Jason Tatum got his scoring touch after a rare run of poor shooting in a game in the NBA Finals but it was his Boston Celtics teammates who went missing on Monday (AEST).
Now, instead of going home in control of the final, the Celtics will have to regroup after a 107-88 loss to the Golden State Warriors, which tied the series one-on-one.
“I don’t think we’ve got that much penetration in the paint,” said Celtics coach Ime Udoka.
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“It simply came to our notice then. Then we turned the ball over and didn’t give ourselves a chance with a lot of turnover. “
In the opener, Tatum returned from a three-shoot shooting performance for 17 to lead Boston offensively with 28 points. But outside of a quick start by Jillian Brown, she had no help and the Celtics had no answer.
Boston shot 37.5 percent overall and struggled all night to do something inside the three-point line. When shooting outside of the Celtics cooled in the third quarter, the Warriors turned a close game into a 35-14 blitz.
Boston had five turnovers and four baskets in the crucial third quarter, resulting in a 23-point deficit that was too much to overcome when the Celtics dropped to 12 points after a poor first-quarter third-quarter series.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” said guard Derrick White.
“I mean, we’ve talked about it all through the post season. It’s easy to talk about, but we have to go there and make some changes. It was a big quarter for them, and really a quarter that took us away. “
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Udoka cleared the bench for most of the fourth quarter, giving his starters some respite after making their way through a series of back-to-back seven-games in the pre-conference playoffs.
If the Celtics are to rebound as the series moves to Boston for three games, they will need a tattoo-supporting cast to play much more like the first game on Monday.
Al Harford failed to take a single shot in the first half when the opener finished with two points ahead of Celtics with 26 points. He did not try for a three-pointer even after making six in one match.
“I don’t think we were able to remove it sufficiently at the time of the crime,” Harford said.
“I think for whatever reason, we were caught on the descent, attacking the basket a little too much. They did a good job staying with me, for example. Obviously, I didn’t make an effort, not even a look.
“It simply came to our notice then. I just have to find another way to influence the game, and that’s something I’ll do in three games. “
After making five three-pointers and scoring 21 points in the first game, White missed nine of 13 shots and was stuck on 12 points.
Brown made his first three shots and scored 13 points in the first quarter but went one for the rest of the way 11. After his second foul in the first quarter, Brown struggled to find the rhythm he called the “phantom” call.
Brown’s frustration dusted off with Drymond Green after Brown was fouled on a three-pointer in the second quarter.
“He tried to take off my pants,” Brown said.
“I don’t know what it’s for. But Drymond does it. He’ll do whatever it takes to win.”
Marcus Smart follows -11 shooting nights for seven in Game One, just one of six.
Throw in 19 turnovers which turned out to be 33 points for the Warriors, and after Tatum got no help on the offensive end he was able to go ahead with six out of nine three-point attempts.
“It’s just as easy as we have to take care of the ball,” Tatum said.
“We did it, and we’re a really good team when it comes to taking care of the ball. But we have the flaw where we, under the influence of snowballs, pile up in turnover and dig ourselves into a hole. “
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