Keys to the Game: Warriors 107, Celtics 88

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

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Key Moment

Through two NBA Finals games, the Celtics have struggled mightily through two third quarters. Boston overcame those struggles during Game 1, but on Sunday night, they bit the team in the behind.

After leading by only two points at halftime of Game 2, Golden State outscored the Celtics 35-14 during the third period to blow the game open. The Warriors ended the period on an 8-0 run to carry an 87-64 advantage into the final quarter.

The two teams’ offenses were at opposite ends of the spectrum during that third period. Golden State opened up the quarter by missing six of its first seven shots but then canned four straight and 10 out of 16 overall to finish the quarter. Those four straight makes turned a two-point game into a 10-point game, and that 8-0 spurt over the final 64 seconds of the quarter opened the lead up to 23.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the court, the Celtics could find no rhythm. Boston shot a woeful 4-for-17 during the period, including a 2-for-9 effort from inside the 3-point arc. No member of the team made more than one shot during the period.

The Celtics couldn’t make a run the rest of the night before falling 107-88 to even the series up at 1-1 as it shifts back to Boston.

Key Player

Jayson Tatum was the only Celtics player who had any offensive rhythm Sunday night. He led the team with 28 points, and nearly all of that scoring came from beyond the arc or at the free-throw line.

Tatum canned a game-high six 3-pointers on nine attempts. He also made six free throws to tie Stephen Curry for the top mark in the game. His hot shooting in those two areas allowed him to overcome a 2-for-10 shooting effort from inside the arc.

Tatum rounded out his box score with six rebounds, three assists and one steal during 34-plus minutes of action.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Only two players (Stephen Curry with 29, and Jayson Tatum with 28) scored more than 17 points.
  • Boston shot just 15-for-43 (34.9 percent) from inside the 3-point arc.
  • Al Horford led the game with eight rebounds.
  • Jaylen Brown and Jordan Poole each scored 17 points for their respective teams.
  • Golden State outscored Boston 40-24 in the paint.
  • Five Celtics blocked a shot, while only two Warriors did so.
  • Golden State outscored Boston 35-14 during the third quarter.
  • Curry, Kevon Looney and Otto Porter Jr. led the game in plus/minus rating at plus-24.
  • Thirteen of the 14 Celtics who checked into the game scored.
  • Both teams dished out at least 24 assists.
  • Boston led 22-13 out of the gates and then was outscored 94-66 over the final 40-plus minutes of the game.

Quote of the Night

Al Horford on the looming Game 3