On Wednesday night, the Boston Celtics defeated the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, 116-100. The stars from both teams came to play, as Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins combined for 74 points. Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart countered with 77 points.
However, it was Boston's big three that did something truly special. Each player scored over 20 points, pulled down five or more rebounds and dropped five or more assists. They became the first trio since Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Michael Cooper with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1984 NBA Finals to accomplish that feat.
Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum & Marcus Smart are the first trio to each have 20 pts, 5 rebs and 5 ast in a Finals game since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Michael Cooper in 1984 pic.twitter.com/tsiPQ4E5gJ
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 9, 2022
Interestingly enough, that series was between the Lakers and Celtics. Boston won that series in seven games.
On Wednesday night, it was Brown who once again came out on fire. He dropped 17 points in the first quarter. He finished the game with 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Tatum then got hot to start the second quarter. During their usual third quarter swoon, Tatum appeared to force shots and turned the ball over. But in the fourth quarter, he got back to driving and finishing. Tatum ended the game with 26 points, nine assists and six rebounds.
But the little engine that goes is Smart. He made a number of hustle plays and was outstanding defensively. When Warriors players shots were contested by the Celtics point guard, they were 0-9 shooting.
Smart finished the game with 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
With each team's stars coming to play in Game 3, there was one decisive factor that separated the teams. Robert Williams' presence on both ends of the court was the difference. He finished with eight points (4-for-5 shooting), 10 rebounds, three steals and four blocks. Once again, he dominated the paint.