Boston Celtics

Celtics prove themselves … again

ABC now needs to trash its annoying graphic that tells us that the Golden State Warriors have a trillion games of NBA Finals experience and the new-born Boston Celtics have zero.

Before and during Game 1 on Thursday night that was a major topic of conversation. Sports books were taking three times the action on Golden State as they did on the Celtics.

Steph Curry came out in the first quarter and put up 21 points. The only way Curry could be stopped involved a personal foul for tackling.

Somehow, the upstarts caught up and led by two points at halftime. That was generally written off as a blip in tracking the game’s predestined course.

And when the Warriors ran up a 15-point lead by late in the third quarter, the bookies were done counting their winnings and started figuring a point-spread for Golden State’s Game 2 win.

But each time Golden State had an opportunity to break the game open during its 36-12 third quarter, it stumbled. By the start of the fourth quarter, the cracks were already forming.

Then the Celtics’ defense went Defcon 1. Floor burns be damned.

Defense, as has been the case since the Celtics resolved to be something more than a .500 club, was the main ingredient that produced a 40-16 fourth quarter.

By game’s end, Curry, who scored 21 in the first quarter and 17 over the next three, looked bewildered and angry.

He began whining over non-calls during the Celtics’ blitz, as did Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.

From the outset referees Mark Davis, John Goble and James Williams let them play. The ticky-tack calls were few and equally divided.

That is, of course, as it should be.

Jayson Tatum, MVP of the Eastern Conference Finals, had an awful night shooting. He made up for it by becoming a playmaker, ending with with 13 assists.

Al Horford, the resident old man, scored 26, hitting six 3-pointers.

Jaylen Brown assumed Tatum’s offensive role in the fourth quarter and finished with 24.

Marcus Smart, who inspires loud barroom epithets when he starts lining up a 3-pointer, hit four and had 18 points.

Robert Williams did precisely what he needs to do. He blocked four shots and made Warriors a bit wary each time they entered the paint.

The Celtics have now played in one very memorable NBA Finals game.

Maybe Ime Udoka brought a measuring tape out before Game 1 and showed his team that the baskets in San Francisco are 10 feet off the floor, just like at the Garden.

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