SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In Game 1, Boston showed its resilience.
In Game 2, Golden State is given a chance to respond.
In the last two months, no team in the NBA has shown more bounce back ability than the Celtics and the Warriors. The latest example came Thursday night when the Celtics sped down the track on a stunning 48-18 run to close a 15-point deficit and win Game 1 of the NBA Finals 120-108.
It was Boston’s fifth double-digit comeback of the playoffs. The only team with more is Golden State, with six such rallies this postseason.
“We’ve been like that all year,” said Celtics coach Ime Udoka. “Tough Grinders, resilient group that we can always know we can count on our defense to flex when needed.”
Now it’s the warriors turn. They haven’t lost consecutive games for more than two months and – although it should be noted the trio have only played 20 games together – they are yet to lose consecutive games this season with Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson all in the lineup.
“This streak,” Curry said after Game 1, “is just beginning.”
The Warriors know they missed an opportunity in Game 1. Boston’s big rally – from below 15 late in the third to above at 15 late in the fourth – For the fourth time this season, Golden State lost a home game by at least 15 points.
The Others: The Warriors led Memphis by 19 points in the first half on Oct. 28, were up 16 points midway through the third quarter against Denver on Feb. 16, and led Dallas in the third by 21 points — and 19 with 9:59 left – before the February 27 fall.
Golden State has been 5-0 after losses since early March; Boston, by the way, sits 8-0 above that range after losses. But Golden State’s penchant for getting back on track quickly served as a silver lining after the Game 1 loss.
“The boys are depressed, as you’d expect,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “But it’s a seven-game series for a reason. I think you do honor to Boston. They came in and deserved the win. A great fourth quarter played. We’ll come in, watch the film and see where we can improve. And you know, it’s a game. So you move on to the next one.”
Game 2 is technically not a must for Golden State.
But the reality is that another loss on Sunday would put the Warriors in serious trouble against a Boston team that was forged by fire during this playoff.
Consider their path: They swept through a Brooklyn team led by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Round 1, outlived Giannis Antetokounmpo and defending champion Milwaukee over seven games in Round 2, and then won another Game 7 — this one on the street — over Miami to capture the Eastern Conference title.
“It’s hard to win in this league, especially in the playoffs,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “Things can be different every night, but a good team is able to react to that. A good team is able to give their best every night. … We’ve been through a lot. We’ve learned a lot over the years and now the stage is at its brightest, we need to apply everything we’ve learned in these moments.”
That’s what happened in Game 1. Even when things looked their darkest, Boston relied on their experience at moments like this.
The Celtics rebounded from 17 down to beat Brooklyn on April 20, from 11 down – in the third quarter – to beat Milwaukee on May 9, erasing an early 10-point deficit along the way, blasting the Bucks in Game 7 of that series on May 15, then came back from an early 10-point hole to roll past Miami in Game 2 of the East Finals on May 19.
Then came Thursday when the Cardiac Celtics struck again.
“I’m sure those experiences helped,” Kerr said.
Game 2 offers the warriors the opportunity to show their experience.
“We know they are a good team,” Curry said. “We also. We have to react on Sunday.”
https://whdh.com/sports/celtics-were-resilient-in-game-1-warriors-now-must-respond/ Celtics were resilient in Game 1; Warriors Must Respond Now – Boston News, Weather, Sports