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Basketball Daily Dose

Celtics stun Warriors with Game 1 win at GSW

by Steve Alexander
Updated On: June 3, 2022, 8:37 am ET

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Celtics 120, Warriors 108 - The Boston Celtics outscored the Golden State Warriors 40-16 in the fourth quarter on Thursday night to take a 1-0 lead in the NBA Finals for a relatively easy 120-108 win over the Warriors. The Warriors scored 38 points in the third quarter and then scored just 16 points in the fourth quarter as the Celtics got hot from downtown and dominated the final quarter of the game.

Jayson Tatum hit just 3-of-17 shots on the night, but Al Horford turned back the clock to hit 9-of-12 shots and a career-high six 3-pointers for a team-high 26 points, six rebounds, three assists and a steal in the comeback win and his first NBA Finals game. The Celtics went on a vicious 17-0 run to overtake the Warriors and hit a ridiculous 9-of-12 3-pointers late for the win. Jaylen Brown hit 10-of-23 shots and two 3-pointers for 24 points, seven boards, five assists, two steals and a block, Derrick White came through with 21 points and five 3-pointers, Marcus Smart rang up 18 points, five boards, four assists and two steals, and Tatum finished with 12 points, five rebounds and 13 assists in the win. The Celtics went on a 17-0 run to come back from a 103-100 deficit to open up a massive 117-103 lead from which they never looked back. The Celtics also hit 9-of-12 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and simply couldn’t miss on their run to a win after being down big in the third quarter. This was the most lopsided fourth quarter in NBA Finals history, as the Warriors were up by 15 with four minutes left in the third quarter. The Warriors were up 12 points entering the fourth quarter and finished down 12, tying the mark for the largest overcome deficit in Finals history.  Robert Williams played through his sore left knee and had eight points, six boards, a steal and four blocks in the win.

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The Warriors took their first loss at home in these playoffs after starting out 9-0 in the Chase Center and were led by Stephen Curry’s 34 points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals and seven 3-pointers. His six triples in the first quarter were the most ever in any quarter of the Finals. Andrew Wiggins added 20 points, five rebounds, a steal, three blocks and two 3-pointers in his Finals debut, Klay Thompson had 15 points and three triples in 39 minutes, and Otto Porter Jr. added 12 points, four rebounds, two steals and four 3-pointers in the loss. Despite some hype earlier in the day that he might play, Gary Payton III (shoulder) didn’t get into the game tonight. Kevon Looney was a bit quiet in this one, hitting just 1-of-4 shots for four points, but did have nine rebounds, five assists and three blocks in the home loss.

The 40 combined 3-pointers set a Finals record for both teams and the Celtics bounced back from a 15-point deficit in the third quarter. This series will feature the next two games in San Francisco, then three in Boston, and then the final two in San Francisco. The Warriors are going to have to dig deep and win at least one game in Boston, but the team is reeling after holding a 12-point lead before having a fourth-quarter meltdown. The Celtics were the first team to overcome a 10-point-or-more deficit after three quarters to win a Finals game and the Celtics are looking to win their 18th title, which would put them past the Lakers by one.

Steve Alexander

Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for NBC Sports Edge and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2020-21 NBA season marks (at least) his 20th year of covering fantasy hoops for NBC Sports. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.