Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum Lead Boston to Game 3 Win

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum Lead Boston to Game 3 Win

The Boston Celtics are two wins away from winning their first NBA title after guiding Boston to a 116-100 win over the Golden State Warriors in Wednesday’s Game 3.

Jaylen Brown (27 points, nine rebounds, five assists) and Jayson Tatum (26 points, six rebounds, nine assists) combined to score 53 points for the night. Brown scored 22 points in the first half to kick off the festivities, while Tatum took over Boston’s scoring duties and dropped 15 points in the second half.

Boston grabbed their 2-1 lead over Golden State by throwing the first punch and bullying the bully. Namely, Boston took Draymond Green (two points, four boards, three dimes) out of the game and forced him to foul out in 35 minutes.

The Celtics outplayed the Boston on the inside, outscoring the Warriors in the paint, 52-26. As a team, the Celtics outrebounded the Warriors 47-31, grabbing 15 offensive rebounds, which turned into 22 second-chance points.

“Game 2, they brought the heat to us,” said Marcus Smart (24 points, seven rebounds, five assists). “For us, that left a bad taste in our mouth because what we hang our hat on is effort on the defensive end and being a physical team. It definitely woke us up a little bit.”

For the series, the Warriors have outscored the Celtics by 43 points in the third frame. A seven-point swing highlighted their third quarter after Stephen Curry (31 points, four rebounds, two assists, including 15 in the third) knocked down a three-pointer as he was fouled by Al Horford (11 points, eight rebounds, six assists).

Horford’s foul was ruled flagrant because he didn’t give Curry any room to land. After Curry sank the subsequent free throw, Otto Porter Jr. (six points and four rebounds) hit a three-pointer to complete the seven-point sequence.

Curry hit another three just a minute later to give Golden State its first lead since 17 seconds into the first quarter. Boston did just enough at the end of the third and clung to a 93-89 lead entering the fourth quarter.

“It’s all about how you respond. We didn’t hold our head down or anything. We called a timeout, figured it out, and made winning plays.”

The Celtics kept their composure and responded to Golden State’s dominant run with a 9-2 run to open the final frame that extended their lead to 11 points. The Warriors were unable to cut the deficit to any closer than eight points the rest of the way.

Tatum scored eight points, followed by Smart’s eight before Coach Ime Udoka pulled Bostons started with two minutes left in the game.

“We talked about it quite a bit, our group being resilient and being able to fight through a lot of things and at times when it’s most needed being able to lock down on defense,” Udoka said. “We did in the fourth quarter,”

Now in control of their destiny with a 2-1 lead heading into Friday’s Game 4, the Celtics can feel good knowing that the winner of Game 3 has gone on to win the Finals 82.1 percent of the time. Also, Boston is now 7-0 after losing and has yet to lose back-to-back games in the postseason.

However, neither has Golden State. In fact, Golden State has won at least one road in every playoff series since the first round of the 2013 playoffs. The Warriors will have to extend that streak to win their fourth title since 2015. After Boston bullied the bully that is Golden State, the question is who will take on that bully role on Friday.

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