Less than five minutes into Thursday night’s clash of best vs. best, the Warriors were already threatening to pull away. They led the Celtics 15-6 after a pair of Kevin Durant free throws, and appeared to have already solved the formula Boston had used to fuel a 13-game winning streak.
As they often do when the offense grinds to a halt, the Celtics turned to a reliable half-court play to settle in. It worked, producing a wide-open Jaylen Brown cutting down the baseline.
The second-year forward could have laid it in quickly and efficiently. He didn’t. Instead he opted for a quick spin and vicious jam, with a little flourish for good measure.
It was a small choice, made in the split-second it took for the play to transpire. It also set a tone, one that allowed the Celtics to survive its worst offensive night of the season against the best team in the NBA.
Later in the first quarter, Brown did what few are good (or brave) enough to do: he pressured two-time MVP Stephen Curry into…