The Boston Celtics can take a commanding 3-1 lead over the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Finals this Friday evening on ABC.
The Celtics had another huge fourth quarter in Game 3 in a 116-100 win on Wednesday.
Golden State Warriors vs. Boston Celtics
Friday, June 10, 2022 – 09:00 PM EDT at TD Garden
The Celtics (56-43-3 ATS) are a 4-point home favorite over the Warriors (51-45-4 ATS) at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks.
Boston is now 7-0 SU following a loss this postseason, but the Warriors are also 5-0 SU after they lose a game in these playoffs.
Golden State is just 20-26-2 ATS on the road this season, which ranks 26th in the league. Now the Warriors face what is essentially a must-win game in Boston.
Game 3 Recap: Celtics 116, Warriors 100
After Game 2’s second-half rout, Jaylen Brown made sure the Celtics got off to a fast start at home in Game 3.
Brown did a little of everything as he scored 17 first-quarter points to give the Celtics a 33-22 lead after a quarter.
The Warriors picked things up in the second quarter after a slow start for Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.
The latter had been struggling in the series and missed his first three shots in this one, but this time Thompson recovered to go on a scoring run and keep the game close.
Third Quarter Season Recap
Boston and Golden State were the top two teams in Net Rating in the third quarter this season, but the Celtics were blown out in both third quarters in Golden State.
Sure enough, the Warriors did it to them again in Game 3 with a 33-25 edge in the quarter. At one point, Golden State erased an 18-point deficit and took a lead after Curry caught fire with 15 of his 31 points in the third quarter.
The Celtics even had a seven-point possession that involved a four-point play from Curry and a flagrant foul on Al Horford that led to another three.
While many teams would fold against the Warriors during a run like that, Boston once again showed its mettle.
Boston took a 93-89 lead into the fourth quarter and closed the game on a 23-11 run in a very-low scoring finish.
The Warriors turned the ball over eight times in the fourth quarter alone, and they were 1-for-9 from three.
Celtics Fantastic Trio
Meanwhile, the Celtics got at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists from each of Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Marcus Smart.
They became the first trio in the NBA Finals since the 1984 Lakers (done by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Cooper, and Magic Johnson) to reach those benchmarks in a game.
Boston is now 6-4 SU at home in the playoffs and the Warriors are 3-5 SU on the road.
Is History About to Repeat Itself?
All three games in this series have been decided by at least 12 points, which joins 2016 (Cavaliers vs. Warriors), 2005 (Spurs vs. Pistons), 1988 (Lakers vs. Pistons), and 1964 (Celtics vs. Warriors) as the only five NBA Finals to have the first three games decided by at least a dozen points.
Those last three series went a full seven games while the Celtics beat the Warriors in five games in 1964. Is history about to repeat itself?
Game 4: How Much Trouble Are the Warriors in Now?
Boston is favored to win the series now (-230) at Bovada as the Warriors face an uphill battle. But it’s not like Golden State had a terrible offensive Game 3.
The Celtics just started and finished the game stronger, getting great contributions from their top three players.
Game 3 was the 20th time in the playoffs where the Warriors got at least 25 points from both Curry (31) and Thompson (25), but it’s the first time they ever lost such a game by more than 15 points.
The Warriors are now 14-6 in the playoffs when the Splash Brothers each score 25 points.
Andrew Wiggins (18 points) had a lot of easy dunks and drives to the basket, but Jordan Poole (10 points) was nothing special off the bench this time, and Draymond Green was atrocious, fouling out with only two points, four rebounds, and three assists.
Green seemed more interested in arguing with players, referees, and fans instead of looking for his shot as he finished with four attempts. This is putting the Warriors in a difficult situation.
They need Green and center Kevon Looney to try to combat Boston’s big size advantage, but neither Green nor Looney can create their own shot with any reliability.
Warriors vs. Celtics Game 3 Rebounds
- The Warriors lost the rebound battle 47-31, their third-worst margin in a game this season.
- The Celtics had 15 offensive rebounds in Game 3 compared to six for the Warriors.
In addition to his 10 rebounds, Robert Williams III was also great with four blocks and three steals. Meanwhile, Tatum seems to be finding his comfort zone against this defense for Boston.
He added nine more assists to his 26 points while finding success at driving to the basket instead of relying on threes. But Smart, who bounced back from a two-point performance with 24 points, really seems to be the difference-maker for these Celtics.
Smart a Career Shooter
Tatum and Brown can get their points most nights, but when Smart, a career 38.2% shooter, is on with his shot, this team is very hard to beat.
The Celtics are 8-0 this is postseason when Smart scores more than 16 points and 4-6 when he does not. The problem is Smart has yet to score like that in consecutive games in the same series.
NBA Betting Pick and Prediction
This is desperation time for Golden State given how great Boston plays on the road. This series could be over in five games if the Warriors do not embrace the moment on Friday night.
The good news is Curry has been effective in this series at finding his shots off screens, Thompson finally woke up in Game 3, and it’s now or never for Green to contribute.
This core has been through everything from 3-1 comeback to 3-1 collapses. The Warriors also have won at least one road game in 26 consecutive playoff series, an NBA record.
Celtics vs. Warriors: Who to Bet On?
Let’s not count them out yet, and Boston has not played well enough at home to mark this as an easy win. I am taking the Warriors to cover for your NBA picks this Friday night.
Score Prediction: Warriors 111, Celtics 107
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.