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Boston Celtics Stun Golden State in N.B.A. Finals Game 1


SAN FRANCISCO — After a protracted and eventful road to the N.B.A. finals, Golden State was grateful for a full week to rest and get well before facing the Boston Celtics in Game 1 on Thursday night.

Golden State’s modest break got here to an abrupt end. Boston made sure of it, stunning Golden State, 120-108, to take the opening game of the best-of-seven series at Chase Center.

The Celtics leaned on their depth to erase a 15-point deficit within the second half. Al Horford scored a team-high 26 points, while Jaylen Brown added 24 and Derrick White scored 21 off the bench.

Jayson Tatum scored just 12 points within the win while shooting 3 of 17 from the sphere, but he had a game-high 13 assists. The Celtics also managed to beat a turbocharged effort from Golden State’s Stephen Curry, who scored 34 points.

Game 2 is Sunday night in San Francisco.

In remarks before the sport, N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver noted how the finals was pitting two of the league’s original franchises — a fitting series for the N.B.A., which has been celebrating its seventy fifth anniversary this season. The Philadelphia Warriors won the league’s first championship, all the way in which back in 1947, once they took care of the Chicago Stags in five games. The Celtics are chasing their 18th title, and their first since 2008.

The finals, in fact, are familiar turf for Golden State’s celebrated stars. Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are making their sixth finals appearance previously eight seasons. And the Warriors had looked familiarly dominant in needing just five games to eliminate the Dallas Mavericks within the Western Conference finals.

The Celtics, alternatively, were coming off a bruising seven-game series with the Miami Heat within the Eastern Conference finals. Ahead of Game 1 against Golden State, Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III were still recovering from injuries. And Tatum and Brown, the Celtics’ two young stars, had been supplying huge minutes throughout the playoffs.

Golden State looked primed to leap throughout Boston within the early going. In the primary quarter alone, Curry sank six 3-pointers — a finals record for 3-pointers in 1 / 4 — and scored 21 points as Golden State led by as many as 10. Even Andre Iguodala got into the act, supplying his first minutes because the first round after missing many of the postseason with back trouble.

However the Celtics should not within the finals by accident. They produced the league’s top-rated defense within the regular season, and so they ramped up the pressure on Curry because the game wore on. Consider a single possession of the second quarter, as Curry tried to work himself free by coming off a series of screens. White defended him, then Tatum, then Smart, the league’s defensive player of the 12 months. Surprise: Curry couldn’t find a gap.

Jordan Poole closed the primary half for Golden State by bricking a 3-point attempt off the highest of the backboard, and the Celtics led, 56-54. A gold-clad crowd that had roared for much of the half appeared to be in a collective stupor. Adult refreshments awaited many fans on the concourse.

Golden State is known for its explosive third quarters, though, and Thursday’s version of it was no different. By the point Curry threw in an acrobatic layup, Golden State was back up by 9.

But fueled by unsung players like White and Payton Pritchard, the Celtics mounted an enormous run within the fourth quarter, taking a 109-103 lead when Horford sank back-to-back 3-pointers.

Fans began to file toward the exits in the ultimate minute.

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