NBA finals Game 3: Golden State Warriors v Boston Celtics – live!

Warriors 47-56 Celtics, 4:44, second quarter

Horford is on the line with free throws. He misses… both? A lot of free points left on the line so far, we have to see if this game because close enough for them to be a factor. Miles to go, though.

And Thompson hits yet another three-pointer. Safe to say he’s back on and is going to be a problem. And, finally, the Warriors get back-to-back scores with Wiggins making a dunk.

That fast-paced sequence was more like Game 1. I’m not sure if that’s what the Warriors wanted to hear considering how that worked out for them.

Warriors 39-56 Celtics, 5:31, second quarter

Looney picks up his second foul. Tatum finds Smart for an alley-oop. Poole makes a layup. Tatum hits a three-pointer. A lot is going on, but the Warriors can’t find separation.

Poole hits another three-pointer. He could be the not-so-secret weapon here.

But of course Tatum scores immediately to respond. Looney picks up another foul and the Celtics call a timeout.

Warriors 34-49 Celtics, 7:03, second quarter

All the Warriors’ offense seems to be on the free throw line this quarter. Wiggins gets on the line, hitting one-of-two. And there’s a turnover… Smart throws a ball carelessly and lets Wiggins dunk. This is going to be rough if…

Well if the Celtics don’t keep making up for these mistakes: Tatum hits his first three-pointer of the game.

Warriors 31-46 Celtics, 8:12, second quarter

Tatum rightfully gets called for a shooting foul, his first, but the crowd does not agree and join in on an off-color chant of displeasure. Wiggins hits both of his free throws. Rob Williams scores again, right underneath the basket, and he’s looking a lot healthier.

Warriors 29-44 Celtics, 8:48, second quarter

Robert Williams gets called for a foul on what looks like a rather clean block. So it goes. Thompson, of course, is automatic today so he hits both of his free throws. You’d think this would be a swing moment, but again the Celtics aren’t giving them any quarter. Derrick White with a layup.

Jaylen Brown
Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) drives against Warriors guard Gary Payton II (0) during the first quarter. Photograph: Steven Senne/AP

Warriors 27-42 Celtics, 9:26, second quarter

Grant Williams gets fouled and jaws with Green. I’ve seen this show before. Thompson scores yet again: that’s four in a row. However, Boston keeps answering every Warriors punch. In this case it’s Payton Pritchard, in the game and hitting a three-pointer.

Warriors 25-39 Celtics, 9:51, second quarter

The Celtics crowd cheers Green’s first foul of the evening. Pretty much expected that. Tatum misses a three but the Celtics secure the rebound. Second-chance opportunities are big: Williams cashes this one in with another score.

Thompson, however, looks to be heating back up after a tough start to the series. He knocks down a three pointer but, on the other end, Williams the Robert dunks all over Golden State.

Warriors 22-35 Celtics, 11:37, second quarter

Grant Williams is in the game and he scores immediately to start the second for the Celtics.

@HunterFelt re: “Good shot, don’t get cocky”, surely you’d be slightly shocked if Ime Udoka quoted Star Wars at his players, no matter how relevant the quote is?

— Homelessness Advocate (@Roscommon_Cat) June 9, 2022

It is illegal to not be able to quote “Star Wars” in any potential situation in 21st century America. We’re all required to know this.

Warriors 22-33 Celtics, end of the first quarter

Celtics swarm Looney to prevent him from scoring but that defense is naught thanks to Klay Thompson who hits a three-pointer. Brown, however, answers him with one of his own. That’s 17 points in the first quarter for Brown. White picks up his second foul with just 6.3 left in the first quarter. Thompson hits both of his free throws to make it a slightly deflating finish for what was almost a perfect-quarter. Their lead is 11-points and it feels like it would be more against your average team.

The Warriors are not average. It’s gonna be a long game.

Warriors 17-30 Celtics, 1:46, first quarter

White rushes to foul Gary Payton II to prevent an easy layup. It’s great effort, but Payton still makes both of his free throws.

Warriors 15-30 Celtics, 2:00, first quarter

Poole gets called for a foul. Smart gets on the line, and hits both of his freebies this time around. Curry scores here immediately.

Then Smart hits Brown for a dunk: that’s 14 points for him and maybe that Warriors mini-run isn’t coming.

Warriors 13-26 Celtics, 3:48, first quarter

Looney with a dunk out of the timeout. Exactly what you want to see as a head coach. Plus, there’s Jordan Poole in the game. Wouldn’t be shocked at a mini-Warriors run here.

I don’t know, I feel like these games don’t even start until the third quarter.

Wait, wait, that doesn’t mean stop reading! That means keep reading this to the very end. I want to emphasize that whatever you do you should always pay attention to me.

Warriors 11-26 Celtics, 3:48, first quarter

White makes a layup. Steph Curry hits a jumper to try to get the Warriors going but Horford—mostly invisible on Sunday—dunks and that’s going to force the Warriors to take a timeout.

Warriors 9-22 Celtics, 4:26, first quarter

Marcus Smart is on the line with two free throws and… misses both. Maybe the only thing that’s gone wrong for them so far this quarter. Wiggins can’t connect for the Warriors but Horford can on the other end.

And there’s a Golden State turnover but Draymond Green pops in and commits the cleanest block you’ll ever see. Boston maintains possession though and Brown scores.

Jaylen Brown
Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) drives to the basket against Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) during the first quarter. Photograph: Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports

The Celtics have avoided turnovers early. They need to emphasize that, I think. Wouldn’t shock me if this is a “good start, don’t get cocky” speech from Udoka.

Warriors 9-18 Celtics, 5:44, first quarter

Wiggins sneaks through the Celtics defense to score a layup. What a second act to his career! Brown however floats one up, he’s got 10 points already.

Curry picks up his second foul halfway through the first quarter. That’s also something to watch for. The Celtics take a timeout.

Warriors 7-16 Celtics, 6:51, first quarter

Warriors getting some good looks just not hitting them early. Something to watch. Wiggins with a pretty obvious offensive foul turns the ball over but the Celtics early turn it over on the next possession. Tatum loses control but manages to keep the ball.

Brown gets free throws after being fouled by Gary Payton II, just in for Kevon Looney. Brown makes both of his free throws.

Warriors 7-14 Celtics, 7:55, first quarter

Tatum answers that, however, getting to the basket to regain the eight-point lead. Derrick White is in early to replace Williams and Curry immediately hits a three. Marcus Smart posts up for another basket in the paint. The Celtics are feeling it early.

Warriors 2-10 Celtics, 10:03, first quarter

Horford with a three-pointer. Brown with a three-pointer! I’ve never heard the Garden this loud this early in a game. That’s a 10-0 run.

Warriors 2-4 Celtics, 11:03, first quarter

Brown answers with a three-pointer and then Jayson Tatum gets fouled and his arm seems not right here. On the line, Tatum makes one of two free throws.

Opening Tip

Warriors 2-0 Celtics, 11:27, first quarter

Green gets booed during the introductions. Warriors win the tip. We have basketball. Kevon Looney scores first.

This could, in fact, be the entirety of the game.

National Anthem

Michelle Brooks-Thompson sings. It’s fine. San Francisco had more fun with “The Star Spangled Banner.” 6/10

Michelle Brooks-Thompson
Michelle Brooks-Thompson sings the national anthem before Game 3. Photograph: Steven Senne/AP

The first Finals game in TD Garden since 2010. Earlier today there was a massive fraud alert, so there’s a good chance that not everybody who thought they had tickets are going to be getting in.

Boston Celtics starting lineup

Jayson Tatum, G/F

Marcus Smart, G

Jaylen Brown, F/G

Robert Williams, C

Al Horford, F

A cool thing about Boston being in the NBA Finals: they’re going heavy with the Gang Starr in these pregame montages. (R.I.P. Guru, Boston legend)

Golden State Warriors starting lineup

Steph Curry, G

Klay Thompson, G/F

Draymond Green, C/F

Kevon Looney, C/F

Andrew Wiggins, F

Stephen A. Smith says that Draymond Green knows that these refs are going to be biased against him and that he won’t be able to be as… involved, let’s say, as in Game 2.

He’s probably not wrong! Also, wow is this Boston crowd about to rain anger at him.

Derrick White

I am biased, but I still say the unlikely story of Derrick White’s unusual road to the NBA and convoluted way to the NBA Finals with the Boston Celtics is worth reading. We have some time here, especially since Opening Tip always seems to be a nebulous point in time.

(No, I don’t know why the games still start at 9 pm EST even though we’re no longer on the West Coast.)

Predictions

Me? I’ve seen this pattern enough: the Celtics get humiliated after they stumble way through a winnable game that turns into an embarrassing loss through their own carelessness, get it together and pull off a huge victory. They haven’t lost twice yet—as previously mentioned—and I see that continuing here. This might even be a relatively stress-free win, think double-digits by the fourth even though the live commentator in me hopes not to get two straight games that were decided that early.

Your thoughts? Once again I’d remind everybody that they can email their predictions to hunter.felt.freelance@theguardian.com or tweet it to @HunterFelt and we’ll include them throughout this liveblog. Unless it’s like, halfway through the fourth quarter. That’s just cheating, isn’t it?

Injury Report

For what it’s worth, Andre Iguodala is available to play tonight for the Golden State Warriors. Didn’t really feel like they needed him in Game 2.

Robert Williams is also good to go for the Boston Celtics, but hopefully, he looks better than he did on Sunday when he was hobbled to the point of hurting the team. When he’s healthy, it’s quite obvious (especially to the other team).

Scott Foster

For all of those who were hoping that we wouldn’t get a ref show this time around after Game 2’s nonsense? Sorry, Scott Foster is here as part of NBA’s crew.

If you want to know if you’re not a well-respected official, just think that all the betting sites immediately took notice of this and sent me a whole bunch of emails about how this could affect the game. The Celtics are 3-1 in playoff games officiated by Foster this year, for what that’s worth.

Draymond Green

The key moment in Game 2? Well, there was a moment during an on-court encounter between the Warriors’ Draymond Green and the Celtics’ Jaylen Brown where the officials could (and arguably should) have been called for double technical fouls. However, doing so would have meant that Green, Golden State’s defensive engine, would have to be ejected having picked up a tech early in the game.

Knowing that was a tricky thing to do in the middle of a playoff game, they decided not to call for them. Green stayed in the game and his defensive energy—not to mention the frustration on part of the Celtics that he was even still in the game—was a key reason for Boston’s collapse.

Like it or not, the rules change in the playoffs and the Celtics knew that going in. It’s hard for them to get angry about it, especially since the game was an absolute blowout loss in the end. As CelticsWire’s Justin Quinn rightfully notes: “That Boston allowed itself to be bothered by such antics that are, for better or worse, a feature of the modern game and not a bug, to the tune of 18 turnovers is why they lost the game.”

Context: Boston teams have a history, some of it (but not all) apocryphal, of not playing entirely on the up and up.

Preamble

Well, that was much more predictable than Thursday’s Game 1. The Boston Celtics are not good at playing from ahead. So after a huge comeback victory over the Golden State Warriors the previous game, the Celtics decided to redo the third-quarter collapse while avoiding a replay of the miracle fourth. So, yeah, it was a huge loss for Boston, to the point that Celtics head coach Ime Udoka pulled his starters well before the final buzzer.

It shouldn’t have been shocking considering their opponents: the chances of them getting both road games to start the 2022 NBA Finals against this Warriors team was always slim. The Warriors tied up the NBA Finals 1-1 and guaranteed what we all expected heading in: this will be a long series. I don’t see either team winning three straight against each other.

Keep in mind that the Celtics haven’t lost two games in a row all postseason long. Normally that’s a good stat to have in one’s back pocket, but Boston can’t be complacent. I recall a message from “Scream 3,” all bets are off in the third installment of the series.

While we all bear witness you can write to us and have your Finals Game 3 thoughts posted here for all to see. If you would prefer to use email, send them to hunter.felt.freelance@theguardian.com or you can tweet them to @HunterFelt. It’s Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Opening tip is set for 9:00 pm EST but we’ll be back well before then with news, predictions and random tomfoolery.


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