The NBA Finals are tied at one game each, but the Celtics must work out how to deal with the Warriors’ spectacular third quarters. In Game 2, the Warriors broke away for the rest, outscoring the Celtics 35-14 in the third quarter.
The Celtics didn’t have a clear fourth-quarter reply, as they were helpless to Golden State’s momentum. Jordan Poole’s 38-foot 3-pointer was the perfect accessory for the Warriors, who never allowed the Celtics to get back into the match. Ime Udoka, Boston’s coach, unloaded his squad early in the fourth quarter, knowing the Celtics didn’t have a chance at victory after this.
Al Horford said: “It’s something we have to fix, that we have to address.” He further added: “I know Coach has talked about it. I’ll have to go back and look at the whole game but really look at the third, and we need to find ways to be better.”
The Celtics have now been defeated 73-38 in the third quarter of the matchup. They had a tremendous fourth-quarter rally in Game 1, allowing them to grab the victory and home-court advantage. The Warriors, on the other hand, were pumped for Game 2 because they didn’t want to fall behind 2-0 in the series coming to Boston.
Draymond Green said about the third quarter:
“I felt like it was coming the entire game. I felt like we were playing really good basketball and we just didn’t pull away. If you stay the course and continue to play basketball, it will eventually go your way. We did a good job of that, and we feed off it.”
All through the playoffs, the Celtics have struggled badly in the third quarter. During the season opener, they were one of the strongest third-quarter sides, taking advantage of intermission to relax and adjust. However, basketball is unpredictable, and that edge has faded into a postseason deficit.
If the Celtics really want win the Finals, they’ll focus on this as the series moves to Boston for Games 3 and 4.