3 observations: Massive 3rd quarter propels Warriors to pivotal victory in Game 2 of Finals

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The Golden State Warriors (0-1) hosted the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. Golden State needed to tie the series before heading East for Games 3 and 4. Boston hoped to take a commanding 2-0 series lead before heading home. The Warriors outscored the Celtics 35-14 in the third quarter to seize control of the game and tie the series at 1 game apiece, 107-88.

Stephen Curry led all scorers with 29 points on 9-for-21 shooting. Jordan Poole scored 17 points on 6-for-14 shooting in 23 minutes off the bench.

Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 28 points on 8-for-19 shooting. Jaylen Brown scored 17 points on 5-for-17 shooting.

Here are 3 observations from the Warriors’ win.

Warriors stay true to their offensive identity

After Boston delivered a bit of a punch to open the game, Golden State settled down in and allowed the game to flow back its way by getting stops and staying true to its identity on offense.

Whereas the Celtics assumed control of Game 1 by taking the Warriors out of their offense with swarming switches in the fourth quarter and forcing more isolation-based play, Golden State kept things even through the first half by simply moving the ball where there were no green jerseys. Whether it was finding shooters in the weak-side corner in transition (which, by the way, resulted from a bunch of Celtic sloppiness) or piercing Boston’s interior and hitting the cutter or white jersey in the dunker spot, Golden State simplified the game by putting the ball wherever the Celtics weren’t.

As such, the Warriors registered 15 assists on 20 made field goals at halftime. As well as it seemed like Boston had played, the Warriors held a 2-point advantage going into intermission.

Celtics fall into the trap

Turnovers were certainly an issue for Boston all game long. But, the Warriors forged some space in the second half by tricking Boston into playing out of its style. The Celtics are very comfortable operating in the halfcourt, yet the Warriors sped them up in transition to create mistakes.

Golden State also trapped Jaylen Brown against the sideline and forced turnovers by intercepting with the help rotation when he went to break the pressure with passes.

Even if the Celtics got a shot out of a chaotic possession, the Warriors’ interior presence forced misses at the rim. Golden State got into its transition offense while the shooting Celtic was trying to get up and get back after missing at the basket.

The Warriors turned the game on its head when they made Boston uncomfortable enough on offense to induce sloppiness with unnecessary pace and compromise its character.

A golden third quarter

An 11-0 Warriors run late in the third quarter was effectively the nail in the coffin. Curry heated up, making 27- and 30-foot threes in a span of 40 seconds to expand an 11-point lead to 17 points.

Then, Jordan Poole checked in and cashed on both a 29-footer and what was essentially a halfcourt shot in a span of 28.2 seconds of game time.

The Warriors were up 11 with 3 minutes left in the third quarter. They went into the fourth frame up 23.

What happens when you add gasoline to fire?

The Warriors (1-1) will head to Boston for Game 3 on Wednesday. Tip-off is back to 9 PM, Eastern time. You can catch the action on ABC.

This post originally appeared on Warriors Wire! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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