The Golden State Warriors couldn’t hold off a surge from the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA Finals but Stephen Curry isn’t panicking just yet.
Boston rode a 40-16 fourth quarter to the 120-108 victory, getting huge performances from role players Al Horford (26 points) and Derrick White (21 points). As a team, the Celtics shot 51.2% from deep and could not miss over the final 12 minutes.
Curry provided 34 points on 12-of-25 shooting, with 21 of his points coming in the first quarter. Despite the late slump in Game 1, the former MVP isn’t too worried about how his team will respond after the series-opening loss.
“It’s not ideal but I believe in who we are and how we deal with adversity, how we responded all year, how we respond in the playoffs after a loss,” Curry told reporters after the game. “So learn a lot from that fourth quarter, obviously they made a lot of shots. It seemed like they didn’t miss ’til deep into 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 Warriors have been on this stage before — this is their sixth Finals appearance in eight years. Curry assured reporters his experienced squad won’t dwell long on the loss.
“It’s about winning four games by any means necessary, and for 42 minutes, we did enough to win a game tonight, and that’s not how basketball works,” Curry said. “I think everything starts to come on the table when you look at trying to get ourselves back in the series on Sunday and taking it from there.”
Warriors Veteran Draymond Green Not Worried After Loss
While the Warriors might be down, they’re not out. Draymond Green dismissed the Game 1 performance from the Celtics, citing their hot shooting night.
“They hit 21 3s and Marcus Smart, Al Horford and Derrick White combined for 15,” Green told reporters. “Those guys are good shooters, but they combined for what, 15 out of eight, Smart seven, eight, 15-for-23. Is my math right? Eight, seven and eight. Eight, seven and eight. Yea, that’s 23, right? 15-for-23 from those guys. Eh. We’ll be fine.”
Green had a particularly rough night offensively — even by his standards — going 2-of-12 from the field, notching 4 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists.
Celtics Win Despite Jayson Tatum’s Struggles
A scary thought for the Warriors is that the Celtics won without a good game from Jayson Tatum, arguably their best player. The 24-year-old All-Star shot just 3-of-17 from the field and notched 12 points. When asked about how he felt after his rough night, Tatum responded with a resounding, “ecstatic.”
“Forty points in the fourth quarter … guys made big shots, timely shots as well. And we won,” Tatum told reporters. “I had a bad shooting night. I just tried to impact the game in other ways. We’re in the championship. We’re in the Finals. All I was worried about was trying to get a win, and we did. That’s all that matters at this point.”
The catalyst for the Celtics was Horford, a 15-year veteran who is playing in his first Finals. The Boston big man put on a performance to remember, silencing the Warriors’ home crowd.
“I felt like the guys kept finding me time after time. Also Derrick White hit some tough shots there, too,” Horford said. “I was just getting the looks, knocking them down. That’s that.”
Game 2 is scheduled for Sunday at Chase Center, with the Warriors listed as a 4.5-point favorite, per Odds Shark.