The Warriors looked to be on their way to a win to open the NBA Finals after a classic third quarter blitz.
But an even bigger response from the Celtics in the fourth led to a stunning 120-108 defeat for the Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Golden State led by 12 entering the final quarter, but Boston went on a 17-0 run during the fourth and finished the quarter with a 40-16 advantage. The Celtics also made 21-of-41 shots from 3-point range on the night.
It’s the first home playoff loss during the playoffs for the Warriors, who last lost Game 1 of a playoff series at home during the 2016 Western Conference finals.
Here’s what the Warriors said after the loss:
On trouble stopping Celtics in the fourth:
Well, give them credit. I mean, they made 21 threes. They were moving the ball really well, and they had us on our heels. 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 are making 21 threes and they are getting combined 11 from Horford and White. Those guys, give them credit. They knocked down every big shot in the fourth quarter. Boston was — just played a brilliant quarter. They came in and earned the win.
On Iguodala’s return:
We played him 12 minutes. I wouldn’t call it big minutes, but Andre was great. He’s got Finals experience. He Gets us settled down. He’s a great defender. I thought Andre did a really good job out there.
On team feeling right now:
Obviously everybody is down. 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 tomorrow and see where we can get better, and you know, it’s one game. So you move on to the next one.
On having to play series from behind:
It’s different for sure. I mean, you know, when you win Game 1 at home, there’s a sense of comfort, and you kind of have a feel for your opponent at that point and make your adjustments. You know, so it’s a different feeling. Obviously you go into Game 2 with more of a sense of desperation. But that’s all part of this stuff. You know, we’ve been in this position before, and we’ve won series where we’ve lost the first game. We’ve won a road game, at least one road game in I don’t know how many consecutive series. So you always kind of assume that you’re going to have to win on the road to win a playoff series … It’s a different feeling, but it’s still first one to four.