Celtics beat Warriors 116-100, take 2-1 lead in NBA Finals

Jun 8, 2022, 8:47 PM | Updated: Jun 9, 2022, 2:59 pm
Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) battles for a rebound against Golden State Warriors center Ke...

Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) battles for a rebound against Golden State Warriors center Kevon Looney (5) and guard Klay Thompson (11) during the second quarter of Game 3 of basketball's NBA Finals, Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

BOSTON (AP) — Throughout the postseason, the Boston Celtics had played their best basketball away from home.

Not anymore.

Jaylen Brown scored 27 points, Jayson Tatum added 26 and the Celtics rode the energy of a raucous TD Garden crowd to beat back another third-quarter onslaught by Golden State in a 116-100 victory Wednesday night that gave them a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals.

Marcus Smart added 24 points and helped fuel a defensive effort that held the Warriors to 11 points in the fourth quarter — third-fewest in a finals game in the shot clock era.

“Game 2, they brought the heat to us,” Smart said. “For us, that left a bad taste in our mouth because what we hang our hat on is effort on the defensive end and being a physical team. It definitely woke us up a little bit.”

Tatum said the fact the Celtics didn’t hang their heads after the Warriors’ third-quarter flourish is something they didn’t always do in the regular season.

“I think that’s when we are at our best when we respond to tough situations. We respond to teams going on runs and things like that,” he said. “I think we did that several times tonight.”

Boston improved to 6-4 at home, compared to 8-3 on the road this postseason. The Celtics haven’t lost two straight games since the end of March.

Stephen Curry led Golden State with 31 points and six 3-pointers. He had 15 points in a 33-25 third quarter by the Warriors but was hurt late in the fourth after Al Horford rolled into his leg on a loose ball. Curry said it was similar to a play during the regular season in which Smart dove into Curry’s legs while chasing a loose ball but “not as bad.”

“I got caught — obviously in some pain, but I’ll be all right,” Curry said. “See how it feels tomorrow and get ready for Friday.”

Klay Thompson broke out of a finals slump and finished with 25 points and five 3s. But the Warriors’ shooting couldn’t save them on a night the more athletic Celtics outmuscled them for a 47-31 rebounding advantage.

“When you allow a team to get comfortable, especially in their home — in front the home crowd, then it’s tough,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said.

Robert Williams III, who has been working his way back from knee surgery, finished with eight points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.

“We talked about it quite a bit, our group being resilient and being able to fight through a lot of things and at times when it’s most needed being able to lock down on defense,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. “We did in the fourth quarter,”

Game 4 is Friday in Boston.

Despite Curry’s noticeable limp after the play with Horford, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said it was not why he pulled him from the game in the closing minutes.

“The injury didn’t force him out of the game, but I took him out down 14 with two minutes left because we weren’t going to catch up,” Kerr said.

The previous 39 times teams have split the first two games of the finals, the winner of Game 3 went on to win the series 82% of the time.

Feeding off the energy of a Garden crowd that jeered Green throughout his miserable night in the first NBA Finals game in Boston since 2010, the Celtics started fast and led by as many as 18 points in the first half.

Coming off a Game 2 loss in which Boston turned the ball over 19 times, the Celtics’ ball movement was much crisper in the half court, which led to open perimeter shots, favorable 1-on-1 matchups and driving lanes..

It left the Warriors scrambling at times, which contributed to three foul calls on Curry in the opening 24 minutes.

But as well as Boston played, it had its early lead erased in the third quarter by a Warriors seven-point possession that included a four-point play by Curry when he drew a flagrant 1 foul on Horford and 3-pointer by Otto Porter Jr to put Golden State in front 83-82.

Boston recovered to take a 93-89 edge into the fourth, then outscored Golden State 23-11 in the quarter.

The Celtics led 56-39 before an 8-0 spurt in just 37 seconds by the Warriors trimmed the lead to 56-49 on a layup by Curry with 3:32 left in half. Boston flurried at the end of the half to take a 68-56 lead into halftime.

TIP-INS

Warriors: Shot 8 of 23 in the first period. … Were outscored 52-26 in the paint.

Celtics: Shot 57% in the first half (27 of 47. Including 8 of 18 from 3. … With two 3-pointers by Brown in the first quarter, he and Tatum became the first pair of teammates in Celtics history to each make 50 3-pointers in a single postseason.

SHOVING MATCH

Green was involved in tussles with Brown and Grant Williams in Game 2 – one that ended in a technical foul call on Green.

He had another brief run-in with Williams in the second quarter Wednesday when Williams knocked Green to the ground at midcourt.

A foul was called on Williams, but he and Green had a short face-off before being quickly separated by officials.

In third quarter, Green wound up on the ground fighting for a loose ball with Brown. This time Green was called for the foul.

FAST START

The Celtics hit three of their first four shots and scored 10 straight points to jump out to 10-2 lead.

Boston’s lead grew to 18-9 when a fast break ended with Curry picking up his second foul trying to contest Smart’s layup with 5:44 left in the quarter.

Curry stayed in the game and Golden State switched to zone, but it did little to slow Boston, which widened its advantage as high as 15 points. The Celtics took a 33-22 lead into the second period.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Lina Khan, nominee for Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, speaks during a Senate ...
Associated Press

Ruling could dampen government efforts to rein in Big Tech

The Supreme Court’s latest climate change ruling could dampen efforts by federal agencies to rein in the tech industry, which went largely unregulated for decades as the government tried to catch up to changes wrought by the internet. In the 6-3 decision that was narrowly tailored to the Environmental Protection Agency, the court ruled Thursday […]
4 hours ago
In this photo provided by the Luhansk region military administration, damaged residential buildings...
Associated Press

Russia claims capture of pivotal city in eastern Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia’s defense minister said Russian forces took control Sunday of the last major Ukrainian-held city in Ukraine’s Luhansk province, bringing Moscow closer to its stated goal of seizing all of Ukraine’s Donbas region. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin that Russia’s troops together with members of a local separatist […]
4 hours ago
Associated Press

North Texas shooter kills 2, wounds 3 cops, takes own life

HALTOM CITY, Texas (AP) — A gunman killed two people and wounded four others, including three police officers, before taking his own life Saturday evening in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, police said. Haltom City Police Det. Matt Spillane said early Sunday that all of those wounded in the shooting in a residential neighborhood had non-life […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011 file photo, Associated Press Special Regional Correspondent f...
Associated Press

Hope and despair: Kathy Gannon on 35 years in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan policeman opened fire on us with his AK-47, emptying 26 bullets into the back of the car. Seven slammed into me, and at least as many into my colleague, Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus. She died at my side. Anja weighed heavy against my shoulder. I tried to look […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 file photo, the logo of Google is displayed on a carpet at the...
Associated Press

Google to erase more location info as abortion bans expand

Google will automatically purge information about users who visit abortion clinics or other places that could trigger legal problems now that the U.S. Supreme Court has opened the door for states to ban the termination of pregnancies.
1 day ago
FILE - President Joe Biden, center, meets with South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol, left, and Jap...
Associated Press

North Korea slams US-South Korea-Japan military cooperation

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Sunday slammed the United States, South Korea and Japan for pushing to boost their trilateral military cooperation targeting the North, warning that the move is prompting urgent calls for the country to reinforce its military capability. North Korea has long cited what it calls hostility by the […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Celtics beat Warriors 116-100, take 2-1 lead in NBA Finals