SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Just like in Game 1, the Golden State Warriors took command with a big third quarter.
Unlike Game 1, they finished the job.
The NBA Finals are now tied, after the Warriors turned a close game into a rout with a third-quarter masterpiece. Stephen Curry scored 29 points, Jordan Poole connected from just inside of midcourt to cap the pivotal period and the Warriors beat the Boston Celtics 107-88 on Sunday night in Game 2.
“I thought everybody was more engaged,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after his team improved to 5-0 after a loss in these playoffs. “It’s pretty obvious. Just our level of force and physicality was ramped up quite a bit, and it had to be.”
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.
“We said we needed to play with desperation,” Curry said. “That’s what we did.”
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 an absolute runaway.
Game 3 is Wednesday in Boston.
Curry had 14 of his points in the third, making three of his five 3-pointers in the quarter. Boston was 4 for 15…