Celtics not intimated by the second vs. Warriors in rallying to win Game 1 of NBA Finals

SAN FRANCISCO — Jaylen Brown made a 3-pointer after which one other. Payton Pritchard made one, then Derrick White made two 3s in a row, adopted by two Al Horford 3s.

The Celtics made seven consecutive 3s to begin the fourth quarter, flipping a double-digit deficit originally of the quarter right into a lead they changed into a victory.

Boston shocked Golden State 120-108 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, and the Celtics pummeled the Warriors within the remaining quarter the identical manner the Warriors have buried so many groups through the years within the playoffs: with good capturing and high quality protection.

It was an unconventional win for the Celtics, too, with their greatest participant, Jayson Tatum, scoring simply 12 factors on 3-for-17 capturing. Boston’s offensive versatility was on show.

“We pride ourselves on everybody being able to contribute on both ends,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka mentioned. “That’s rewarding, especially on a night when your best guy has an off night.”

The Celtics made 21 3s, the second-most in Finals historical past. Five gamers scored in double figures and three scored not less than 20 factors because the Celtics outscored the Warriors 40-16 within the fourth quarter when Tatum didn’t rating some extent.

Horford had 26 factors, Brown 24, White 21 and Marcus Smart 18, and Tatum compensated for his capturing with 13 assists.

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The 3s have been an issue for the Warriors. Boston’s ball motion was spectacular, accumulating 33 assists on 43 made pictures.

“It was the way that we were moving the ball on offense, just being in those positions,” Horford mentioned.

The tenor of this sequence modified with Boston’s victory, their eighth highway win of the playoffs. It simply wasn’t any highway win both. It was towards a group used to profitable at house and in these conditions.

Al Horford (42) scored 26 points for the Celtics and Jaylen Brown (7) had 24 points in Game 1.

Al Horford (42) scored 26 factors for the Celtics and Jaylen Brown (7) had 24 factors in Game 1.

One pre-Finals narrative evaporated over the course of Game 1. All the discuss Golden State’s gamers and coach Steve Kerr having oodles of Finals expertise, and Boston gamers and Udoka having none, turned an outdated speaking level within the matter of 4 quarters.

“Our young guys have had a lot of success so far getting to the Eastern Conference finals multiple times,” Udoka mentioned. “So for us, try to simplify it, not overcomplicate it. Business as usual, basketball as usual. The things we did to be successful coming here, we’ll try to do more of the same.”

The second wasn’t too massive in any respect. Golden State led 92-80 heading into the fourth quarter.

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“We know what it takes to overcome a deficit like that,” Tatum mentioned. “Obviously that’s a great team. It’s not going to be easy. But just knowing we’ve been in that situation before and we’ve gotten ourselves out of it. We had a lot of time left, right? It wasn’t time to hang your head or be done. It was time to figure it out.”

Boston’s offense dominated the dialog, however it performed protection within the fourth when crucial. Though Steph Curry had 34 factors, he had simply 4 within the fourth. Klay Thompson had a quiet 15 factors. Jordan Poole scored 9, simply half of what he averages within the postseason. Draymond Green missed 10 of 12 pictures.

“We’ve seen the teams that rely on guys in the playoffs, whether it was Brooklyn the first round with (Kevin) Durant, Milwaukee with (Giannis) Antetokounmpo and Miami with (Jimmy) Butler,” Udoka mentioned. “We know if you take those guys out, teams are going to struggle.”

There’s no sense in making dramatic conclusions relating to the winner of the sequence. It’s only one sport.

“It’s not ideal, but I believe in who we are and how we deal with adversity, how we responded all year, how we’ve responded in the playoffs after a loss,” Curry mentioned.

But the Celtics made it clear they will win this sequence. It’s not a happy-to-be-here second for them.

Udoka supplied this attention-grabbing assertion, too.

“It’s a confidence builder,” he mentioned, “because we didn’t play our best at all.”

The Celtics performed and are performing like a group that’s been right here earlier than.

Follow Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt.

This article initially appeared on USA TODAY: NBA Finals: Celtics not intimidated by Warriors, rally for Game 1 win

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