The big story of this game was Steph Curry. He scored forty-three points on fourteen for twenty-six shooting and seven for fourteen from the three. It seemed every time Golden State needed a basket he got it for them. Curry also had ten rebounds helping Golden State have a rebounding advantage.
For Boston their execution down the stretch was awful. In the last seven minutes and thirty-two seconds of the game they scored six points. During that stretch Boston returned to the team that we saw at the start of the season. They went back to iso ball and when they fell behind by three began firing contested threes with plenty of time left in the game.
When you look at the stats the results become clearer. Golden State though smaller out rebounded the Celtics fifty-five to forty-two and on the offensive boards sixteen to eleven. Golden State deserves a great deal of credit for this because in Game three Boston out rebounded Golden State forty-seven thirty-one. Boston also dominated on the offensive boards fifteen six in game three.
One other stat that stood out was points in the paint. Golden State, the smaller team had a thirty-eight thirty two advantage. In game three Boston had a fifty-two twenty-four advantage. Boston was nineteen for forty-seven on two point shots, forty percent. Golden State contested Boston’s shots in the paint effectively.
Golden State out played and out hustled the Celtics. Steph Curry’s great game was the key ingredient in this. His early play gave life to his teammates and they rose to the occasion. In particular, Andrew Wiggins was outstanding. His defense on Jayson Tatum has been good throughout the series but he also contributed seventeen points and sixteen rebounds. Kevon Looney came off the bench and had eleven rebounds and Jordan Poole, who had hurt the Warriors defensively earlier in the series, had fourteen points.
As the series moves back to California, what can we look forward to. Golden State has to hope that Curry has a few more great games in him and they can continue to out hustle and out rebound Boston despite the size disadvantage. They need to continue to get strong contributions from everyone else beside Curry. Their ability to hit open shots forces Boston to defend them giving Curry more openings.
For Boston they need to get back to moving the ball as part of their drive and kick offense. They also need to make Curry defend more. If he is guarding Smart it might be a good idea to put Smart on the block posting Curry up. Not only does Smart have a size advantage but the pounding might wear Curry down.