The daily preview takes it to the rim with NBA tips for Game 3 of the 2022 NBA Finals between Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics.
11:00 (AEST), Thu 9th Jun @ TD Garden, Boston
History: Played 371: Celtics 225 V Warriors 146
Last meeting: June 6, 2022: Warriors 107 d Celtics 88 at Chase Center
Final Thoughts: The 2022 Finals are locked one apiece as the series moves to Boston for Game 3. The Celitcs carved out a stunning Game 1 win but the Warriors bounced back in emphatic fashion in Game 2.
The Celtics took the Warriors on at their own game in the series opener and won, with a stunning three-point shooting display – and a freakish fourth-quarter rally – underpinning a widely unexpected 120-108 result in San Francisco.
Golden State got off to a flyer with Steph Curry racking up 21 first-quarter points. But Boston matched strides with the sharpshooting hosts to lead by two at halftime. The Warriors reclaimed the ascendancy with a 38-point third quarter – but the Celtics produced an incredible 40-16 final term (including a mesmerising 17-0 run) to run out emphatic winners.
The Celtics shot 21-of-41 from three-point range, with top-scoring Al Horford (26 pts, 6-of-8 3PM) the surprise packet, Marcus Smart (18 pts, 4-of-7 3PM) coming up with some big buckets and Derrick White (21 pts, 5-of-8 3PM). Perhaps the most remarkable stat was Boston won with Jayson Tatum scoring only 12 points – though the offensive spearhead did dish up 13 assists. Jaylen Brown (24 pts, 7 reb, 5 ast) was a strong all-round contributor. Curry finished with 34 points and 7-of-14 3PM, while Andrew Wiggins (20 pts) was the only other Warrior to post more than 15 points.
But Boston had no answer to another third-quarter surge from Golden State in Game 2. The margin at halftime was again two points before the Warriors exploded with a 35-14 third term and, ultimately, securing a 107-88 victory.
Steph Curry (29 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast, 3 stl) and Jordan Poole (17 pts) both hit five three-pointers. Jayson Tatum (28 pts, 6 reb) was shut down in the second half, adding just seven points. Jaylen Brown (17 pts, 6 reb) and Derrick White (12 pts) were the only other Celtics to score more than six points. Both teams shot an identical 15-of-37 from three-point range.
Ahead of the first NBA Finals match at TD Garden in 12 years, the Celtics boast a 33-17 home record (22-26-2 ATS) for the season but are a modest 5-4 in the playoffs. The Warriors are only 25-23 on the road overall (20-26-2 ATS) and 4-5 in the playoffs.
So important to the Celtics’ defeat of the Heat, Al Horford and Marcus Smart combined for a paltry four points. They need a third threat after Tatum and Brown to stand up on offence. Meanwhile, the Warriors will be looking for Klay Thompson to find his best form and justify his starting position over Poole.
Based on the evidence of the series so far, the Warriors are the value pick with a free bucket.