Draymond Green on Warriors’ 52-point loss to Celtics, defensive strategy on Jaylen Brown: ‘It was fun to try’

The Golden State Warriors suffered the fourth-worst loss in franchise history Sunday, with the Celtics handing them a 52-point L in a rematch of the 2022 NBA Finals.

Things were as ugly as the final score suggests. Boston got out to a 22-point lead by the end of the first quarter and led by as many as 56 points in the game.

The Celtics’ victory was propelled by insane 3-point shooting, with All-Star forward Jaylen Brown canning five triples in the first frame, as he was seemingly dared to do so by the Warriors’ defense.

After the game, Draymond Green shrugged off the 52-point drubbing, giving an interesting perspective on the game plan and how things got away from his team.

“[The strategy] worked, he just made the shots,” Green said of Golden State’s sagging off of Brown defensively. “I don’t think we really played a full defensive strategy to kind of dive into that — we implemented our strategy, like, 15 minutes before we left the locker room.”

Green added that he was “all for it.”

Brown, who shot 5-of-9 from deep in the opening frame, finished the game with 29 points in just 22 minutes of action. As a team, the Celtics shot 25-of-49 from 3-point range while the Warriors, who shot just 7-of-41 from deep, sat their starters for the entirety of the second half.

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Green’s comments on the late implementation of the strategy and Steve Kerr’s decision to quickly wave the white flag were interesting developments for a Golden State team in the thick of the West’s Play-In Tournament race.

In fairness to Kerr and the Warriors, Sunday’s game was the final stop of a four-game trip against Eastern Conference opponents, Stephen Curry was battling a knee injury and the team had won eight straight on the road.

The decision to dare Brown to shoot backfired, and this is a loss that could be looked back upon if the Warriors miss out on a home Play-In Tournament game or one of the more advantageous Play-In seeds that only require one win.

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“We were really grateful for that,” Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla said of Golden State’s strategy. “I just kept saying ‘thank you’ and kept empowering Jaylen. And credit to his teammates for empowering him to continue to play.”

Brown, who is shooting around 35 percent from 3-point range this season, said the defensive coverage “was a little disrespectful,” and that he was glad to take advantage of it.

While the Celtics strengthened their hold on the East’s No. 1 seed with the win, the Warriors fell back into a two-way tie with the 10th-place Lakers, but they are just three games back of the West’s sixth seed and final solidified playoff spot.

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