Green was intent on sending a message, not to the Boston Celtics but one to his own team. Setting the tone by harassing Celtics ball handlers and talking plenty of trash, Green gave the Warriors the "attitude adjustment" they needed to even the series with their 107-88 Game 2 win on Sunday at Chase Center.
Stephen Curry scored 29 points, and Jordan Poole got loose for 17 points, as the two Warriors outscored the Celtics 20-14 by themselves in a game-changing third quarter to help Golden State go on a 41-14 run out of halftime.
"It was definitely an attitude adjustment," Green said.
"They are who we thought they were. So we knew we had to keep our foot on the gas pedal and not let up, and we did that."
One game after watching Boston make 9 of 12 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to steal Game 1, the Warriors held the Celtics to 37.5% shooting in Game 2. While Jayson Tatum hit 6 of 9 3s and scored 28 points on Sunday, Golden State contained Tatum's supporting cast.
"Guys follow me on that side of the ball," Green said of setting the tone defensively. "If I'm not sending a message, who is sending that message?"
Curry said Green actually began setting the tone for the Warriors minutes after their 120-108 loss in Game 1. Asked when he knew he would see an amped-up Green on Sunday, Curry replied, "About five minutes after Game 1. That's all I needed to see and hear."
"I thought everybody was more engaged," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said following Sunday's contest. "It was pretty obvious, just our level of force and physicality was ramped up quite a bit, and it had to be."
The Warriors only led 52-50 at halftime of Game 2. But they outscored Boston 35-14 in the third quarter and would push their lead to 93-64 with 10:45 left in the fourth.
Curry scored 14 of his points in the third quarter, hitting three treys while also taking Green's lead and playing solid defense.
"Steph was breathtaking in that quarter," Kerr said. "Not just the shot-making but the defensive effort."
Poole, who was held to nine points in Game 1, buried two 3-point bombs in the final 30 seconds of that backbreaking third quarter, including a 39-footer that came two steps past the half-court line, near the "R" in the Chase Center logo on the court.
"That was obviously a big shot to get the crowd into it," Curry said. "Put kind of a dagger on that great third quarter that we had."
Now, the Warriors head to Boston not only "in a great mental space," as Green said, but with the confidence that they know what it takes to win on the road in the playoffs.
Golden State has won at least one road game in an NBA-record 26 straight postseason series.
"We put ourselves right back in position to take control of the series," said Green, who finished with nine points, seven assists and five rebounds. "Now we haven't taken control of it yet. But we have put ourselves in position to go and take control of it."