Steph, Warriors Use Another Big 3rd Quarter to Even Series vs Celtics…

Game 2 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics opened up with Musician Ceelo Green bringing in the National Anthem. 

As both teams wore “End the Gun Violence” warmups in wake of the mass shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde, and Tulsa.

Then the Warriors used a 35-14 3rd quarter to blow the game open and tie the series at one game apiece. That +21 in the 3rd was an NBA record for this Warriors franchise. They defeated the Celtics 107-88 on Sunday Night heading to Boston as they closed the 3rd on a 19-2 run

Photo By: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Led again by Steph Curry’s 29 points (5-12 3-pt), he had just as many points as the Celtics in the 3rd. “We said we needed to play with desperation and that’s what we did and it’s a good feeling to get back on track and now we have to take it on the road.”

They forced 18 Celtics turnovers and turned those into 33 points.  

The heart and soul of this Warriors team Draymond Green set the tone from the beginning. He only scored nine points, but had a game-high seven assists. He approached the game trying to let Boston know they weren’t going to push them around. “We wanted to come out physical  from the gate,” Green said about his team’s approach. “Make sure guys know that’s the intensity, physicality level we need to be at in order to win in the NBA Finals.” 

Green also let the Celtics players know throughout the game, personally like Celtics wingman Grant Williams telling him “You not me” while shooting free throws in the 3rd quarter.

With a tough game 1, Jordan Poole finished second on the team with 17 points (5-9 3-pt) after just nine in Game 1. He hit the shot of the night from just inside half-court and said “he wants the ball at the end of the quarter, and my teammates look for me.” 

Big man Kevon Looney had 12 points (6-6 FG). Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins chipped in with 11 points. Gary Payton II got a standing ovation checking into the game in the 1st quarter after missing the previous 10 games with an elbow injury he suffered in Game 2 of the Memphis series, scoring seven points.  

After the huge lead heading into the 4th (87-64) the Warriors were able to push that lead to 29, and the Celtics took out their starters and key players and brought their bench players in. 

Players that stepped in Game 1 for Boston, did not have the same contributions. 

Between Al Horford, Marcus Smart, and Robert Williams they combined for just six points after combining for 52 in Game 1. Horford, who was the catalyst of that huge 4th quarter comeback in Game 1 didn’t attempt his first field goal until 10 minutes remaining in the 3rd. 

Photo By: Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group

Their best player Jayson Tatum had a much better offensive performance with 28 points (21 in the 1st half) on 8-19 from the field, after a 3-17 outing in Game 1. 

“We have to better for next game,” Tatum said about the team’s turnovers. “Because we know throughout the playoffs the games we have high turnovers have resulted in a loss.”  

After a solid first half for wingman Jaylen Brown with 15 points, he finished with just two points in the second half. He spoke about the physicality the Warriors led by Green were trying to bring all night, “That’s what they are going to try to do, try to monk the game up and raise their level of intensity. Now we have to raise ours, I feel like they got away with a lot tonight but we have to come ready to play and come ready to meet that physicality on both ends.” 

Derrick White had 12 off the bench after a big 21 points in Game 1. Each team made 15 3-pt.

This Boston team has not lost back-to-back games this postseason, so that should be a positive going into Game 3. 

Game 3 Wednesday in Boston.

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