The long-awaited 2022 NBA Finals tipped off Thursday night and lived up to the hype. The Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors faced off in a heavyweight matchup that was a contrast of styles. Things were going the Warriors' way for most of the first three quarters. Boston was not effectively guarding Steph Curry and Golden State was able to create with efficient off-ball movement.


The Warriors outscored the Celtics 38-24 in the third quarter and held a 92-80 lead heading into the final period. The tides completely shifted at this point in the game as the Celtics flipped a switch the Warriors were unable to match. Boston outscored the Warriors 40-16 overall in the period and paved its way to the victory. This tied the NBA record for the largest point differential in any quarter of an NBA Finals game. Despite trailing by 12 points coming into the quarter, the Celtics secured the 120-108 victory. The spurt of production the Celtics put forth in the fourth quarter made the difference, and they left the Warriors stunned on their home court:

Let's now have a look at some of the crazy things from that fourth quarter.

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The most insane things from Celtics' comeback in NBA Finals Game 1 vs. Warriors

Al Horford's strong play

At 36 years old and in his 15th NBA season, Al Horford may be playing the best basketball of his career. The veteran capitalized on his first NBA Finals opportunity and made a strong impact with his play. Horford was the Celtics' leading scorer in the game with 26 points and added six rebounds, three assists, and a steal. He also shot 6-for-8 on 3-point attempts, which is the most made 3-pointers of any player in their NBA Finals debut.

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The five-time All-Star made his largest impact in the fourth quarter. Horford scored 11 of his 26 points during this period and shot 100% from the floor in the fourth. His impact sparked the team, and he proved what a key part of the Celtics he is once again. Horford also became the second-oldest player to score at least 25 points in their NBA Finals Debut. He trails only Chris Paul, who scored 32 points in his debut Finals game at the age of 36.

Red-Hot Shooting

Some of the Celtics' success should be attributed to a pure offensive eruption. Boston came out of the gates hot in the fourth quarter and connected on its first seven (!!) 3-pointers. The Celtics ended up shooting 9-for-12 from beyond the arc in the fourth. The two teams combined for 40 made 3-pointers in the matchup, which is the most in a Finals game in history. The Celtics also were 15-for-22 (68.2%) from the field in the fourth quarter, which is another example of their absurd efficiency. There were certainly some open looks, but Boston also connected on some very tough shots in the period.

Jaylen Brown also played a vital role in the comeback. He took over in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter and played a part in the Celtics' first 14 points. During this time, Brown tallied 10 points and two assists (he had five total in the quarter), including two made 3-pointers. Derrick White also had an excellent game and was 5-of-8 on 3-pointers, including 2-of-3 on deep shots in the final quarter.

Jayson Tatum's Impact Despite Awful Shooting

The Celtics are typically reliant on Jayson Tatum for his offensive impact to help lead them to success. This was not the case in Game 1 as Tatum struggled a great deal. In total, he scored just 12 points on 3-of-17 from the field and 1-of-5 from beyond the arc. Tatum was held scoreless in the fourth quarter and was just 0-of-2 from the field. Regardless, Boston was able to find offense elsewhere and secure the win.

The 24-year-old also deserves a ton of credit for finding a way to impact the game even with his shooting struggles. Tatum also added 13 assists (four in the fourth quarter), five rebounds, and a steal in the matchup. The 13 assists are the most ever by a player in their Finals debut, and nine of those assists came on 3-point makes. This is another example of Tatum's continued rise to stardom. In previous years, Tatum may have been thrown off his game by the lack of scoring, but he kept his teammates involved and it paid off. It is a scary thought for the Warriors to think he likely will not shoot that poorly in another game in the series:

While all wins count the same on paper, this victory felt a little special for the Celtics. Their ability to stay within striking distance before taking over was impressive. Boston seemingly flipped a switch on both ends that the Warriors were unable to match. Their length and switchability noticeably bothered Golden State even with their plethora of scoring options. This loss also marked the Warriors' first home loss throughout the entire playoffs. The experience of Golden State is sure to have them ready to bounce back, but this is no easy task. Both teams are sure to make some notable adjustments before Game 2 on Sunday.