Even as Golden State continued to build their lead through the first 36 minutes of action, Boston never gave up. The Warriors did everything correctly through the first three-quarters of the game, hitting 17-35 three-pointers and leading by as much as 15 points going into the fourth-quarter.

But Boston never stopped coming back at them. The team with no previous Finals experience outlasted the three-time champs with their defensive tenacity and a substantial fourth-quarter performance from Jaylen Brown (24 points, seven rebounds, five assists) and Al Horford (26 points and six rebounds).

Al Horford was in his BAG in his #NBAFinals debut pic.twitter.com/v9kMeeuRY8

— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 3, 2022

Brown and Horford combined to score 20 points in the fourth; Brown started the festivities off, leading Boston to a 12-2 run, cutting the Warriors’ lead to 94-92 after he knocked down a three-pointer with 8:22 left in the game. Horford then took over just a few moments later, hitting back-to-back triples to give Boston a lead they would never surrender.

“JB is special,” Derrick White (21 points in 32 minutes) said. “Some of the shots he makes, the moves he makes, it’s just hard to guard, and it’s fun to watch. I’m glad I’m on his team. He’s one of the best players in the League for a reason, and he’s always making plays for us.

Al hitting some big shots right now. You love to see it.

— SLAM (@SLAMonline) June 3, 2022

Horford’s game-altering buckets were a part of a game-sealing 17-0 Boston run. The Celtics held the Warriors to zero field goals for nearly five minutes, holding Stephen Curry (35 points, five rebounds, five assists) to just four points in the final frame. Boston ultimately outscored the Warriors 40-16 in the fourth, assisting on 12 of their 15 field goals.

“The group that started the fourth quarter, I think, did a great job setting the tone,” Horford said. “Jaylen attacking, Rob got a lob dunk, and that just kinda got us going, and from that point on, we felt like we’re gonna stay solid continue to fight, and that’s what we did.”

Game 2 between the Warriors and the Celtics will be back in Chase Center on Sunday, with the Warriors looking to tie the Finals up at 1-1 before the series shifts to Boston.

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