NBA finals Game 2: Boston Celtics v Golden State Warriors – live!

Once the Celtics decide to stop turning the ball over, they’ll runaway with this.

— Dante Turo (@DanteOnDeck) June 6, 2022

If. But I agree with this tweet, I like the Celtics chances if they play with a little more focus. Sometimes, however, they don’t do that until the game’s nearly out of reach.

Celtics 30-31 Warriors, end of the first quarter

Oh this looks more like Game 1. Tatum hits a three that’s immediately answered by Payton II. Tatum shrugs it off and hits a three-pointer of his own. Oh and now it’s a contest, one which Poole is prepared to play. He hits one.

Looney strips Tatum but Curry ends up being the one who misses the first three-pointer. The bad start with Boston ends with them losing the lead: Otto Porter Jr. steals a Derrick White post and gets the ball to Curry who scores.

Unacceptable lack of composure from Boston to end the quarter: they should be up by 7-8 points and not down by one here.

Celtics 24-23 Warriors, 1:33, first quarter

Curry misses his first free throw, Golden State leaving a lot of points on the board early, but makes the second. Guess what happens next? Another Boston turnover: he loses control of the ball, Jordan Poole steal and Curry makes it a one-point game with a killer three-pointer.

Celtics 24-19 Warriors, 2:34, first quarter

Tatum, fouled by Payton, makes both free throws.

Theis gets a key rebound and then just throws it away. This is exactly what they can’t be doing.

And now Jayson Tatum picks up his second foul, putting Curry on the line.

Celtics are playing better than the Warriors but are also making a lot of poor on-the-fly decisions, feel like the Warriors are about to take a lead if this continues. I’m sure that’s partly what Boston head coach Ime Udoka is telling them now.

Celtics 22-19 Warriors, 2:47, first quarter

Looney with a dunk makes it a three-point game, they’ve crawled their way back into this and the Celtics take a full timeout, their first of the game.

Celtics 22-17 Warriors, 3:20, first quarter

And now Grant Williams gets called for a “common foul” which always sounded snobby to me. Curry goes to the line where he makes both of his free throws.

Celtics 22-15 Warriors, 3:37, first quarter

A foul on White puts Green on the line, where he goes 2-for-2.

Brown gets called for a second foul that puts Gary Payton II on the line after he misses the layup. Feels a bit ticky-tacky, but it’s been like that all game. Payton II misses the first free throw and the second free throw.

Ball don’t lie? Ball Don’t Lie.

Celtics 22-13 Warriors, 4:13, first quarter

Brown makes the tech free throw. Curry misses on his end and Brown hits a three-pointer. 13 points from him already.

Celtics 18-13 Warriors, 4:47, first quarter

Gary Payton II makes his long-awaited return to the lineup to applause from the home crowd. Meanwhile, Grant Williams makes a layup and then commits a foul, according to our officials at least.

Oh and Draymond gets call for a tech.

Celtics 16-13 Warriors, 5:21, first quarter

Thompson, out of the timeout, absolutely airmails a three-pointer. It’s okay, Brown misses the three-pointer just as badly. Oh here comes the bad turnovers for Boston, this one’s on Marcus Smart. The two sides start bring in their bench right around here: Grant Williams and Derrick White are in the game now.

Thompson finally hits a key basket here to make it a three-point game.

The good news it that I’ll be able to provide speedier score updates with the free time. The bad news is that I’m going to be on duty for like 30-45 minutes longer than on Thursday.

The officials weren’t involved in Game 1. That was a good time.

— Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) June 6, 2022

Celtics 16-11 Warriors, 6:47, first quarter

Tatum and Brown get called for back-to-back fouls. We’ll see if those end up affecting the rest of the game. The Warriors, meanwhile, take a timeout to plan what they’ll do with the ball on their next possession.

Celtics 16-11 Warriors, 7:01, first quarter

The Celtics make Curry work but he still gets close to the basket and hits the floater. Tatum hits a three-pointer that the Warriors would love to answer: And Draymond does! He makes a layup and draws a Horford foul, but can’t connect on his freebie (which ain’t always free).

Celtics 13-7 Warriors, 8:18, first quarter

Smart attempts a three that would have forced a Warriors timeout had it gone in. It doesn’t however and Looney cuts the lead to six-points on the other end.

Celtics 13-5 Warriors, 9:06, first quarter

Brown tries one from the same spot and hits it but Looney dunks to end the Celtics run. Tatum then scores his first points of the game. Brown then drives to the basket, making the shot plus drawing a foul on Wiggins. He makes his free throw.

Celtics 5-3 Warriors, 10:26, first quarter

The Celtics get the ball again but the Warriors force Robert Williams out of bound. Wiggins scores first for the Warriors but Jaylen Brown responds with a three pointer. Smart then adds to the Celtics early lead with a jumper.

Opening Tip

Celtics 0-0 Warriors, 11:45, first quarter

And we’re off! Celtics win the opening tip, and get the ball to Marcus Smart, who is immediately tied up by Draymond Green for another jump ball.

Posting this tweet is all I will say on the this, because I want to focus on basketball.

National anthem

Cee-Lo Green is performing the National Anthem. So much for “cancel culture.”

I am not going to grade this.

The pregame montage is on the Warriors: the narrative has shifted to them as the ones whose series is on the line. The Celtics have, in a way, done their job in guaranteeing a road split, so the pressure’s all on the Warriors.

Oddly enough, this is why I have Golden State, I don’t trust Boston when they start feeling good about themselves, that’s when they start committing unforced errors and… wait, am I describing myself here as well?

Hopefully, I recover from this accidental personal insight in time for Opening Tip, which is coming soon.

A note, the shirts that the Celtics and Warriors were wearing while warming up weren’t just platitudes, they included links to relevant organizations.

These are the shirts that Steve Kerr and Ime Udoka were wearing before the game. All the information currently on the Jumbotron here at Chase… pic.twitter.com/xCQ1kYpxPT

— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) June 5, 2022

Golden State Warriors starting lineup

Steph Curry, G

Klay Thompson, G/F

Draymond Green, F/C

Kevon Looney, C

Andrew Wiggins, F

Boston Celtics starting lineup

Jayson Tatum, G/F

Jaylen Brown, G/F

Marcus Smart, G

Al Horford, F/C

Robert Williams III, F/C

Stephen A. Smith got beeped! That is your news about this pregame show.

A quick bit of “around the league” news: Quin Snyder has stepped down as coach of the Utah Jazz, citing the team’s need for new blood. He’s probably right, given that the team is perhaps overdue an overhaul.

It’s amusing that he waited until the Los Angeles Lakers hired their own head coach before making the announcement. Certainly, they would have at least wanted an interview.

Predictions

I had the Celtics winning one of two on the road to start this series, so ultimately, I think I’m going to be right here in a more general sense. Of course, I had them winning this game originally, not Game 1. So, in a more accurate sense of the term, I was wr- wr- wrong the first time. Whatever it all will come out in the wash.

So to make my broader prediction true, I must predict the Warriors winning today to even out the series. Maybe Warriors 101-98 Boston Celtics. Yes, I have this one coming down to the wire.

Yep, this is how my brain works. Nope, I have no real basketball argument to back that statement up other than “vibes” (and the fact that the Celtics have had a problem with, uh, not riding momentum after big wins this postseason). This just feels like a long, chaotic series so why not guess on whatever result ruins as many narratives as possible. That’s just my own prediction, you can either email hunter.felt.freelance@theguardia.com or tweet @HunterFelt with a prediction of your own and we’ll include it here as we make our way to Opening Tip.

Pregame Wear

Both the Celtics and Warriors wore orange shirts before the game with “End Gun Violence” messages. A nice gesture and it’s always nice to see two teams come together shortly before they dedicate the next few hours to destroying each other.

Injury report

Potentially bad news for Golden State. Game 1 featured a clean injury slate (even Boston’s Sam Hauser ended up playing, albeit when the benches were emptied), but Game 2 will not. A few hours ago it was announced that veteran Andre Iguodala would be out with knee swelling. He’s really been more of a part-time player for the Warriors, but he’s still been a capable contributor and the Warriors would rather have him available than not.

The good news however far outweighs the bad. After being available in an emergency capacity for Game 1, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has said that Gary Payton II should be available to play off the bench tonight. The son of defensive whiz Gary “The Glove” Payton (in case you wanted to feel old), Payton II (who has been nicknamed “The Mitten”) has been a key part of the Warriors’ resurgence this season.

Preamble

You can’t predict basketball. When the Golden State Warriors built up a 12-point fourth-quarter lead on the Boston Celtics, I predicted thusly: “So, can Boston make up a 12-point deficit? Not impossible, but Tatum is going to need a big game and the defense will have to be flawless.”

Well, I was half right. The Celtics did indeed have to play flawless defense, holding the most potent offense in the Western Conference to a mere 16 points, but Tatum didn’t score a single point from there on out. In fact, he only scored 12 points on Thursday, the same amount of assists that he dished out (credit Tatum for not letting an off shooting night from preventing him from helping out his team in other ways).

So, the Warriors lost a double-digit lead late, at home, on a day where they had done all they could do to contain their opponent’s best player. Now they’re down 0-1 in an NBA Finals where nearly everybody (including this writer) had them as favorites. That means today’s Game 2 is the biggest game they’ve had to play since Kevin Durant was still in the lineup.

So, do they come back tonight with a huge win or do the Celtics ride the momentum of their shocking Game 1 win and take a stranglehold on the 2022 NBA season. I have my own predictions, but I’ll wait and let you guess what they could be. Let me just say that this postseason is like the final season of “Better Call Saul.” It’s not going to go the way any of us think.

What you can predict is that we’ll use your thoughts, questions and/or concerns throughout this liveblog. You can email them to hunter.felt.freelance@theguardian.com or tweet them to @HunterFelt and we’ll post them throughout today’s game. It’s Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors at San Francisco’s Chase Center. Opening tip is scheduled at sometime after 8:00 pm EST but we’ll be back well before then with further updates, predictions and an occasional amusing timewaster.

Hunter will be here shortly. In the meantime, here are a few thoughts on Game 1:

Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words, whether competing in the National Spelling Bee or Thursday night’s other high-profile, high-pressure contest, the first game of the NBA finals.

Al Horford kept it simple. No fancy phraseology, no straining for meaning. “My guys found me tonight and I knocked ‘em down,” Horford said on ABC after his central role in the Boston Celtics’ stunning and strange 120-108 victory over the Golden State Warriors. “A lot of fun.”

A contest that began with the Stephen Curry three-point production line working overtime ended with the much less predictable spectacle of Horford scoring from distance and inspiring his teammates to do the same as they overturned a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

A 15-year NBA veteran making his first finals appearance a day before his 36th birthday, Horford top-scored for the Celtics with 26 points, including a career-high six three-pointers. In the joint-most dominant quarter in NBA finals history, the Celtics were rampant towards the end, sinking seven three-pointers in succession on the way to going nine for 12.

You can read the full report below:


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