Monday, 15 Jul 2024

The Finals Stat | Game 3: Celtics Dominate the Paint

The Boston Celtics showcased their dominance in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, securing a 116-100 victory over the Golden State Warriors. With this win, the Celtics now hold a 2-1 series lead and are just two wins away from their 18th championship. Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Marcus Smart were instrumental in the Celtics’ success, combining for an impressive 77 points. However, it was their prowess in the paint that truly stood out in this game. Let’s delve into the numbers and context behind their impressive performance.

The Basics

To better understand the impact of the Celtics’ dominance in the paint, let’s take a look at a few key statistics:

  • OffRtg: Points scored per 100 possessions
  • eFG%: Effective field goal percentage
  • TO%: Turnovers per 100 possessions
  • OREB%: Percentage of available offensive rebounds obtained

The Stat

In Game 3, the Celtics showcased an impressive 26-point differential in the paint, outscoring the Warriors 52-26.

The Context

This 26-point differential is not only the Celtics’ second-largest of the season but also the second-largest against the Warriors by any team. Prior to Game 3, the Warriors had been excelling in points-in-the-paint differential, ranking fifth in the playoffs at +5.2 per game. In Game 2, they even outscored the Celtics 40-24 in the paint. Conversely, the Celtics ranked ninth with -3.5 points in the paint per game in the postseason.

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The Celtics’ dominance in the paint was evident from the beginning, with a 14-6 advantage in the first quarter and an 18-10 lead in the second. By halftime, they had already scored more points in the paint (32) than in the entirety of Game 2 (24).

The Celtics’ aggressive play was evident in their 57 drives, compared to the Warriors’ 35. Tatum alone had as many drives (18) as the top two Warriors players combined. Brown, Smart, and Tatum each contributed 10 points in the paint, while Al Horford added eight.

Additionally, the Celtics asserted their dominance on the glass, with an offensive rebounding percentage of 40.8%. This marked their second-highest offensive rebounding percentage in the playoffs and the second-highest against the Warriors in the postseason. They also outscored Golden State in second-chance points, 22-11.

Notably, Robert Williams III played a critical role in defending shots in the paint. He blocked four shots and limited the Warriors to just 10 points in the paint during his 26 minutes on the floor. In contrast, the Warriors scored 16 points in the paint during his 22 minutes off the floor. Overall, the Warriors’ 24 field-goal attempts in the paint were their fourth-lowest total of the season.

It’s worth mentioning that in this series, the team with more points in the paint has emerged victorious in all three games.

More Numbers

If you’re interested in diving deeper into the statistics and matchups, here are some additional resources:

  • The Finals: Traditional | Advanced | 4 factors | Players | Player shooting | Lineups
  • Warriors playoffs: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
  • Celtics playoffs: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
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Now that you’re well-informed about the Celtics’ dominance in the paint in Game 3, it’s time to look ahead to Game 4, which will take place on Friday (9 ET, ABC). As the series unfolds, we can expect both teams to continue their battle for supremacy on the court. Stay tuned for more captivating and thrilling matchups in the NBA Finals.


Note: This article was written by an experienced stats analyst for NBA.com. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the NBA, its clubs, or Turner Broadcasting.