SAN FRANCISCO ( Associated Press) — Jayson Tatum found his aim after a rough night in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but it was the rest of his Boston Celtics teammates who disappeared.
Now, instead of going home with the finals under control, the Celtics will have to regroup after losing 107-88 on Sunday to the Golden State Warriors, who tied the series 1-1.
“I don’t think we have that much penetration in the paint,” said coach Ime Udoka. “A few other things changed. So we fumbled and didn’t give ourselves a chance with a lot of those turnovers.”
Tatum recovered from 3-for-17 shooting in the first game and led Boston’s attack with 28 points. But save for a quick start from Jaylen Brown, he had no help and the Celtics had no resources.
Boston turned over five balls and made four shots in the crucial third quarter, opening up a 23-point deficit that they couldn’t overturn.
Udoka came off the bench for much of the fourth quarter and gave his starters some much-needed rest after a grueling seven-game series in the Eastern Conference finals.
If the Celtics want to come back on Wednesday when the series comes to Boston for Game 3, they’ll need other players to perform more like they did in Game 1 than they did on Sunday.
Al Horford didn’t shoot once in the first half after leading the Celtics with 26 points in Game 1 and finishing with two points.
Brown made his first three shots and scored 13 points in the first quarter, but was only 1-for-11 the rest of the night and struggled to find his rhythm.
Add to that 19 turnovers that turned into 33 points for the Warriors, and Tatum had no help on offense.
“In a way it’s as simple as we have to take care of the ball,” Tatum said. “We have done it, and we are a great team when we take care of the ball. But we have those lapses where we fall apart, rack up the turnovers and dig ourselves a hole.”