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GAME ESSENTIALS: Warriors (53-29) vs. Celtics (51-31), at 6 p.m. (PT). TV: ABC
ODDS: Celtics -3.5. OVER/UNDER: 213.
FINALS SERIES UPDATE: Series tied, 1-1. LAST PLAYOFF MEETING: Celtics won 1964 NBA Finals 4-1.
Much like the Dropkick Murphys once sang, the Warriors are shipping up to Boston for Game 3 of the 2022 NBA Finals.
Golden State split the first two games on their home court and will now need to continue their NBA-record streak of getting a road win in a playoff series for the 27th consecutive time. That’s every single playoff series that Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have played in — and, oh by the way, they’ve won at least two games in every single series they’ve played in, too.
Curry, for his part, has been sensational in the Finals so far, scoring more than twice the amount of points (63) as any of his teammates (Andrew Wiggins is second, with 31). He’s also been stellar on the defensive end, helping Golden State suffocate Boston in the second half.
The Warriors got a big boost on that defensive end from Gary Payton II’s return from his elbow fracture. The 6-foot-3 guard can defend players much bigger and taller than him and will need to continue to show that he can do that in hostile environments. And, of course, no mention of Golden State’s defense can be made without noting how impactful Green can be on that end when he’s at his best, like he was for a good stretch on Sunday.
Thompson, meanwhile, has struggled mightily during the Finals so far, and Jordan Poole was deep in the struggles until late in the third quarter of Game 2. While Curry’s led the charge offensively, either Poole or Thompson stepping up could help unburden Curry — or add extra firepower to make it a hard assignment for the Celtics.
Can either Thompson or Poole (or anyone else) have a big night offensively to complement Curry? How do the Celtics adjust to try and break down the Golden State defense, now featuring Payton? And can the Warriors extend their NBA record by pulling off a win on the road and retake home court advantage?
Follow along as reporters Madeline Kenney and Shayna Rubin and columnist Dieter Kurtenbach break down those questions and more in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
Contributed by local news sources