After a superb victory in Game 1, where the Boston Celtics produced a stunning fourth quarter comeback to land a key win, their problems in the third quarter of games returned in their 107-88 blowout defeat to the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 last night.
Steph Curry top scored in the game with 29 points for the Warriors and added 6 rebounds and 4 assists in the game, while in reply Jayson Tatum found his touch that was missing in Game 1 hitting 28 points for the Celtics in defeat.
However, if the Celtic’s incredible comeback in Game 1 showed one side of their Jekyll and Hyde character, then their third quarter meltdown in last night’s game showed the other.
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Celtics Blown Away By Rampant Warriors In Third Quarter
As has often been the case with Celtic’s third quarter collapses, there was little
warning that it was about to happen.
A tight first two quarters saw the teams enter half time with just two points separating the teams.
However, it was the Warriors that had ended the second quarter the better to head into the locker room in the lead and they were not going to relinquish that in the third.
From the later stages of the second quarter, to the start of the fourth quarter, the Warriors outscored the Celtics 43-14. 35 of the Warriors points and all of the Celtics 14 came in that third quarter.
The Warriors even had a nice exclamation point on their third quarter dominance when Jordan Poole landed a buzzer-beater from just beyond the halfway line to extend the Warriors already decisive lead.
With Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II both now starting to make an impression from the bench following injuries, the Warriors look in great shape heading into Game 3, which takes place in Boston on Wednesday night.
Celtics Take It On The Chin
You’d have forgiven the Celtics for resting their starters from the fourth, but they
returned to the court to perhaps try and reignite the team as they had in Game 1, but when the Warriors scored the first few points of the quarter, the Celtics bench players soon were pushed into action, with the Warriors soon following suit.
“I thought everybody was more engaged. It was pretty obvious, just our level of force and physicality was ramped up quite a bit, and it had to be,” stated Warriors head coach Steve Kerr following the victory.
Kerr also had praise for Steph Curry who hit 14 points in that crucial third quarter.
“Steph was breathtaking in that quarter,” Kerr admitted.
The Celtics pointed the finger at a number of things, with Jayson Tatum stating that “We have to take better care of the ball,” while head coach Ime Udoka picked up a technical foul due to comments and actions made to officials during the game.
“I just let them know how I felt throughout the game in a demonstrative way, on purpose, to get a technical,” he said after the game.
Game 3 – Wednesday In Boston
After two contrasting performances in San Francisco, the Celtics head home for the next two games in Boston, the first coming on Wednesday night.
With home advantage, the Celtics are the -3.5 favorites to win the game and take a 2-1 series lead.
Boston are also 8/13 on the moneyline, with the Warriors a 27/20 shot in the same market, all those prices with BetMGM Sportsbook and correct at the time of writing.
What is interesting though is the outright winner odds have seen the Warriors drift back in to 20/23 while the Celtics are now 19/20 to claim their 18th NBA Finals Championship.
Steph Curry is still the even money favorite to win the NBA Finals MVP, with Jayson Tatum (27/20) and Jaylen Brown (15/2) rated his most likely competition for the a prize the Warriors superstar is yet to win in his incredible career.