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Warriors rocket to Game 2 win over Boston with explosive third quarter

There’s just something about third quarters.

Another outburst in the third, this time with an appropriate closing, gave the Warriors a dominating 107-88 win Sunday to even the NBA Finals 1-1 with the Boston Celtics.

One game after outscoring the Celtics by 14 in the third, the Warriors upped the ante and made sure their lead would be enough when they outscored them by 21.

Stephen Curry led the way with 29 and a few of his usual backbreaking 3’s after halftime.

After an okay by his standards first half, Curry was freed up in the second as the Warriors did away with their usual motion offense and instead fed the Celtics a steady diet of Curry pick-and-rolls.

Draymond Green, Kevon Looney and Gary Payton II all took turns putting their bodies in front of whoever was guarding Curry and forcing switches.

But the Warriors weren’t just satisfied with one pick-and-roll, they ran multiple screens until they got the exact matchup they wanted.

That was always targeting the Celtics bigs, who instead of switching or trapping, would sag into drop coverage.

That’s not going to work against the greatest shooter in NBA history, as he got open look after open look and knocked most of them down.

While he was pouring it on offensively, his defense was almost as good. He deflected numerous passes, but also locked in on Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and whoever else he got switched on.

Curry was moving his feet, pressuring up above the 3-point-line and not just stoning any isolation drives the Celtics thought they had, but creating actual havoc on the defensive end.

He was joined by Green, who was the Warriors emotional focal point all game.

He picked up an early technical, but that just seemed to spark his emotions as he continued to talk trash and get in the Celtics’ grills from that point on.

If you had a Boston jersey on, chances are you had some kind of altercation with Green.

He toed that line to not get his second technical perfectly and that was the type of toughness the Warriors needed after their fourth-quarter performance in Game 1.

And even though the Warriors supporting starters of Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson struggled offensively, they got just enough support from others to push this game out of reach.

Namely Jordan Poole, who followed his horrid Game 1 with an even worse Game 2 — at least in the first half.

He played just nine first half minutes and even that might have been too much as he was turning the ball over, trying to do too much on offense and getting roasted on defense.

He was so bad, it looked like his night might be done after that first stint.

But Steve Kerr went back to the 22-year-old late in the third quarter.

He immediately set up Looney for an open dunk, then capped the period with two deep 3’s, the second of which was a buzzer beater from just inside half court.

You could feel his arrival in the NBA Finals after that shot. He had been frazzled up to that point, but it looks like he might have finally awoken. And with him, so too have the Warriors.

Up Next

Another two days of rest await both teams as they won’t take the court again until Wednesday in Boston.

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