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The Boston Celtics survived a furious comeback from the Golden State Warriors to take Game 3 116-100 on Wednesday night and advance 2-1 in the series. The NBA Finals.
The Celtics led by as much as 18 points before briefly relinquishing the lead to the Warriors in the third quarter. In one series, Stephen Curry would hit a triple pointer and crash. Al Horford was summoned for a flagrant foul which gave Golden State ball again.
In the next play, Otto Porter Jr. hit three pointers to cut the lead to just two points. The sequence helped the warriors get back into the game. But Boston’s ability to capture and capitalize on the offensive rebounds proved to be what makes the difference in the game.
The Warriors outperformed the Celtics 33-25 in the third quarter but Boston still finished the quarter With 93-89 bullets. That was enough to maintain their momentum and fend off the Golden State.
Jaylen Brown made his hot start and was big on Boston’s win. He finished the match with 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Jason Tatum scored 26 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Even with five turnovers, Marcus Smart scored 24 points and seven rebounds.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, the trio of Brown, Tatum and Smart were the first teammates each to have at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in an NBA Finals game since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Michael Cooper did. For the Los Angeles Lakers in 1984.
The Celtics crushed the Golden State on the offensive glass 15-6. The team scored 52 out of 116 points in the paint and fired 48.3% from the field.
On the defensive side, Robert Williams III had four blocks and three assists. He had eight points and 10 rebounds. Brown also had a major block on Klay Thompson late in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors got 31 points from Curry. It was 12 of 22 off the ground, including a 6 on 11 of a three-point set. He had four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Thompson added 25 points in paying 7 out of 17 with three rebounds. And Boston achieved the brilliance of Draymond Green with only two points, four rebounds and three assists in 35 minutes.
The Celtics moved to 7-0 after losing in the playoffs.
Game 4 is set Friday night at 9 p.m. ET in Boston.