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Boston Celtics beat Golden State Warriors in Game 3: A look at 4 takeaways

Vincent Frank

The Boston Celtics came out firing in Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, taking an 11-point lead after the first quarter.

Jaylen Brown dominated that first quarter of action. While Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson did their best to keep Golden State in the game, it was not enough.

The Warriors did come back to boast a one-point lead in the third quarter before the Celtics made a run to pretty much put the game away.

Below, we look at four takeaways from the Boston Celtics’ 116-100 win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 to take a 2-1 series lead.

Related: Top 10 players between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors

Boston Celtics just wanted Game 3 more

NBA: Finals-Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes, it really is this simple. Through the first two games of the NBA Finals, Boston was a mere plus-one on the boards. The team is bigger than Golden State. It has more length and athleticism than the Warriors. That didn’t necessarily matter in the first two outings.

This changed Wednesday evening inside TD Garden. It seemed like the Celtics found every loose ball due to their hustle. They were on the court throughout the game as Golden State waited around.

As for the glass, these Celtics absolutely dominated. They out-rebounded the Warriors by 16, including hauling in a whopping 15 offensive rebounds.

Related: Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and the NBA’s highest-paid players

Draymond Green didn’t have it for the Golden State Warriors

NBA: Finals-Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

After a drama-filled Game 2 in which he performed at a high level, Green had to know he’d be entering an hostile environment in Boston. The fans sure let the three-time NBA champion let him know what they thought of him throughout the game. A Warrior in the true sense of the word, Green did not respond in this one.

The veteran did not have the same fire we have seen throughout his career. He was a walking mistake turning the ball over on offense. He was not aggressive on defenese. What could go wrong for Green, went wrong.

Green ultimately fuled out in the fourth quarter without making any real impact in this one outside of those two unforced turnovers. It was a brutal performance from the future Hall of Famer.

Related: Boston Celtics Jaylen Brown and the NBA’s top-50 players

Jaylen Brown set the tone early for the Boston Celtics, other stars picked it up

After struggling through Game 2, Brown knew he had to start hot for the Celtics Wednesday evening. Brown scored 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting while adding five rebounds and three assists in the first quarter. At one point, he had outscored Golden State by the margin of 12-11.

With Jayson Tatum struggling a bit early, having Brown doing his thing prevented a Warriors run. Once Tatum started doing his thing (26 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists) it was pretty much a wrap for the game. Meanwhile, Marcus Smart added 24 points and five assists. They are the first trio in the NBA Finals to record 20-plus points and five-plus assists in the same game since the dynastic Showtime Lakers of the 1980s. Let that sink in.

Game 4 of the NBA Finals will decide the series

We didn’t cover what Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson did to keep the Warriors close in this one. They are two of the greatest shooters ever. They have a history of coming up big when it counts the most in the NBA Playoffs.

Despite Golden State being down 2-1 heading into Game 4 Friday night in Boston, it has to be feeling at least a bit confident. The two future Hall of Famers combined to score 56 points on 11 three-pointers. As Green was struggling, the stage did not appear to be too big for these two.

It’s an important thing to look at heading into Game 4. As Boston did in San Francisco, the goal for these Warriors was to split on the road. A win Friday night would accomplish that, regaining home-court advantage in the process.

As for the Celtics, it’s rather simple. If they win Friday night, this team will be overwhelming favorites to bring home its first NBA title since 2008. Boston looked like the better team Wednesday evening. That wasn’t the case for a majority of the first two games. A win Friday, and we can start printing Celtics championship shirts with the expectation that they won’t end up in Africa somewhere.