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NBA Finals: Horford, Celtics shooters shock Warriors with fourth-quarter rally

NBA Finals: Horford, Celtics shooters shock Warriors with fourth-quarter rally
Boston Celtics forward Al Horford (L) scored 18 of his team-high 26 points in the second half of a playoff win over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday in San Francisco. Photo by John G. Mabanglo/EPA-EFE

June 3 (UPI) -- The Boston Celtics overcame a 15-point deficit with an 18-2 run in the fourth quarter to stun the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals. They sank 21 3-pointers in the 120-108 win in San Francisco.

Celtics forward Al Horford made six 3-pointers and totaled a team-high 26 points in the triumph Thursday at Chase Center. Guards Jaylen Brown and Derrick White chipped in 24 and 21 points, respectively.

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The Celtics shot 50.6% from the field and 51.2% from 3-point range. They also totaled 33 assists and scored 21 points off turnovers.

"I felt like the guys kept finding me time after time," Horford told reporters. "Also, Derrick White hit some tough shots there, too. Yeah, it was just: get the looks, knock 'em down, that's that."

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All-Star guard Stephen Curry scored 21 of his game-high 34 points in the first 12 minutes to help the Warriors carry a 32-28 lead into the second, but he cooled down the stretch and his teammates failed to match their playoff-tested foes.

"Obviously they made a lot of shots," Curry said. "Seemed like, I don't think they missed until deep in the fourth. When you have a team that just finds a little bit of momentum like they did and they keep making shots, it's tough to kind of regain that momentum."

The Celtics outscored the Warriors 28-22 in the second quarter and led 56-54 at halftime. The Warriors opened the third with a 7-2 run to snatch back momentum. They added a 14-3 run later in the quarter to push their lead to 11 and took a 92-80 edge into the fourth. Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins scored a dozen points in the third.

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The Celtics carried an 11-0 run from late in the third through the first three minutes of the fourth, which cut the deficit to three.

White hit a 3-pointer with 5:40 remaining to tie the score at 103-103. That shot sparked a run of 17-unanswered points over the next four minutes for the Celtics and sealed the victory.

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Horford scored 11 points over the final 12 minutes. Brown chipped in 10 in the fourth. The Celtics also made nine 3-pointers, including their first seven consecutively, and logged a dozen assists in the final frame.

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The Warriors held Celtics forward Jayson Tatum to just 12 points, but the All-NBA selection chipped in 13 assists in the win. Curry made seven 3-pointers for the Warriors. Wiggins scored 20 points in the loss. Warriors guard Klay Thompson totaled 15 points.

"Obviously everybody is down," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "You want to go out and win the first one. We had every opportunity, 12-point lead going into the fourth. Guys are bummed, as you would expect.

"But it's a seven-game series for a reason. I think you give Boston credit. They came in and earned the win. Played a great fourth quarter. We'll come in, watch the film, and see where we can get better, and you know, it's one game. So you move on to the next one."

The Warriors will host the Celtics in Game 2 at 8 p.m. EDT Sunday at Chase Center. The game will air on ABC.

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