The Boston Celtics stole home-court advantage from the Warriors with their Game 1 win. But playing at home during the playoffs this season hasn’t given the Celtics much of a boost.
The Celtics are just 5-4 at TD Garden, although they won Game 7 against the Milwaukee Bucks at home in the second round of the 2022 NBA playoffs..
Even after falling to the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 in San Francisco, the Celtics are 8-3 on the road in the postseason.
USA TODAY Sports will have live updates and analysis all evening as Game 3 of the 2022 NBA Finals gets underway.
Steve Kerr not concerned with Klay Thompson’s shooting
Klay Thompson has had big playoffs games during his celebrated career.
There was his Game 6 performance in the second round this season against the Memphis Grizzlies in which he scored 30 points on 8-of-14 3-pointers. He also once scored 41 points, which included making 11-of h18 3-pointers, in 2016 in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
But he has struggled mightily in the Finals. He shot 4 of 19 from the field and finished with 11 points.
When asked about Klay’s poor shooting in Game 2, Warriors coach Steve Kerr told NBATV’s Jared Greenburg, “This has been something that’s happened throughout Klay’s career. It’s really not a big deal, it’s just the Finals; there’s a huge spotlight on it. But he’s never been a guy that gets to the foul line a lot, never been a guy that uses athleticism to get to the rim and get easy buckets. He’s a jump shooter, one of the greatest of all time. There are just night when shots don’t go in. So the focus is just keep shooting, see if you can get a couple of good ones early. Klay gets his rhythm with one shot.”
Gamesmanship or honest mistake with rim height?
Warriors play-by-play announcer Tim Roye tweeted, “Some of the Dubs complained about the height of the basket and they were right.” The Celtics’ gameday operations crew brought out a ladder and 10-foot measuring stick, and indeed, the rim was a couple of inches too high.
“It’s a good thing the game starts at midnight,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said jokingly. “We’ll have plenty of time to fix it. I assume they’re fixing it then, right? it happens every once in a while. Players have a really sharp eye for that. Players can tell. I imagine somebody went out there, looked at it, didn’t look right. So as long as they take care of it, then everything is good.”
Before the conspiracy theorists put too much tin foil on their caps, Boston has to shoot on that end of the court in one half. Unless of course, it was fixed after Golden State used that rim in the first half and before the Celtics shot at it in the second half …
Robert Williams will start; Andre Iguodala ‘good to go’
Ime Udoka has given Robert Williams the go-ahead to start Game 3 for the Celtics. Williams was listed as questionable with right knee soreness, but Udoka said “everything is good” when asked about his status. Williams has averaged five points, four rebounds and three blocks in the NBA Finals against the Warriors.
Golden State’s Andre Iguodala (right knee inflammation), who did not play in Game 2, Gary Payton II (returning from fractured left elbow) and Otto Porter Jr. (left foot soreness) are all listed as questionable, but Warriors coach Steve Kerr said they are “good to go.”
Mike Breen back for ABC broadcast
After missing the first two games of the NBA Finals in COVID protocols, Mike Breen is returning to the ABC broadcast table for Wednesday night’s Game 3.
Breen had been sidelined after testing positive and missing Game 7 between Boston and Miami in the Eastern Conference finals and Games 1 and 2 of the Finals between Boston and Golden State.
Steph Curry’s defense — yes, defense — helped carry Warriors in Game 2
Steph Curry did a bunch of Steph Curry things.
Scored, rebounded, passed, defended. Yes, defended. Ran all over the court, making an impact offensively and defensively. Yes, defensively. Thrilled the home crowd with his 3-point shooting.
He had 29 points, six boards, four assists and three steals, his performance in Game 2 of the NBA Finals leading the Warriors to a 107-88 victory against the Celtics, evening the best-of-7 series at 1-1.
“He was incredible, and most importantly, his decision-making was great,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said. “He got off the ball. He didn’t drive into traffic. He took what the defense gave him.”
In the Warriors’ 35-14 third quarter, Curry had 14 points, made three 3-pointers and was a major factor during a 19-2 run late in the quarter that busted open a six-point game and made it an 87-64 Warriors lead headed into the final frame.
“Steph was breathtaking in that quarter,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Not just the shot making, but the defensive effort. He just doesn’t get enough credit for his level of conditioning, physicality and defense.”
As much as Curry’s offense is often the talk, his coach and teammates wanted to rave about his defense.
“People go at him to try to wear him down because they know how important he is to us offensively, and it’s pretty dramatic the difference in Steph’s strength and physicality in his body now than from eight years ago when I first got here,” Kerr said. “So the guy’s amazing. He just keeps working on his game, his strength, his conditioning year after year, and it’s a pleasure to watch him play every night.”
— Jeff Zillgitt
Golden State has been road warriors in postseason
Stephen Curry and the Warriors have no problem playing on the road.
The Warriors have won at least one away game in 26 consecutive playoff series.
“We always know how to find a way to win games no matter what style it is, high scoring, low scoring, defensive battle, shootout, whatever it is,” Golden State guard Stephen Curry said. “We find another level of grit and determination, just an ability to find a way to get it done. Being in hostile environments, you get tested, you get pushed. Our experience kind of shows at the right time.”
— The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Warriors-Celtics NBA Finals live updates: Game 3 score, highlights