It’s closing in on Bill Buckner, Deflategate and Babe Ruth Trade as phrases that send chills through fans in greater New England. Officially the Celtics are not a bad third quarter team.
In the regular season, they had a plus-2.7 scoring differential in the third quarter. In the playoffs, it has dipped to minus-0.8—cringey, but not an awful number.
Lately, though, some third quarters have been truly catastrophic. There was the 34–17 blitz Milwaukee put on them in Game 3 of the conference semifinals. The 39–17
drubbing Miami clubbed Boston with in Game 1 of the conference finals. In Game 1 of the Finals, Golden State hit the Celtics with a 38–24 third quarter. Boston rallied,
stunning the Warriors with a 40–15 fourth quarter to come away with the win.The Celtics played with fire again in Game 2, allowing Golden State
to run off a 35–14 third quarter, stretching a two-point halftime lead to 23. This time, though, Boston couldn’t rally, allowing Golden State to even the series with a 107–88 win.
For Golden State, Sunday felt therapeutic. For three days the Warriors heard what Draymond Green termed simply “the noise.”
About how Golden State coughed up a double-digit fourth quarter lead in Game 1. About how after a Stephen Curry first-quarter explosion
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