Al Horford shines in NBA Finals debut as Boston Celtics beat Golden State Warriors in Game 1

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It was a game full of 3-pointers as the Warriors and Celtics combined to drain 40 shots from deep, setting an NBA Finals record. Steph Curry started hot and was getting open shots as the Celtics struggled to deal with him. He kept his momentum going for the vast majority of Game 1 as he dropped a game-high 34 points.

Despite his fast start, it was a close first quarter with Jayson Tatum showing off his playmaking ability. He finished the game with 13 assists, the most dimes dropped by a player in their finals debut. Speaking of finals debuts, Horford and Derrick White were on fire and arguably the two key players for Boston as they surged to victory.

White was draining clutch shot after clutch shot on his way to scoring 21 off the bench. Horford had 26, making him the second-oldest player in NBA history to record 25+ points in their maiden finals appearance. It was a night of records as Horford and White became the first pair of teammates in history to make 5+ 3-pointers each in their finals debut. Golden State started the third very well and took a commanding lead going into the final quarter. Andre Iguodala was making only his fourth appearance of these playoffs which was a boost for the Warriors, but the experienced forward could not rally his side to victory despite their dominant third.

It was an outrageous fourth quarter by the visitors, who started with a 9-0 run. Jaylen Brown was knocking down big shots, showing his bravery by going strong to the rim. White was draining huge 3-pointers and when Horford eventually gave the C's the lead, they, and he, did not look back. The Dominican big man backed up his lead-taking three with a lead-extending one before a 2-pointer as Boston made it 111-103. The Warriors were very cold in the fourth and went four and a half minutes without scoring. Curry's 34 points were not enough as his side lost home court advantage. They lost the final quarter 40-16, and huge credit to Boston who turned the game on its head to take a huge step towards finals glory.

On top of Curry's great performance, Andrew Wiggins had 20, Otto Porter Jr 12 and Klay Thompson 15. Tatum had 12 for the Celtics, with Brown chipping in with 24 and Marcus Smart 18. Robert Williams III had a superb alley-oop dunk over Draymond Green on his way to eight points, whilst blocking four shots. "I'll give them credit, they made 21 threes, they were moving the ball really well and they had us on our heels," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told the media after the game. "They made a good push to start the fourth and they kept that momentum going. It's going to be tough to beat Boston if they're making 21 threes and they're getting a combined 11 from Horford and White.

"Those guys, give them credit, they knocked down every big shot in the fourth quarter. Boston just played a brilliant quarter, they came in and earned the win." "We look at ourselves as a complete unit, as a team," Celtics head coach Ime Udoka told reporters after the game. "We've seen the teams that rely on guys in the Playoffs, whether it was Brooklyn in First Round with [Kevin] Durant, Milwaukee with [Giannis] Antetokounmpo, and Miami with [Jimmy] Butler."

"If you take out these guys, you know the team is going to struggle," Udoka explained. "We pride ourselves on everybody being able to contribute on both ends." Game 2 takes place on Sunday at the Chase Center.

The article Al Horford shines in NBA Finals debut as Boston Celtics beat Golden State Warriors in Game 1 appeared first on Planetsport.com.

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