warriors endured early foul trouble for two of their starters. Stephen Curry accumulated two fouls within the first six minutes of the first quarter, while Kevon Looney and Curry himself each had three fouls by halftime.

Despite these hindrances, Curry remained a force on the offensive end, delivering an exceptional performance with a game-high 31 points and six 3-pointers. Curry’s remarkable display further solidified his position as a strong contender for the NBA Finals MVP award, even if the Warriors do not ultimately win the championship.

Klay Thompson, who struggled in previous games, found his rhythm in Game 3, contributing 25 points and sinking five 3-pointers. However, the rest of the team struggled to find their shot. Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, and Draymond Green combined for a poor 2-for-12 shooting from beyond the arc. Green, particularly dissatisfied with his own output, expressed his frustration, describing his performance as “utter shit” and “soft.”

The Warriors’ offensive struggles were most evident in the fourth quarter, where they could only muster 11 points. This can be attributed, in part, to the Celtics’ strong defensive efforts, which limited the Warriors’ transition opportunities. Additionally, the Celtics minimized their turnovers to just four in the second half, denying the Warriors any easy scoring chances.

Unfortunately for the Warriors, the Game 3 loss was compounded by a left leg injury sustained by Curry with 4:20 remaining in the fourth quarter. As he chased after a loose ball, Curry became entangled with Al Horford, resulting in the injury. However, Curry remains optimistic and determined to continue playing, stating that he expects to be ready for Game 4 on Friday.

Conclusion

The Boston Celtics showcased their resilience, overcoming third-quarter struggles to secure a Game 3 victory in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Led by their prolific trio of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart, the Celtics demonstrated their offensive prowess, while their strong defensive efforts limited the Warriors’ scoring opportunities. With the series now at 2-1 in favor of the Celtics, the Warriors will be looking to regroup and even the series in Game 4.

FAQs

1. Can the Celtics maintain their momentum and secure another win in Game 4?

While the Celtics have displayed resilience and determination in the NBA Finals so far, it remains to be seen if they can sustain their momentum and secure another victory in Game 4. The Warriors, as a skilled and experienced team, will undoubtedly present a tough challenge.

2. How significant is Stephen Curry’s injury, and will it affect the Warriors’ chances?

Stephen Curry’s injury is a concern for the Warriors, as he is a key player and a vital component of their offensive strategy. However, with proper rest and treatment, there is hope that Curry will be ready to contribute in Game 4 and help the Warriors bounce back.

3. Who has been the most impressive player for the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals?

Throughout the NBA Finals, Jayson Tatum has consistently delivered outstanding performances for the Boston Celtics. His ability to score, distribute the ball, and create opportunities for his team has been instrumental in their success.

4. Can the Golden State Warriors overcome their offensive struggles and find their rhythm in Game 4?

While the Warriors have encountered challenges on the offensive end, they are a skilled team with talented players. It is entirely possible for them to regroup, make necessary adjustments, and find their rhythm in Game 4. They have proven their ability to bounce back in previous series.

5. How crucial is Game 4 for both teams in terms of determining the outcome of the NBA Finals?

Game 4 holds significant importance for both the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors. A win for the Celtics would give them a commanding 3-1 lead in the series, putting them on the verge of becoming the NBA champions. On the other hand, a victory for the Warriors would even the series at 2-2, setting the stage for a highly competitive and closely contested remainder of the Finals.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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