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Tatum gets no help, Celtics routed in Game 2 of NBA Finals

CORRECTS FROM GAME 1 TO GAME 2 – Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) loses the ball while being defended by Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) and guard Stephen Curry during the second half of Game 2 of basketball’s NBA Finals in San Francisco, Sunday, June 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Jayson Tatum found his scoring touch after a rare poor shooting night in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but it was the rest of his Boston Celtics teammates who went missing in Game 2.

Now, instead of going home in control of the Finals, the Celtics will need to regroup following a 107-88 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night that evened the series at one game apiece.

Tatum bounced back from a 3-for-17 shooting performance in the opener to lead the way offensively for Boston with 28 points. But outside of a fast start by Jaylen Brown, he had no help and the Celtics had no answers.

Boston shot 37.5% overall and struggled all night to make anything inside the 3-point line. When the Celtics outside shooting went cold in the third quarter, the Warriors turned a close game into a rout with a 35-14 blitz.

Boston had five turnovers and four baskets in the crucial third quarter, leading to a 23-point deficit that was too much to try to overcome after the Celtics rallied from 12 points down after three to win the series opener.

Coach Ime Udoka cleared the bench for much of the fourth quarter, giving his starters some needed rest after grinding their way through a grueling, back-to-back seven-game series in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

If the Celtics are to rebound when the series shifts to Boston for Game 3 on Wednesday night, they will need some of Tatum’s supporting cast to play much more like they did in Game 1 than Sunday.

Al Horford didn’t even take a shot in the first half after leading the Celtics with 26 points in the opener and finished with two points.

After making five 3-pointers and scoring 21 points in Game 1, Derrick White missed nine of 13 shots and was held to 12 points.

Brown made his first three shots and scored 13 points in the first quarter but went one for 11 the rest of the way, failing to support Tatum.

Marcus Smart followed up a 7-for-11 shooting night in Game 1 by making just one of six Sunday night. Throw 19 turnovers that 33 points for the Warriors and Tatum had not help on the offensive end even if he was able to get going by making six of nine 3-point attempts.

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