Celtics Wrap: Boston Exorcises NBA Finals Demons, Defeat Warriors In OT

Al Horford was the star of the show for Boston


Jan 19, 2023

BOSTON — The Celtics exacted revenge for their 2022 NBA Finals loss Thursday night and secured a 121-118 victory over the Golden State Warriors at TD Garden.

The Celtics improved their NBA-best record to 34-12 while the Warriors dropped to 22-23.

Check out the full box score here.

The Celtics rolled out their double-big lineup for the first time this season, starting the game with both Robert Williams III and Al Horford on the floor with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. The Warriors countered by heading in the opposite direction, starting Draymond Green at center with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins.

As both teams frontloaded their lineups, depth seemed to become less of a factor — feeding into Golden State’s hands through the first 40 minutes of the ballgame.

Then Boston fought back.

After Tatum and Brown combined to go 6-for-27 through three quarters, the Celtics started to move things around in the fourth and got big contributions out of the rest of their lineup. Smart was his usual self on the defensive end, Brown and Tatum each made a pair of huge shots and Horford was the best player on the court in the final two minutes.

After watching Horford nail a huge three and follow it up with lock-down defense on Curry, the Celtics found themselves in overtime despite having no business even being in the contest. In the extra stanza, Horford, Tatum and Brown continued to light it up and helped Boston cruise to an OT victory — electrifying the home crowd throughout.

— Horford was the only reason the Celtics were in the game, finishing with 20 points, 10 rebounds and three mammoth blocks.

— Curry’s impact on the Warriors’ overall success is hard to quantify. The two-time NBA MVP finished with 29 points, seven assists, three steals and two blocks.

— Tatum was far from his normal self, but found ways to contribute despite turning the ball over seven times. He finished with 34 points, 19 rebounds, six assists and three steals. His short-term memory being what it was helped the Celtics rise to the occasion in a number of big spots.

Horford easily surpassed the 17.5 PRA number set for him by DraftKings Sportsbook pregame. His 20 points led the way and helped $100 bettors cash out at $190.91 at -110 odds.

The Celtics will head up north to face the Toronto Raptors on Saturday. Tipoff from Scotiabank Arena is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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