NBA Finals: Celtics go on 17-0 fourth quarter run to hand Warriors Game 1 loss

SAN FRANCISCO — Despite a NBA Finals record six first-quarter 3-pointers from Steph Curry and an impressive third quarter in which Golden State outscored Boston by 14 points, the Warriors collapsed in stunning fashion in the final minutes and lost Game 1 of the NBA Finals 120-108 to the Celtics.

Golden State’s double-digit lead entering the final quarter evaporated with the Celtics’ Jaylen Brown, Al Horford and Derrick White combining to lead an explosive 17-0 run that handed Golden State its first home loss of the 2022 playoffs.

After the Warriors won the third quarter 38-24, Boston roared back and outscored Golden State 40-16 in the fourth to secure a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Finals series.

The Warriors held a 103-100 lead on a Curry bucket with 6:05 remaining, but Golden State didn’t score again until Klay Thompson made a layup with 1:09 remaining. During the nearly five-minute scoring drought, Horford and guard Marcus Smart each made a pair of 3-pointers to put the game out of reach.

The Warriors-Celtics matchup pits the league’s best offense, led by Curry, Thompson and Andrew Wiggins against the league’s best defense that’s anchored by Horford, Brown and Smart.

Boston’s size and physicality proved to be an issue for Jordan Poole, who struggled to find offensive rhythm. But not for Curry who zoomed all across the court to create open looks amid a record-setting first quarter

The teams combined for a NBA Finals record 40 made 3-pointers, with the Warriors going 19-for-45 from 3-point range compared to the Celtics’ 21-for-41.

Despite Curry’s eruptive first quarter, the Celtics managed to keep pace with the Warriors for most of the game as Golden State never led by more than 10 until midway through the third quarter when the Warriors started to pull away. Boston used a 3-point flurry to storm back as White and Horford combined to hit four consecutive fourth quarter three-pointers amid the Celtics’ extended run.

The Celtics, who held Curry scoreless in his final six minutes of the first half, overcame a 10-point Golden State advantage to take a 56-54 lead heading into the locker room.

Curry finished with 34 points and made seven 3-pointers, Andrew Wiggins scored 20 points and Otto Porter Jr., fresh off a foot injury, added 12 off the bench, but the Warriors’ offense went ice cold from the field during the fourth quarter collapse.

The Celtics are the first team this postseason to beat the Warriors at Chase Center, where the Warriors are now 9-1 in the playoffs.

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Author: Madeline Kenney