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NBA Finals Game 3 Preview, Keys and Prediction

After two games in the Bay Area, the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors sits tied 1-1. With the Warriors into Boston for Game Three, let’s take a look at the series so far and what each team needs to do to grab a win on Wednesday night.

Game 1:

Game ones set the tone for an entire series and this one was no different. It was a tight game heading into the halftime break as the Celtics held onto a 56-54 lead over the Warriors. Then as the Warriors have done throughout their dynasty, they turned it on in the third quarter, outscoring the Celtics 38-24 which included 12 points, one steal and one rebound from Andrew Wiggins, as the Dubs took a 92-80 leading heading into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth, it would be all Celtics as Jaylen Brown and Al Horford, both in their first NBA finals games combined for 21 of the 40 points Boston scored. Boston turned a 12-point deficit into a 12-point win in game one, 120-108. Brown, Horford and Derrick White would combine for 71 points. Jayson Tatum only scored 12 points on 3-for-17 shooting, but was able to grab five rebounds and dished out a career high 13 assists in the win.

Steph Curry put on a brilliant performance in their game one defeat, scoring 34 points and hitting seven threes. While Klay Thompson and Wiggins combined for 35 more points, Jordan Poole struggled, shooting just 2-for-7 from the field.

Game 2:

The first half of game two was much of the same, as it was the Warriors this time who took the lead into half-time, 52-50 powered by Curry’s 15, while Tatum and Brown combined for 36 of the 50 points for the Celtics.

There was some controversy in this game as after Draymond Green was called for a technical foul early in game two, and Green barely avoided his second after getting in a shoving match with Jaylen Brown, after Brown had kicked his leg out a little on a shot and Green fell on Brown.

Much like in game one, the third quarter went the way of the Warriors as they held the Celtics to just 14 points, while Curry matched the Celtics on his own with 14 points on 3-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc. By the time the quarter was over, Golden State held an 87-64 lead heading into the final frame. There was no magic in the fourth for the Celtics as both sides emptied their benches to finish out the 107-88 blowout by the Warriors.

The Warriors were powered once again by the former two-time league MVP in Curry as he poured in 29 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Poole bounced back after a rough game one as he scored 17 points as the second leading scorer for the Warriors.

The Warriors defense held Boston to just 37.5% shooting from the field and forced 18 turnovers, 15 them steals by the Warriors.

Tatum rebounded from a bad game one to drop 28 points, six rebounds and three assists, but was a minus 36 on the night for the Celtics. Brown contributed 17 points but just shot 5-for-17 from the field. Horford only had two points on four shots and White shot 4-for-13 to score just 12 points.

Game 3:

When: Wednesday June 3

Time: 9 p.m. EST

Where: T.D. Garden in Boston, Massachusetts

Key for a Celtics win: Bring the effort to the Third Quarter

Boston needs to show up in the third quarter not just for game three but for the rest of the series. Right now, they are being outscored 73-38 in the third quarter. They were lucky that they were able to turn things around in game one but if they keep playing how they have so far in the third quarter, the rest of this series will look more like game two rather than a full competitive game.

Key for a Warriors win: Continue to get the other guys involved

One of the best parts about this Warriors dynasty and more specifically this year’s team is the ball movement that head coach Steve Kerr has put in place. Golden State had five players in double figures and 25 assists on 39 made shots in game two. In order for them to keep applying the pressure to the Celtics, Poole, Thompson and Wiggins will have to continue to score to support what looks like a Finals MVP run by Curry.


Warriors 108, Celtics 104


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