The Boston Celtics are in a position to take a commanding lead in the NBA Finals, while the Golden State Warriors are hoping they won’t have to play without star guard Stephen Curry.
Boston is halfway through its first NBA title win since 2008 and the Celtics will look to take another step on Friday night when they host the Warriors in Game 4, one of the best of seven series.
Boston are looking to take a 3-1 lead after beating Golden State for most of their competition in Wednesday’s 116-100 home win.
The Celtics had problems at home in the post-season but the rugged Game 3 atmosphere gave a quick start and an energetic ending.
Boston star forward Jason Tatum said: “It’s the final, it’s the big one. “But at the same time, you want to keep the same focus that we got a game on Friday, we have to lock in and things like that. When you walk in the garden and when you are warming up it is already full, you must notice a different energy. ”
The Warriors are more concerned about Curry’s left leg, who was injured during a scramble for the ball when Celtics giant Al Harford landed on his leg. Curry was in pain on the floor and stayed up until 4:07 early in the game. Less than two minutes later, when coach Steve Kerr decided the game was out of reach, he was fired.
“We’ll see how it responds,” Curry said. “There is not much to say. I don’t think I’ll miss a game. Take advantage of the next 48 hours to get ready. ”
Curry scored 31 in Game 3 and 6 out of 11 in the 3-point range. He averaged 31.3 points and scored 18 out of 37 (48.6 percent) from a 3-point range in the series.
Fellow Splash brother Clay Thompson is optimistic Curry will be on the floor Friday.
“Well, if we want to win this thing, we need him,” Thompson said. “I know Steve is going to do what he can in his playing ability. I really hope she’s OK because she’s our identity, and without her it would be very difficult. “
Golden State continued its third-quarter star trend as it beat Boston 33-25 to 93-89. But the Warriors have scored just 11 final-quarter points in 5-of-15 shootings, including eight missed nine of the 3-point effort.
Much of the credit for Celtics’ strong defensive performance goes to big man Robert Williams III, who contributed eight points, 10 rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals.
“Rob is really a game changer,” Horford said. “We are very lucky to have a guy like him who can win, because it’s out of number with him. It’s just the thing that he brings, being in the right place. I am fascinated by Rob, just his ability to keep improving and learn. “
Boston is fascinated by the way Williams has struggled with his left knee injury. Despite his illness, he missed only one of the team’s last 10 games, which limited him to 14 invalid minutes in Game 2.
“It simply came to our notice then. Throw everything in it, “said Williams. “It usually hurts more the day after the game. A
“I think it’s a matter of playing through the pain. Obviously, I’m not getting the time I need for this injury. We will focus on that after the season. ”
Williams helped Boston hold a 47-31 rebounding edge in Game 3. Golden State forward Dreammond Green had just two points and four rebounds.
“I just think I never found the rhythm, really on both ends of the floor,” Green said. “There is not enough energy. But just had to quickly find a rhythm. I was soft. That was the saddest thing for me. “
Thompson enjoyed the best game of the series with 25 points.
Boston had three players in the top 20 points: Jelene Brown (27), Tatum (26) and Marcus Smart (24).
Field level media
Get the hottest sports news right in your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to access Philippine Daily Inquirer and other 70+ headlines, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to news, download by 4am and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, please contact us.