The Golden State Warriors have had better evenings in the playoffs than they endured in their 116-110 defeat to the Boston Celtics last night.
The defeat puts the Warriors 2-1 behind in the best-of-seven NBA finals series, but it was the manner of the defeat, plus a couple of other key issues which will have Dubs coach Steve Kerr worried ahead of Game 4 on Friday.
Chiefly, that will be the worrying injury sustained by legend Steph Curry in the fourth quarter of the game, as well as the lackluster performance by Draymond Green, so often a key player in defence for Golden State.
The result sees the Warriors made the +4 underdogs for the fourth game in Boston on Friday, with the Celtics -170 favorites to go 3-1 up in the series, with the Warriors +150 on the moneyline. Those odds available now at DraftKings Sportsbook.
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Celtics Third Quarter Woes Don’t Prove So Costly
Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum along with Marcus Smart played a key role in leading
the Celtics to a home court victory, but head coach Ime Udoka will be worried at their third quarter performance once again.
The Celtics opened up an 11-point lead in the first quarter and expanded that to twelve at the half, putting them in a strong position heading into the second half.
However, the Warriors clawed back eight of those points in the third quarter to make things tight heading into the fourth.
Up stepped the Celtics defense in the fourth to only allow the Warriors to score 11 points, and hitting 23 on offense, the Celtics eventually ran out comfortable winners.
However, with about 4.16 left in the final quarter, a potentially pivotal moment in the entire series occurred.
Horford Fall Injures Curry
Steph Curry has been the dominant force for the Dubs in the Finals series thus far, top scoring in the series and generally being the man that Golden State rallies around when things get tough or tight.
Two thirds of the way through the fourth quarter, Curry went to ground to try and pick up a loose ball as the Warriors were down by 12 at that point.
In the melee that followed, Celtics center Al Horford also tried to claim the floor, and
as he went to ground, he landed awkwardly on the same foot that Curry had injured in a similar way earlier on in the season.
That injury came back in March and was also inflicted by a Boston Celtics player, that time Marcus Smart.
Curry had a slight aggravation of that injury in Game 3 of the series also and it seems he has done so further in Game 4.
That initial injury back in March saw the Warriors ace miss a month of action and while Curry confirmed that this injury was not as bad as the previous one, he came out of the game with over two minutes remaining and was limping heavily when he entered and left the room for his post-game presser.
“ obviously in some pain, but I’ll be alright,” stated Curry in his those interviews.
“We’ll see how it responds. Not much other to say. I don’t feel like I’ll miss a game. Take advantage of these next 48 hours to get ready.”
It goes without saying that the Warriors hopes of an NBA Championship may well rest on how fit Curry is for Game 4 and if he cannot start, or is gimpy in any way, then the Celtics would have a huge advantage for the games that he misses.
Draymond Green Has A Bad Night – And Let’s The World Know That He Know’s It
To make matters worse, Draymond Green fouled himself out of the game when he
pushed Horford off Curry after the foul, meaning that he could play no further part in the action.
Green, who had been subject to consistent abusive chanting from the Celtics fans throughout the game, had an off night.
He scored just two points, fouled out of the game and was not a force on defense. His game lacked the intensity and drive that he had showed in previous games, particularly in Game 3 of the series.
Green summed up his performance in the post-game interview.
“I was sh*t,.” Green told the press also calling himself “soft” later on in the interview.
One positive for the Warriors was Klay Thompson connecting for 25 points, finally affording some support to Curry who has taken on the lion’s share of scoring responsibilities in this series for the Warriors.
Celtics Overpower Warriors Physically
Defense and power were the two factors that won the game for the Celtics, with the physical approach of Boston, egged on by their partisan home support, handing the Celtics an extra edge.
They smothered Curry at every opportunity, and with Robert Williams III superb in keeping the Warriors out of the paint, it provided a perfect foundation for Brown, Smart and Tatum to wreak havoc on offense when going forward.
Game Four looks like being the pivotal one in this series, especially if Curry is unable to play or is limited in his effectiveness.
And if the Celtics can win at home again, it is hard to see this team allowing the Warriors to win three games in a row to clinch the Championship.