Los Angeles (AFP) – With a stellar performance from Jayson Tatum and Al Horford, the Boston Celtics beat the Golden State Warriors 121-118 in overtime on Thursday, taking small revenge for their painful loss in the last NBA Finals.
The Celtics, who had also lost to Stephen Curry’s team in their first game of the season in December, overcame a low-key shooting night to seal their eighth straight win, clinching their league lead. Eastern Conference (34-12).
Tatum had a slow start and committed a total of 7 turnovers but his personal tally finally showed a sensational 34 points, 19 rebounds and 6 assists.
At 36, Horford shone with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks as well as decisive actions to keep the Celtics alive in front of their TD Garden crowd.
“They beat us in the Finals. There’s nothing we can do about it,” Tatum recalled after the game. “In the first game (of the season) we might have been a little tense trying to get even.”
The Warriors “are one of the best teams in history, a challenge on both sides of the court but, as a competitor, you want to play games against the best,” the All-Star forward stressed.
On the side of the Warriors, who drop to eighth place in the West (22-23), Curry scored 29 points with 6 three-pointers, one of them from beyond midfield at the halftime buzzer.
Golden State entered the game with a smaller team than usual and the Celtics made them pay by loading the game on their two big men, Robert Williams III and Al Horford, who had 8 of the first 17 points of their game. team.
The dominance in the paint allowed the Celtics to sail ahead in the first half despite the initial shipwreck on the shot by Tatum and his partner Jaylen Brown (16 points).
The Warriors’ perimeter not only kept Boston’s figures at bay but began with a devastating inspiration from the outside line, with Curry and Klay Thompson each shooting four 3-pointers at halftime.
Curry’s last was a masterpiece on the horn. The point guard swiped the ball from Tatum on a counterattack and launched a stratospheric triple from his field before even stepping on the center circle.
Curry’s genius left the defending champions ahead at halftime (55-54) and changed the dynamics of the game. Golden State went on to control the score with leads of up to 11 points.
The Celtics, wounded in their pride, reacted pushed by their 19,000 fans and forced a tight finish despite the fact that they did not stop committing child losses.
An agonizing three-pointer from Brown, his only one of the game, tied it at 106 before Curry, well defended by Horford, missed a shot at the buzzer that would have prevented overtime.
With additional life, the Celtics led the way to victory with consecutive three-pointers by Horford and Tatum that put them with a seven-point lead that seemed unattainable with 86 seconds left. Boston, however, returned to make several gifts to their rival and Jordan Poole had a remote chance to tie the game on a missed shot from his field at the last second.
The Bulls shine in Paris
The day of Thursday began with the triumph 126-108 of the Chicago Bulls against the Detroit Pistons in the return of the NBA to Paris after three years of absence.
Veteran forward DeMar DeRozan led Chicago with 26 points and 9 rebounds at the Accor Arena, where figures such as Magic Johnson, Gerard Piqué or the young Victor Wembanyama, the great French basketball sensation and undisputed favorite to be the number one of the next Draft.
DeRozan was very well accompanied by Zach LaVine, top scorer with 30 points while Croatian Bojan Bogdanovic added 25 points for Detroit and French point guard Killian Hayes contributed just 4 points and 8 assists in front of their fans.
In another of the five games on the program, the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Toronto Raptors 128-126, overcoming their numerous casualties, including French center Rudy Gobert.
Point guard D’Angelo Russell, with 25 points, and guard Anthony Edwards, with another 23, led the locals against the flagging Raptors, who had young Scottie Barnes as the top scorer with 29 points.
– Results of Thursday in the NBA:
Chicago Bulls – Detroit Pistons 126-108
Boston Celtics – Golden State Warriors 121-118 (prórroga)
Minnesota Timberwolves – Toronto Raptors 128-126
Phoenix Suns – Brooklyn Nets
Portland Trail Blazers – Philadelphia 76ers
© 2023 AFP