After an interesting start to the 2022 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics, the action shifts over to Boston for a pivotal Game 3 on Wednesday night. In the 39 times that the Finals have been tied 1-1, the team that won Game 3 went on to win the title 82.1 percent of the time.
As such, this is a borderline must-win for both teams. Will the Warriors be able to go into Boston and steal back home-court advantage? Or will the Celtics remain perfect after a loss in the playoffs and seize control of the series at home? Our experts have made their picks, and the overwhelming majority are riding with the team in green.
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How to watch Game 3 live
- Game: NBA Finals, Game 2
- Date: Wednesday, June 8 | Time: 9 p.m. ET
- Location: TD Garden — Boston, Massachusetts
- TV: ABC | Live stream: fuboTV (Get access now)
- Odds: GS +140; BOS -160; O/U 212.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors
Celtics vs. Warriors prediction, Game 3 picks
Bill Reiter: Boston revels in the fact it’s home, non-stars for Golden State like Jordan Poole continue to struggle and Steph Curry’s individual excellence isn’t enough to take back home-court advantage. Pick: Boston -3.5 | Celtics 111, Warriors 101
Brad Botkin: I’m going to keep picking the Celtics because I believe they are the better team, if ever-so slightly. Gary Payton II’s return gives Boston one fewer defender to target, but Jordan Poole will still get around 20 minutes and Boston will hunt him with its scorers. I like Boston’s individual creation better. I like Boston’s defense better. There’s a huge load on Stephen Curry’s shoulders as the Warriors have gone pick-and-roll heavy, and Klay Thompson isn’t proving near the support he once did. If Poole loses minutes for defensive reasons, that burden on Curry gets even heavier. Never mind the home crowd, which is going to be bonkers in Boston. Gimme the Green. Pick: Boston -3.5 | Celtics 111, Warriors 105
James Herbert: How is one supposed to know when the Celtics’ offense is going to crumble? Just when you think they’ve put their turnover issues behind them, they seem to get sloppy again. If you’re partial to Boston, though, then there is some good news: This team has not lost two games in a row during the playoffs, and, after some of its best offensive performances have followed some of its worst ones. I expect the Celtics to have better spacing and to make better decisions against the Warriors’ halfcourt defense. Pick: Boston -3.5 | Celtics 116, Warriors 108
Sam Quinn: Part of me wants to take Golden State as a tribute to Boston’s lackluster home performance this postseason. The Celtics are 3-4 in Boston in the past two rounds and have survived on the strength of their eight road wins thus far this postseason. If you expect home-court advantage to swing the series in Boston’s direction, you might me disappointed. But if you’re looking for basketball reasons to take the Celtics? You’ll find plenty. Let’s start with an obvious one: Boston lost the seven Daniel Theis minutes by a staggering 12 points in Game 2. It got just four points out of Al Horford and Marcus Smart, and Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for over half of their total points. Expect Boston to come into Game 3 with a tighter rotation and an updated game plan for Golden State’s pick-and-roll offense. Pick: Boston -3.5 | Celtics 99, Warriors 92
Jasmyn Wimbish: Both of these teams respond extremely well after losses. The Celtics are 6-0 this postseason after a loss and the Warriors aren’t too far behind at 5-0 in the playoffs. Not only do these teams excel in bounce-back games, but they dominate their opponents in the process. Golden State outscores teams by 15.4 points following a loss, while Boston beats teams by a 15.5-point margin following defeat. I say all of this to say that I’m picking the Celtics to recover from that Game 2 blowout and take a 2-1 series lead. Pick: Boston -3.5 | Celtics 116, Warriors 103
Jack Maloney: Picking the Celtics for all the reasons everyone else has already outlined here. This team can be tough to figure out at times, but this much has become clear: They always respond to adversity. They’ll be ready to go in Game 3. Pick: Boston -3.5 | Celtics 114, Warriors 100
Colin Ward-Henninger: The Warriors have punched the Celtics with trademark third-quarter runs in each of the first two games of the series, but I’m somewhat skeptical they’ll be able to do it again in Boston’s first home Finals game in over a decade. Gary Payton II’s return provides a crucial card for Steve Kerr to play, but ultimately if the Celtics cut down on their turnovers and occasional directionless offense, I think they’ll prevail. Let the see-saw matchup continue. Pick: Boston -3.5 | Celtics 99, Warriors 92
Michael Kaskey-Blomain: If the Warriors hadn’t completely collapsed in the fourth quarter of Game 1, this series would very likely be 2-0 right now, and feel very different. Sure, you could say that Boston’s role players will play better at home in Game 3 than they did in Game 2, but the Warriors also have several key contributors who could play better, and they also have the best player in the series in Steph Curry. I don’t think playing on the road in front of a hostile crowd will phase this team. In fact, I think silencing the crowd could even serve as added motivation for the experienced Warriors. Pick: Golden State +3.5 | Warriors 105, Celtics 98