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The Boston Celtics survived a furious comeback from the Golden State Warriors to capture Game 3 116-100 on Wednesday night and take a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals.
The Celtics led by a whopping 18 points before briefly giving up the lead to the Warriors in the third quarter. In one series, Stephen Curry would hit a three-pointer and get a foul. Al Horford was called for a foul and a flagrant that gave Golden State the ball back.
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On the next game, Otto Porter Jr. a three-pointer to narrow the lead to just two points. The series helped the Warriors get back into the game. But Boston’s ability to grab and harness offensive rebounds proved to make all the difference in the game.
The Warriors defeated the Celtics 33-25 in the third quarter, but Boston still ended the quarter with a 93-89 lead. It was enough to keep them going and drive Golden State away.
Jaylen Brown started hot and was huge in Boston’s win. 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 it. for the Los Angeles Lakers in 1984.
The Celtics crushed Golden State on the offensive glass 15-6. The team had 52 of their 116 points under the line and shot 48.3% of the field.
On the defensive side, Robert Williams III had four blocks and three assists. He had eight points and ten rebounds. Brown also had a key block on Klay Thompson late in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors got 31 points from Curry. He went 12-for-22 from the floor, including 6-for-11 from the three-point range. He scored 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 advanced to 7-0 after losing in the playoffs.
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Game 4 is set for Friday night at 9 p.m. ET in Boston.