Key stat could determine if Warriors win championship


The 2022 NBA Finals could be decided by one simple statistic.

The Boston Celtics have played 22 games this postseason in their route to the Finals. When Boston has committed 16 or more turnovers during the playoffs, the team is 0-5. But when the Celtics are more responsible with the basketball and turn the ball over 15 or fewer times, the team is 13-2.

That statistic has rung true over the first two games of the Finals. In Game 1, Boston committed 12 turnovers and won by 12 points. In Game 2 on Sunday night at Chase Center, the Celtics coughed up the basketball 18 times and lost in blowout fashion, 107-88.

"Yeah, for whatever reason, even to your point, the previous series that happened to us," Celtics center Al Horford said following Game 2. "On our wins, we didn't turn it over; on our losses, we turned it over excessively. It's something that we'll have to look at this game individually and just see how we can be better."

Marcus Smart had the most turnovers for Boston in Game 2 with five, followed by Jayson Tatum (four) and Derrick White (three). The Warriors converted those 18 turnovers into 33 points, critical in building a double-digit lead in their explosive third quarter.

"It's just kind of as simple as we've just got to take care of the ball," Tatum said. "We've done it, and we're a really good team when we take care of the ball. But we have those lapses where we, snowball effect, we pile on turnovers and dig ourselves into a hole."

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Three of Boston's five postseason games with at least 16 turnovers have occurred at home at TD Garden, where the series flips for a pair of contests, beginning with Game 3 on Wednesday night.

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