Celtics

About Last Night: Raptors take advantage of shorthanded Warriors

kawhi_leonard_finals_game_3_060519.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Photo

About Last Night: Raptors take advantage of shorthanded Warriors

WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT

Raptors take advantage of battered Warriors

Toronto had to have this one. Not just to take a 2-1 series lead, but because the seemingly invincible Golden State Warriors were as vulnerable to being upset as we’ve seen them on the biggest of stages: the NBA Finals. 

No Kevin Durant (calf), Klay Thompson (hamstring) or Kevon Looney (collarbone), the Warriors did what you would expect and that’s lean on their two-time league MVP Stephen Curry. He did his part, scoring a career-high 47 points. 

But the Raptors played a determined brand of basketball that even at full strength, would have made for a tough game for Golden State to win. 

The Raptors did what they needed to do and that’s beat an injury-depleted team. But with Thompson likely back for Game 4, Toronto will be in for a much sturdier challenge in Game 4.

SO... THAT HAPPENED


THEY SAID IT

"Everybody wants us to lose, so I'm sure people are happy [our guys] are hurt.''

— Draymond Green, after the shorthanded Warriors lost Game 3 at home Wednesday night

NUMBER OF NOTE

50/40/90 — The Raptors shot 52.4 percent from the field, 44.7 percent from three, and 95.2 percent from the line in Game 3, becoming the third team to shoot 50/40/90 in NBA Finals history, joining the 2017 Warriors and the 1986 Celtics.

WEDNESDAY'S SCOREBOARD

  • Raptors 123, Warriors 109 (TOR leads series 2-1)

WHAT WE'LL BE WATCHING

Klay Thompson factor

For those who question how important Klay Thompson is for this Golden State Warriors team, look no further than Game 3 when Thompson sat out because of a hamstring injury.

He is one of the best shooting guards in the NBA, no question. But he’s also one of the more versatile defenders you’ll find, the one thing more than anything else was missing from Golden State in Game 3. 

The Warriors scored more than enough points to get the win, but their defense gave them no shot at that happening. And with Thompson hitting free agency this summer, Game 3 was a reminder of sorts to potential suitors of what it looks like to have him on your roster but not playing.

And by no means should what happened in Game 3 be lumped into the “It’s just one game” category, either. Because losing games without Thompson is actually more common than most might think. 

Looking back on the last two regular seasons for him in Golden State, Thompson has missed a total of 13 regular season games. 

Golden State’s record in that span?

They’re 5-8. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Celtics' Marcus Smart participates in peaceful protest in Boston

marcus_smart.jpg
File photo

Celtics' Marcus Smart participates in peaceful protest in Boston

Just as his Boston Celtics teammate Jaylen Brown did Saturday in Atlanta, Marcus Smart participated in a peaceful protest Sunday in Boston in the wake of George Floyd's death.

The C's guard was joined by teammate Vincent Poirier and countless others to protest the racial injustices that remain prevalent in the United States of America. Smart talked to NBC Sports Boston's Celtics insider A. Sherrod Blakely and delivered a message capturing why he and so many others are letting their voices be heard.

"We wanted to come out here and let our voice be heard because we stand for the truth, and we stand for justice," Smart told Blakely. "And we won't stop until we get justice. That's really what this is about.

"I just want to say to everyone who thinks this is something more than it is, it's not. Despite color and gender, the truth is the truth, justice is justice, and justice hasn't been served. And people are pissed off about it, so we're here to keep George Floyd's name alive and keep it going and his legacy. Something has to change, and we're here to try to make a change."

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Celtics news and analysis

Watch:

Smart also tweeted out the following message on Sunday:

Smart, Brown, Poirier, and the other high-profile individuals using their platform to peacefully send their message deserve a tremendous amount of credit for their leadership. There's no doubt they're making the Celtics, the city of Boston, and the rest of the country proud.

Celtics' Jaylen Brown participates in peaceful protest in Atlanta

jaylen_brown.jpg
File photo

Celtics' Jaylen Brown participates in peaceful protest in Atlanta

BOSTON -- The death of George Floyd in Minnesota after ex-police officer Derek Chauvin planted his knee firmly on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes, 46 seconds, has brought many throughout the country to protest the rising number of police brutality-related incidents. 

You can count Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown among them. 

Brown was in Atlanta on Saturday participating in a peaceful protest and explained why through his IG Live account why he made the 15-hour drive to be there. 

“Being a celebrity, being an NBA player doesn’t exclude me from those conversations, at all,” Brown said. “First and foremost I’m a black man and I am a member of this community and I grew up on this soil. So, I want to say that first and foremost.”

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Celtics news and analysis

Brown was among those in Atlanta walking the streets with signage, making a statement in an undeniably peaceful manner which was in contrast to what was happening in other major cities across America. 

“It’s a peaceful protest; we’re walking, that’s it,” he said. “Raising awareness to some of the injustices we’ve been seeing. It’s not OK. As a young person, you have to listen to our perspective; our voices need to be heard.

Brown added, “I’m 23 years old. I don’t know all the answers. But I feel like how everybody else is feeling, for sure.”