NBA Finals headed for long series after Warriors ‘play with desperation - bdsthanhhoavn.com

NBA Finals headed for long series after Warriors ‘play with desperation

The NBA got its wish — a Finals series now tied 1-1 and a potentially long battle in the offing. 

Warriors superstar Stephen Curry put on a third-quarter long-distance fireworks show until their new stud, Jordan Poole, tried to top it with his own 3-point party. 

The officials weren’t going to ruin this bash — making sure not to issue an automatic ejection to the Warriors’ best defender, Draymond Green, though he deserved one. 

In the final minute of a 35-14 blowout of a third period, Poole’s buzzer-beater sailed in from the Bay Bridge. The Warriors got up 87-64 after three quarters and the new Chase Center was bedlam as the Warriors seized their first-ever Finals win in the building, 107-88, over Boston. 

Poole’s bomb measured at 38 feet. Curry’s face lit up. He hugged Poole like they had just won another title. They’re three wins away, but go to Boston having lost their home-court advantage. 

The Finals is deadlocked. The longer this show goes on, the better for NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s coffers. But it was another blowout game in an endless postseason of blowouts — an issue nobody can quite explain. 

Curry made certain the series headed back to Boston tied because of his 13-point third quarter, lofting 3-point dart after 3-point dart. Curry shredded the Boston’s vaunted switch-on-every-pick-and-roll defense. He finished with 29 points in 32 minutes to make up for his Game 1 late fade. 

NBA Finals
The NBA Finals looks poised to be a long series.
Getty Images

“We said we had to play with desperation,” Curry said. “That’s what we did.” 

The Warriors needed a vintage Curry performance and a vintage night from Green. They got both and they got lucky, too. 

As NBA Finals history shows, Green always pushes the envelope, and he nearly got ejected late in the second quarter. The officiating crew — led by Tony Brown — gets the biggest assist of Game 2. 

The toughest job as Warriors head coach for Steve Kerr over the years, his friends say, is keeping a poker-face when Green acts out. Sunday, Green picked up a technical for shoving Grant Williams after the whistle in the first period. 

Green should have picked up another T in an altercation with Boston star Jaylen Brown after he fouled him on a 3-point shot attempt. 

Afterward, a fallen Brown said Green “put his legs on my head” and “then he tried to pull my pants down.” 

“It was an illegal play,’’ Brown said. “They got away with a lot.” 

The referees, perhaps knowing a Green ejection would be crippling, did not issue Green his second technical. 

Draymond Green argues with a referee.
Draymond Green argues with a referee.
Getty Images

Commentator Jeff Van Gundy applauded the look-the-other-way move as “great officiating.” 

“No I wasn’t surprised there was a double technical called due to the circumstances,” Boston coach Ime Udoka said wryly afterward. 

During the third quarter onslaught, Udoka said his piece. After two straight non-calls on consecutive possessions when Green and Kevon Looney got away with obvious fouls, Udoka pulled down his mask and let loose with a stream of invectives at the officials, drawing his own technical. Udoka said it was a built-up explosion. 

“I let them know how I felt throughout the game in a demonstrative way on purpose to get a technical,” Udoka said. 

Green was spared, but that won’t always be the case the rest of June. Green’s temper needs to be in check in Boston. He won’t get the benefit of the doubt again. 

“For me to sit back and say, oh, I’m going to push it to this edge and try to pull back, that don’t work,” Green said. “I got to be me. So with the first tech, that’s not going to stop me from being aggressive.” 

Lackluster in Game 1, Green was his amped-up, energizer self on defense. In addition to notching seven assists, he helped hold Game 1 hero Al Horford to just two points and rattled Brown’s mojo. 

Jordan Poole shoots during the Warriors' Game 2 win over the Celtics.
Jordan Poole shoots during the Warriors’ Game 2 win over the Celtics.
AP

“We knew our backs were against the wall,” Warriors reserve Gary Payton II said. “We knew we couldn’t go 0-2 back to Boston. [Green] lit a fire for us.” 

“He took Game 1 personally,” Curry said., adding he knew Green would be en fuego “five minutes after Game 1.” 

When Marv Albert, one of Kerr’s close friends, was asked earlier in the playoffs if the Warriors can win the title, he said it all hinges on whether Green doesn’t implode. 

“Steph sets the tone on the offensive side of the ball, it’s my job to set the tone from the defensive side,” Green said. 

With the Warriors needing a win to get Silver’s Finals back on track, Green was spared an automatic ejection. The referees won’t be that nice going forward. The Warriors will need Green to stay out of trouble in Beantown. 

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