Stephen Curry scored 29 points, Jordan Poole connected just inside midfield to cap off a huge third quarter run and the Golden State Warriors beat the Boston Celtics 107-88 on Sunday night in Game 2 for tie the NBA Finals.
Poole finished with 17 points for the Warriors, who beat Boston 35-14 in the third quarter to turn a two-point halftime lead into a 23-point lead. And when the Warriors then scored the first six points of the fourth, the Celtics waved the surrender flag and emptied their bench.
Golden State also got 12 from Kevon Looney on 6-for-6 shooting, and 11 each from Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson. Jayson Tatum scored 21 of his 28 first-half points for Boston. Jaylen Brown added 17 for the Celtics, but struggled on a 5-for-17 shooting night, and Derrick White scored 12.
Just like in Game 1, a huge run decided everything. The Celtics went on a 48-18 run in the second half to decide Game 1; the Warriors didn’t wait that long in Game 2, going 43-14 from the end of the first half to the start of the fourth quarter to turn a draw into a runaway.
Curry had 14 of his points in the third, making three of his five three-pointers in the quarter. Boston was 4 for 15 in the quarter, outscored 21-6 of three and let the Warriors turn five turnovers into 11 points.
Poole provided the exclamation point late in the third quarter, taking a pass in the closing seconds, dribbling to the halfboard, creating space and letting it fly. Curry greeted him with a smile and a hug, the Chase Center fans jumped to their feet — if they weren’t already on them — and the outcome was pretty much decided there.
And for the first time, the crowd in the new Warriors building finally saw the Celtics lose. Boston went into the night 4-0 in the three-year-old home of the Warriors, the only team to win its first four games in the arena.
The Celtics wanted to join just two other teams – the 1993 Chicago Bulls and the 1995 Houston Rockets – on the list of clubs that swept two road games to open the Finals. Those Bulls and Rockets won the championship, and 31 of the previous 36 teams to open with a 2-0 lead ended up celebrating a title.
All is not lost for Boston, of course. The Celtics only need to win their remaining home games to clinch the title, although that’s no easy task against a Warriors team that has won at least one road game in a 26-game straight playoff series. NBA records.