Warriors’ brutal fourth quarter collapse to Celtics tied NBA Finals history

Entering the fourth quarter with a 12-point lead over the Boston Celtics, the Warriors were in a great position to take a 1-0 lead in the NBA Finals.

And then the Celtics went off.

Boston outscored Golden State 40-16 in the fourth quarter, making their first seven 3-pointers and flipping the score upside down, eventually winning 120-108 to steal home-court advantage. The 24-point scoring margin in the fourth quarter was tied for the largest in any quarter of an NBA Finals game in league history.

Behind a 21-point dam by Steph Curry in the first quarter, the Warriors couldn’t have asked for a better start to the Finals. But the Celtics responded in the second quarter, and then had the ultimate response in the fourth after the Warriors outscored them 38-24 in the third.

This time, Curry and the Warriors had no response to Boston’s counterpunch. Jayson Tatum had just 12 points, but role players like Derrick White (21 points) and Al Horford (26 points) were key in the Celtics’ fourth-quarter outburst.

The Celtics ended the game shooting a ridiculous 50.6 percent from the field and 51.2 percent from the 3-point line. It’s hard to lose a game with those shooting statistics.

Related: What we learned as Warriors collapse in fourth, lose Game 1

But the Warriors were also held scoreless for more than five minutes, from 6:05 of the fourth to the 1:09 mark. In between, the Celtics rattled off a 17-0 run to turn a 103-100 deficit into a 117-103 lead and leave the Chase Center crowd stunned.

The Warriors, too, have to be stunned after a near-record setting fourth quarter collapse. If anything, they should be more than alert on Sunday with a potential 2-0 deficit looming if the Celtics keep up the hot shooting in Game 2.

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