boston celtics is perhaps the most traditional franchise in the NBA. Always the same name, always the same colors, always the same city. It was born with the league itself, and was the first monopolizer of the best basketball championship in the world. In these 75 years of the National Basketball Association, he has obtained the champion scepter 17 timesa figure that finds it next to Lakersthe organization that originated in Minneapolis and relocated to Los Angeles and which started it in 2020.
But now Boston, in a season that did not seem to suit him, is two wins away from getting the ring, from reigning in the NBA again. From the hand of Jayson Tatum, Jaylene Brown Y Marcus Smartwho combined for 77 points, withstood a comeback from Golden State Warriors and was imposed by 116-100 in the third game of the final, which he now wins by 2-1. Brown, with 27 points; Tatum, with 26and Smart, with 24provided a win for their fans in the first game of a league-decisive series at TD Garden since 2010.
And those fans are excited: in 82% of all cases, the team that took the lead 2-1 in a third chapter of a league outcome ended up being crowned (32 out of 39). Statistics in the NBA, in addition to being omnipresent, are usually foreboding.
Boston Compact 116 vs. golden state 100
Warriors was overwhelmed in intensity in the final stretch of the clash after starring in another spectacular third quarter on their part, led by Stephen Curry. The base shone with 31 pointsincluding 6 triples, but left the court due to a strong blow to the left leg suffered in a dispute with the Dominican Al Horford.
In turn, the escort Klay Thompson had his best performance of the series, with 25 pointsand the Canadian Andrew Wiggins contributed 18but Golden State still needs more consistent scorers. Draymond Greentheir defensive leader, ended up being sent off as a result of his sixth foul, 4 minutes from the end and with just 2 points Y 4 rebounds. The temperamental power forward failed to intimidate the Boston figures and the 19,000 fans The Celtics pushed hard for him not to be allowed to commit actions at the limit of the regulations, as he did in the games played in San Francisco. “He had a tough game, but I trust Draymond like anyone else,” said the coach. Steve Kerrwho described as “very elegant” the hostile reception of the public to his player.
Boston completely controlled the game except in the inevitable Warriors’ rush in the third period, in which Curry came on fire with 15 points and 4 3-pointers to put Golden State ahead on the scoreboard. This time the green and white team withstood the avalanche and, thanks to Tatum, once again dominated the scoreboard until achieving a victory that kept the home-field advantage in the series. “We can’t be too happy. We have to be ready for the next game. We know that they are going to be extra aggressive”, warned Tatum about the fourth clash, which will take place this Friday, also in Massachusetts, at 10 pm in Buenos Aires.
The Celtics stepped up the intensity from Game 2, in which they were demolished by a devastating 35-14 run from Golden State in the third leg. The Tatum-Brown-Smart trio is the first to each add at least 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in a finals game since the legendary of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Michael Cooper of the archrival Los Angeles Lakers , which he did in 1984.
Brown, one of the targets of Draymond Green’s provocations, dominated the duel between the two from his fabulous start to the game: 22 points in the opening half. the pivot Robert Williams IIIwho suffers from a knee injury, imposed his law in the paint with 8 points, 10 recoveries, 3 steals and 4 blocks.
The Celtics went into the break with a 12-point lead (68-56), but also under threat from Golden State’s furious reactions in the third half. Unlike in the first clashes, the comeback was delayed until the middle of the period, but it came with a run of 17-3including 7 goals in a single possession.
With their fans on fire, the Celtics didn’t get run over this time by the avalanche. He leaned on his offensive rebounding superiority (15 against 6) and in the dependence that the Warriors have on Curry, who accumulated too many infractions.
The talented Tatum took it upon himself to attack again and again and had 8 points in a row that pushed Boston’s lead to double figures, 107-96, midway through the fourth quarter. With 4 minutes remaining Curry and Horford fought for a ball on the ground and the Dominican pivot fell on the base’s left legthat he writhed in pain. Given the difference in the score, Steve Kerr chose to withdraw his star and the rest of the starters, thinking about the fourth battle. “The injury did not force him out. I took it out because we were not going to overcome 14 points of disadvantage”, justified the DT.