Throughout the postseason, the Boston Celtics had played their best basketball away from home.
Jaylen Brown scored 27 points, Jayson Tatum added 26 and the Celtics rode the energy of a raucous TD Garden crowd to beat back another third-quarter onslaught by Golden State in a 116-100 victory Wednesday night that gave them a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals.
Marcus Smart added 24 points and helped fuel a defensive effort that held the Warriors to 11 points in the fourth quarter — third-fewest in a finals game in the shot clock era.
“Game 2, they brought the heat to us,” Smart said. “For us, that left a bad taste in our mouth because what we hang our hat on is effort on the defensive end and being a physical team. It definitely woke us up a little bit.”
Tatum said the fact the Celtics didn’t hang their heads after the Warriors’ third-quarter flourish is something they didn’t always do in the regular season. “I think that’s when we are at our best when we respond to tough situations. We respond to teams going on runs and things like that,” he said. “I think we did that several times tonight.”
Boston improved to 6-4 at home, compared to 8-3 on the road this postseason. The Celtics haven’t lost two straight games since the end of March.
Stephen Curry led Golden State with 31 points and six 3-pointers. He had 15 points in a 33-25 third quarter by the Warriors but was hurt late in the fourth after Al Horford rolled into his leg on a loose ball. Curry said it was similar to a play during the regular season in which Smart dove into Curry’s legs while chasing a loose ball but “not as bad.”
“I got caught — obviously in some pain, but I’ll be all right,” Curry said. “See how it feels tomorrow and get ready for Friday.” Klay Thompson broke out of a finals slump and finished with 25 points and five 3s. But the …