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The Boston Celtics survived a furious Golden State Warriors comeback to win Game 3 116-100 on Wednesday night and take a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals series.
The Celtics led up to 18 points before briefly giving the lead to the Warriors in the third quarter. In one series, Stephen Curry hit a three-pointer and got fouled. Al Horford was called for a foul and a flagrante delicto which returned the ball to Golden State.
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On the next play, Otto Porter Jr. would hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to just two points. The streak helped the Warriors get back into the game. But Boston’s ability to get and capitalize on offensive rebounds proved to be the difference in the game.
The Warriors outscored the Celtics 33-25 in the third quarter, but Boston still finished the quarter with a 93-89 lead. It was enough to keep their momentum going and drive Golden State away.
Jaylen Brown started hot and was huge in the win over Boston. He finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Jayson Tatum had 26 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Even with five turnovers, Marcus Smart had 24 points and seven rebounds.
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According to ESPN Stats & Info, the trio of Brown, Tatum and Smart were the first teammates to each have at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in an NBA Finals game since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Michael Cooper did. for the Los Angeles Lakers in 1984.
The Celtics crushed Golden State on the offensive glass 15-6. The team had 52 of its 116 points in the paint and shot 48.3% from the field.
On the defensive end, Robert Williams III had four blocks and three assists. He had eight points and 10 rebounds. Brown also had a key block on Klay Thompson late in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors got 31 points from Curry. He was 12 of 22 on the ground, including 6 of 11 from three-pointers. He had four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Thompson added 25 points on 7-of-17 shooting with three rebounds. Boston held a passionate Draymond Green to just two points, four rebounds and three assists in 35 minutes.
The Celtics moved to 7-0 after a playoff loss.
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Game 4 is scheduled for Friday night at 9 p.m. ET in Boston.