When the Boston Celtics lose a playoff game, they have a reliable response the next game.
For the seventh time in as many games in the 2022 postseason, the Celtics followed a loss with a victory.
“We put (a loss) behind us pretty quickly and attacked the areas that we did poorly and tried to improve on those,” coach Ime Udoka said before Wednesday’s game. “For us, it’s just a resilient group that kind of doesn’t care about the last game, put it behind us and move on to the next.”
Playing an NBA Finals game at home for the first time since 2010, Boston defeated Golden State 116-100 in Game 3 on Wednesday, taking a 2-1 lead in the series.
The Celtics led for all but 49 seconds — Golden State was up 2-0 and 83-82 — and had a double-digit lead for much of the contest.
In Game 2, Boston scored 88 points. By halftime of Game 3, the Celtics had 68 points, shooting 57.4% from the field and 44.4% on 3-pointers.
Boston cooled off in the second half but did enough to hold off the Warriors, who threatened to make it a close finish.
Jayson Tatum had 26 points, nine assists and six rebounds, Marcus Smart had 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and Al Horford had 11 points, eight rebounds, six assists, one block and one steal.
The Celtics had 28 assists on 43 buckets, 22 second-chance points off 15 offensive rebounds and outscored Golden State 52-26 in the paint.
Clinging to a 93-89 lead headed into the fourth quarter, Boston relied on its top-rated defense to hold the Warriors to 11 points in the final 12 minutes on 5-for-15 shooting, including 1-for-9 on 3-pointers. The Warriors committed eight turnovers (three by Curry, three by Jordan Poole), and Boston had four steals and two blocks in the quarter.