It felt like a similar story in Game 2. After a close first half, which ended in the Golden State Warriors leading 52-50, the Warriors turned on jets on and outscored the Boston Celtics 35-14 to take a 23-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The difference this time was that the Warriors defended much better. They also got other players to hit big shots in that pivotal third quarter, including Jordan Poole. He hit two big threes at the end of the third, including one from near half court to close off the third quarter. Poole went on to finish the game with five threes and 17 points.
Otto Porter Jr. also made the most of his minutes with on defense with three steals, and Nemanja Bjelica was able to spread the the floor with his passing and his skill with the ball, something Andre Iguodala couldn’t do in Game 1.
Steph Curry led the way with 29 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals, with four other Warriors shooting at least 11 points.
It’s worth noting that Klay Thompson is still struggling with his shot, and Steve Kerr kept him in the game after the Warriors and Celtics both emptied their benches with around eight minutes left in the game. Thompson finished with 11 points while shooting 4 of 19 overall.
That was enough to cancel out Jayson Tatum, who rediscovered his shooting form and finished with 28 points, six rebounds, three assists and a steal. However, this time around, he didn’t get as much help. While Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Marcus Smart and Derrick White combined for 89 points in Game 1, they had a total of 33 in Game 2.
Warriors were much more tuned in defensively as they forced 18 turnovers, while only throwing the ball away 12 times themselves – a relatively low number for the turnover-prone Western Conference champs.
After their disappointing fourth quarter meltdown in the series opener, the Warriors have now redeemed themselves with their strong Game 2. I’ve got no idea who wins this series but I’m getting a strong feeling that this goes seven games.