SAN FRANCISCO – Another awful third quarter in a playoffs stuffed with themIt seemed to everyone around the globe like the They were well on their way to winning Game 1 at the NBA Finals Chase Center on Thursday night.
The fourth quarter then began. After an avalanche Celtics 3-pointers, the game and series were completely rewritten.
To stun the sold-out crowd, Boston made its first seven 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. It outscored Golden State by 40-16.. In doing so, Boston became the first team in NBA Finals history to win by double-digits after entering the fourth quarter trailing by double-digits, per ESPN Stats & Information research.
“Being resilient is the word for the year”said. “I think it showed tonight.”
It did so in the second half. Boston has been struggling in the playoffs throughout the third quarter and again in Game 1 as it faced a Warriors team who has traditionally dominated the game coming out of the break.
In the third, the Celtics were outscored by 38-24. They committed five turnovers. They allowed Golden State to move from the 3-point range. AndTogether, they were able to shoot 2-for-10 on the field.
Chase Center, which was hosting the first ever NBA Finals match, was rocking. The celebration seemed to be over. The feeling inside Boston's huddle was quite different.
Tatum stated, “The message at he beginning of the fourth was, ‘We’ve been here before. “We are familiar with the challenges of overcoming a deficit such as this.”
“Obviously that's great team. It's going to not be easy. We know that we have been there before and that we have gotten out of this situation. There was plenty of time. It wasn't the right time to be frustrated or to quit, it was time for us to solve it.”
The Celtics did just that. It is a great thing to see a team come out and bury its first seven 3-pointers. Boston proved that. It was more than that. The Celtics went 9-12 for 12 from the 3-point line to finish the fourth quarter.
Golden State, however, was just 7-for-17 on the field. The Celtics didn't turn the ball over. They had an incredible 12-to-1 assist-to–turnover ratio in fourth quarter. Boston's plus-24 scoring margin was the largest ever in a NBA Finals match.
They also received contributions from the rest of the roster, including Ime Udoka, the Celtics coach and reigning Defensive Player-of-the-Year.For most of the fourth quarter, I sat on the bench and chose to ride Pritchard for some of the greatest moments of Boston's season so far.
Udoka explained that “we pride ourselves on everyone being able and able to help on both ends.” It's rewarding to see others contribute, especially when your best man is having a bad night.
Boston received contributions from every corner of the roster.He continued his stellar play from the birth of his baby in the Eastern Conference finals with 21 points off the bench, and five 3-pointers.
After previously holding the record for most playoff games without a Finals appearance in the past, he played in his first ever NBA Finals game. He had 26 points, six boards, and three assists. He also hit all four of the quarter's shots. His career high was six 3-pointers.
Tatum was 3-for-17 on the field and Tatum still managed 13 assists. Tatum was also plus-27 in fourth quarter. Tatum did not score a point and finished with four assists, no turnovers, while missing all three shots.
Tatum smiled and said, “Ecstatic,” when Tatum was asked about his feelings about the game. “40 points in quarter four… the guys made big shots, and they did it on time. We won.
“I had a horrible shooting night. I tried to influence the game in other ways. We are now in the championship. We are in the Finals. The only thing I was concerned about was winning, which we did. This is all that matters.
“So I don’t expect to shoot so bad again. If we win, it's okay with me.
This was the message that the Celtics were trying to convey: That they won Game 1 of this NBA Finals series, while not performing at their best. They did hit shots. They went 21-for 41 from 3-point range. They had a sloppy third quarter and a slow start to the game. A roster with no NBA Finals experience looked like it sometimes in the first quarter.
Continue to play. Horford stated that this was the message we sent throughout the entire game. They're a great team. We just wanted to continue playing regardless of what.
“And our men, that's exactly what we did. We didn't win the game but we continued fighting and finding new ways to win.
This game was in many ways a microcosm for Boston's rollercoaster season. The Celtics had a low point of.500 in January before they stormed through the NBA's final 35 games. They posted the best offensive- and defensive ratings in the league during that stretch.
Boston was then subject to two difficult seven-game series of defeat against theThey won elimination games against both teams on the road to reach this point. They are now the first team to defeat the Warriors at Chase Center in a playoff match.
After playing 12 games in the Eastern Conference semifinals/finals, the NBA Finals will be played in three more days. Now Boston will get three days to rest up before returning to the arena for Game 2 on Sunday night. Boston will have a chance to win the series.
Smart stated, “It just states what we've done all year.” “We have been counted every year. It's right. There have been moments. We continue to fight. This is who we are.
“I have been thinking over the past couple months that this is our identity. It stuck with us because of a reason.
The Celtics are now three wins away with an NBA championship.