The Golden State Warriors went missing against the Boston Celtics in the fourth quarter of Thursday’s Finals Game 1, blowing a double-digit lead against the Celtics, 120-108.
Boston delivered a gut punch to Steve Kerr’s Warriors, a team that played with a commanding pace for three-quarters of Thursday’s matchup.
Steph Curry got cooking early: hitting six three-pointers in the first quarter — an NBA Finals record for most-made three’s in a quarter.
Golden State’s postseason X-factor, forward Andrew Wiggins, kept up in Game 1 with 20 points and five rebounds.
All seemed to flow in the Warriors’ favor, coming off a five-game series against the Dallas Mavericks, which sent them into a week-long break.
The team was up 56-54 heading into the half.
Golden State’s offense came out of the break in high spirits, outscoring Boston, 38-24, in the third.
The Celtics, featuring zero players with past Finals experience, were pitted against a seasoned Warriors team — playing in their sixth championship appearance in eight years — with one quarter left to win it.
And despite never reaching the Finals, Boston big man Al Horford — a 15-year vet in the League — fueled a Celtics comeback as superstar Jayson Tatum (12 points, 13 assists) tried to shake off the Finals pressure.
Boston hit their first seven three-point attempts in the fourth.
Horford led the Celtics with 26 points, hitting six-of-eight three-pointers, the most by an NBA player in their Finals debut.
The 35-year-old, on the eve of his birthday, overwhelmed the Warriors by drilling shots from beyond the arc in their fourth-quarter comeback. Boston went on a 17-0 run and kept hitting the three-ball to sink the Warriors’ momentum until the clock hit zero.
Chase Center watched as the Warriors were outscored 40-16 in the final 12 minutes.
Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and Marcus Smart combined for 63 points.
Stephen Curry led all scorers with 34 points, and Klay Thompson delivered a lukewarm 15 in the scoring column.
Warriors forward Draymond Green delivered a Game 1 performance short of pre-game expectations: tallying four points on 2-of-12 shooting.
Green gave the they are who we thought they were (RIP Dennis Green) defense in the postgame interview. But the excuse flopped.
In the postgame interview, Celtics forward Jaylen Brown commented: “I give credit to every guy in that locker room, top to bottom. We’ve got a resilient group.”
Golden State hosts Boston for Game 2 on Sunday. The Warriors also suffered their first playoff home loss (9-1) this postseason.
After 141 playoff games played without a Finals appearance, Horford played Game 1 like another day at the office.
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