Warriors observations: Steph Curry leads NBA Finals Game 2 rout over Celtics

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What we learned as Steph leads Dubs to Game 2 rout over Celtics originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO -- Just like that, the NBA Finals are all tied up.

The Warriors once again dominated the third quarter Sunday night at Chase Center, only this time they didn't completely crumble in the fourth, beating the Boston Celtics 107-88 in Game 2.

Two nights after scoring 38 points in the third quarter of Game 1, the Warriors this time scored 35. They've now outscored the Celtics 73-38 in the third quarter of the first two games, good for a 35-point difference.

For stretches, especially in that dominant third quarter, the Warriors showcased the complete package of championship team. They clamped down on defense, were aggressively under control and were able to do pretty much whatever they wanted on both sides of the ball.

Steph Curry led the way with 29 points, and gave Golden State exactly what they needed. It can't be overstated how important Kevon Looney has become, and the veteran center displayed that with 10 points, six rebounds and three steals. He was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field for 12 points, and finished as a plus-24 in plus-minus.

Jayson Tatum, after scoring only 12 points in Game 1, scored 28 and made six 3-pointers. Still, he was a minus-36. His running mate Jaylen Brown dropped 17 points, but 13 came in the first quarter.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors evening the Finals at one win apiece.

MVP

There isn't a home game where Curry doesn't hear "MVP!" chants ringing off the walls of Chase Center. He even hears them a handful of times on the road. On Sunday, he earned them once again.

Along with his 29 points, Curry also added six rebounds, four assists, three steals and splashed five 3-pointers. Whenever the Warriors needed a big shot from deep, whether it was to ignite the crowd or slow down the Celtics, he was there. Sometimes, from absurd distances.

He ran his usual marathon around the court, and with Jordan Poole struggling, Steve Kerr needed as many minutes as possible from Curry. The three-time champion totaled 32 minutes in three quarters. Curry didn't see the floor at all in the fourth quarter, a welcome sight for the Warriors.

Curry now is averaging 31.5 points in the first two games of the Finals, and has gone 12-for-26 on 3-pointers.

Game 2 Gary

With 5:30 remaining in the first quarter, Payton officially completed his comeback after fracturing his left elbow just over one month ago. Initially, Payton was put on Celtics guard Derrick White, but quickly had to guard Jayson Tatum, who has five inches on him.

On Payton's first instance of an open lane for a dunk or layup, he didn't look his usual self and missed both free throws after being fouled by Brown. But later in the period, Payton proved his shot still is intact and nailed a corner 3-pointer that had Chase Center on its feet.

All season long, Payton proved what a difference-maker he is for the Warriors. He has found a home here in the Bay Area at 29 years old, and that was as obvious as ever in his first Finals game.

Payton played 25 minutes off the bench and was a plus-15. He scored seven points, was 3-for-3 from the field and had a three rebounds and three assists.

The Up-And-Down of Klay/Poole

At halftime with the Warriors up by two points, Curry led the way with 15 points. But he didn't get much help again, especially from two key scorers. Through the first two frames, Poole and Klay Thompson combined to score only five points while going 2-for-13 from the field and 1-for-6 on 3-pointers.

Thompson came out strong to open the third quarter, but it looked like Poole would sit the entire quarter and perhaps his night was over. But with 1:19 left in the frame, Kerr called to his young playmaker and the 22-year-old Poole didn't disappoint.

Poole immediately hit Looney with a perfect bounce pass after driving to the hole, and the center converted for two points. Poole then nailed a corner 3-pointer and swished a half-court heave at the buzzer. It was an electric minute-plus of basketball.

Over 22 minutes, Poole ended up scoring 17 points on 6-for-14 from the field and 5-for-9 from the field. But he also was blocked a handful of times, and his long and scooping layups aren't working against this Boston defense. This entire series is a lesson for him in real time.

Thompson scored only 11 points. He took 19 shots and only made four, including going 1-for-8 on 3-pointers.

The Warriors need them to win three more games. It has to come earlier, and it has to be consistent the rest of the way.