Image Source: CBS Sports
The determined Celtics delivered a remarkable comeback as they rallied over Stephen Curry and the Golden State old guard. Once Boston’s balanced squad of NBA finals first-timers found a rhythm from long range.
The Celtics rode the most lopsided fourth quarter in NBA finals history to a 120-108 victory over the Warriors in Game 1 on Thursday night. Jaylen Brown fueled the late charge with 24 points, Al Horford hit six three-pointers, and the Celtics rode the most lopsided fourth quarter in NBA finals history.
After trailing by 15 points late in the third quarter, Horford scored 26 points as the Celtics outscored the Warriors 40-16 in the final 12 minutes. The 36-year-old big man, who is in his 15th season, has appeared in 141 postseason games, the most ever in the NBA Finals.
I had the feeling that the guys were always finding me. Horford added, “Derrick White also hit some difficult shots there.” “I was just getting stares and dismissing them.” That’s all there is to it.
In the fourth quarter, Boston made their first seven long-range attempts and finished the period 9 of 12 from beyond the arc, with nearly everyone participating in the three-point barrage. The only Celtics regular who struggled offensively was Jayson Tatum, who went 3 for 17 while adding 13 assists.
Curry scored 34 points in his first appearance on the NBA’s big stage in three years, but the Warriors couldn’t maintain their lead after a 38-point third quarter left them up 92-80 entering the final 12 minutes.
Back at Chase Center, Game 2 will take place on Sunday night.
Boston guard Payton Pritchard remarked, “It’s an unbelievable feeling just to be here and playing at this level against such a dominant club the last two years.” “I believe we’re all looking forward to the challenge of completing the series.”
According to Sportradar, the Celtics were the first team to trail a finals game by ten points or more after three quarters and win by ten or more.
With 5:40 remaining, Derrick White’s three-pointer over Curry knotted the game at 103, and the Celtics seized their first lead since halftime when Horford connected from deep the following time down.
Draymond Green of Golden State stated, “They stayed in striking distance and made shots late.”
Boston is chasing a record-tying 18th championship, which would put them ahead of the Lakers — and it’s only three wins away.
Brown, who played one season at nearby California, sank a pair of baskets with 5:03 left before halftime to knot the game at 47 and give the Celtics a 56-54 lead at the break. Golden State then went on a 38-point third-quarter run to take a commanding lead.
With 9:35 remaining in the fourth quarter, Brown scored five quick baskets and assisted on an alley-oop dunk by Robert Williams III, bringing the Celtics within 92-87. Brown’s three-pointer at 8:22 made it 94-92, but Klay Thompson responded with a three-pointer of his own.
Green collected 11 rebounds before fouling out with 48.3 seconds left in his finals debut, while Andrew Wiggins scored 20 points. Thompson scored 15 points as the Warriors advanced to their sixth finals in eight years after winning three championships in five straight trips from 2015 to 2019.
After going 21-2 in Game 1s under Steve Kerr, they’ll have to come back to win this one from behind.