Stephen Curry scored 29 points, Jordan Poole connected from just inside midcourt to cap a huge third-quarter run and the Golden State Warriors beat the Boston Celtics 107-88 on Sunday night in Game 2 to even the NBA finals.
Poole finished with 17 points for the Warriors, who outscored Boston 35-14 in the third quarter to turn a two-point halftime lead into a 23-point edge. And when the Warriors then scored the first six points of the fourth, the Celtics waved the surrender flag and emptied their bench.
Golden State also got 12 from Kevon Looney on 6-for-6 shooting, and 11 apiece from Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson. Jayson Tatum scored 21 of his 28 points in the first half for Boston. Jaylen Brown added 17 for the Celtics, but fought through a 5-for-17 shooting night, and Derrick White scored 12.
Just like in Game 1, a huge run decided everything. The Celtics went on a 48-18 run in the second half to decide the opener; the Warriors didn’t wait that long in Game 2, going on a 43-14 burst from late in the first half until early in the fourth quarter to turn a tie game into a runaway.
Curry had 14 of his points in the third, making three of his five three-pointers in the quarter. Boston were 4 for 15 in the quarter, were outscored 21-6 on threes and let the Warriors turn five turnovers into 11 points.
Poole provided the exclamation point as the third quarter closed, taking a pass in the final seconds, dribbling over the midcourt stripe, creating space for himself and letting fly. Curry greeted him with a smile and a hug, the fans at Chase Center leaped to their feet – if they weren’t on them already – and the outcome was pretty much decided there.
And for the first time, the crowd in the Warriors’ new building finally saw the Celtics lose. Boston entered the night 4-0 in the Warriors’ three-year-old home, the only team to have won there first four games in the arena.
The Celtics were bidding to join only two other teams – the 1993 Chicago Bulls and 1995 Houston Rockets – on the list of clubs that swept two road games to open the finals. Those Bulls and Rockets went on to win the championship, and 31 of the previous 36 teams to open with 2-0 leads ended up celebrating a title.
All is not lost for Boston, of course. The Celtics need to only win their remaining home games to win the title, though that won’t be an easy task against a Warriors team who have won at least one road game in an NBA-record 26 consecutive playoff series.