Celtics Rally in Q4 to Stun Warriors in NBA Finals
Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown. Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis — Photo by headlinephotos

The Boston Celtics have ended the Golden State Warriors unbeaten home playoffs run and claimed Game 1 of the NBA Finals with a come-from-behind 120-108 win on Thursday.

The Celtics trailed by 12 points at the final change but put together a remarkable 40-16 final quarter to clinch an important win in the best-of-seven series.

Stephen Curry had started the game on fire, shooting six three-pointers for 21 points in the opening quarter, the best quarter by any player in an NBA Finals quarter since Michael Jordan in 1993.

But Boston wouldn’t be shaken off, leading by two at the break, before the Warriors rallied again to open up a good lead with a 38-24 third quarter.

The Celtics responded, even with Jayson Tatum (12 points and 13 assists) down on his usual output, with a fine team display led by captain Al Horford, who drained six triples for 26 points, with six rebounds and three assists.

“The group that started the fourth quarter did a great job setting the tone,” Horford told ESPN on court post-game.

“Jaylen (Brown) attacking, Rob (Williams) got a lob dunk and that just got us going. From that point on we felt like wed stay solid and continue to fight and that’s what we did.”

Jaylen Brown finished with 24 points with seven rebounds and five rebounds, while Marcus Smart scored 18 points and Robert Williams was solid defensively, including four blocks.

Mid-season addition Derrick White was a strong contributor off the bench with 21 points including five three-pointers.

The Celtics scored 34-26 points in the paint and 21-10 points off turnover, shooting better from the field at 50.6 per cent.

The win marked the Warriors first postseason loss at the Chase Center, while it also meant the Celtics have an 9-2 record on the road this playoffs. The two sides meet again at the same venue on Sunday.

“Obviously good that we won this one,” Horford said. “Get some rest and prepare for Sunday. These guys are really good here at home. We know we have our hands full.”

Curry cooled off after his hot start to finish with 34 points, making seven-of-14 from beyond the arc, while he had five rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Andrew Wiggins added 20 points but shot two-of-seven from three-point range and Klay Thompson only managed 15 points.

Draymond Green had 11 rebounds and two steals in a solid defensive game but shot two-of-12 from the field.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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