The Boston Celtics captured the first game of the NBA Finals from the Golden State Warriors with a 120-108 victory Thursday night at Chase Center in San Francisco.
The Celtics had a fourth-quarter lead by 24 points, which ties a record for any NBA Finals quarter-final. The last 12 minutes of play ended with a score of 40 to 16.
The Warriors are unbeaten in nine games at Chase Center since the start of the playoffs.
After trailing twelve points before the fourth quarter, the Celtics’ comeback was their biggest in the final after three quarters since Michael Jordan Bulls rebounded from a 15-point delay to defeat the Trail Blazers in Game Six in 1992.
Veteran Al Horford, who played the first game of his career in the final, led the team with 26 points. His six 3-point shots are a career high for a player playing the first game of his career in the Championship Series. Jaylen Brown supported him with 24 points.
Jason Tatum struggled, taking only three shots out of 17 for 12 points. However, he did add 13 passes to complete the double.
Stephen Curry had set the tone for this first game with six three-point shots in just the first quarter. The base scored 21 of his team’s 32 points to give the Warriors a four-point lead in the 12th minute of the game, but Curry slowed down to finish the game with 34 points from the Warriors.
Curry set a final round record with six three-pointers in a single quarter—a first in his case. He was backed by 20 points from Andrew Wiggins and 15 from Clay Thompson.
Under coach Steve Kerr, the Warriors were 21-2 in the first game before losing to the Celtics.
“Obviously we will go into Game 2 with a greater sense of desperation. We’ve been in this situation before,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. Boston played a brilliant quarterback. They arrived and deserved the victory.”
However, Curry was calmer in the second quarter by being sent off the scoring sheet, allowing the Celtics to come back to take a 56-54 lead in the half. At the time, Jaylene Brown was the best in his team with 12 points.
Golden State regained the lead in the third quarter by controlling the clash with a score of 38-24, but the tempo changed dramatically during the final minutes of the game which was completely dominated by the Celtics.
The Celtics are looking to win their record 18th title, which would put them ahead of the Lakers, and they are just three wins away from achieving it.
The Warriors have been crowned league champions six times including in 2015, 2017 and 2018. In 2019, they lost to Toronto in the final.
The second game of the series will be played again in San Francisco, Sunday night, from 8pm. In a duel you’ll be able to see it again on RDS2 broadcasts.