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Your guide to the 2022 NBA Finals: When Celtics-Warriors tips off, how they got here, and more

Steph Curry missed the rest of the regular season after colliding with Marcus Smart during a March 2022 game — one of two matchups between the teams this year.Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

The Celtics are back in the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010 after outlasting the Heat in a grueling seven-game series.

They’re up against a seasoned Golden State Warriors team on the hunt for its fourth championship in eight seasons.

Here’s what to know before the series tips off Thursday in San Francisco.


Game 1: Thursday, June 2, 9 p.m., at Chase Center, San Francisco

Game 2: Sunday, June 5, 8 p.m., at Chase Center, San Francisco

Game 3: Wednesday, June 8, 9 p.m., at TD Garden

Game 4: Friday, June 10, 9 p.m., at TD Garden


Game 5: Monday, June 13, 9 p.m., at Chase Center, San Francisco (if necessary)

Game 6: Thursday, June 16, 9 p.m., at TD Garden (if necessary)

Game 7: Sunday, June 19, 8 p.m., at Chase Center, San Francisco (if necessary)

How to watch or stream

All games will air on ABC and are also available on fuboTV.

How they fared in the regular season

The Warriors beat the Celtics, 111-107, on Dec. 17 at TD Garden, behind 30 points from Stephen Curry and 27 from Andrew Wiggins. Jayson Tatum scored 27 and Jaylen Brown 20 for the Celtics, who stormed back after falling behind by 20. Boston used a 27-14 third quarter to briefly snatch momentum, but the Warriors found a way late.

Jayson Tatum scored 27 against the Warriors in December at TD Garden, but it wasn't enough.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

On March 16, the Celtics throttled the Warriors, 110-88, at the Chase Center. Brown and Tatum each poured in 26 and Marcus Smart added 20 points and eight assists. Curry left the game late in the first half after Smart landed on his left ankle — an injury that kept him sidelined for the rest of the regular season. Jordan Poole scored a game-high 29 points, but the Celtics built a 48-32 halftime lead and pulled away in the fourth quarter.

How the Warriors got here

Golden State started the season 41-13, with a nine-game winning streak shortly before the All-Star break. The Warriors lost 9 of 11 after that, and were hot and cold the rest of the way. They still managed to finish 53-29 and nab the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.


They cruised past the No. 6 Nuggets in five games in the first round. Curry led the Warriors in scoring in all but one game.

Golden State outlasted the No. 2 Grizzlies in a six-game semifinal series, winning two of the final three while Memphis star Ja Morant was sidelined. Klay Thompson had 30 points and Kevon Looney added 22 rebounds in Game 6.

Klay Thompson helped power the Warriors past Memphis.Tony Avelar/Associated Press

The Warriors dispatched Luka Doncic and the fourth-seeded Mavericks in five games in the Western Conference finals, with Thompson once again putting the finishing touches on the series.

Golden State is 12-4 this postseason and has been the most dominant team.

How the Celtics got here

The Celtics’ route to the Finals was a bit more circuitous: They started the season 18-21, improved to 25-25, then went 26-6 in their final 32 games, orchestrating one of the most remarkable turnarounds in NBA history. They finished 51-31 and earned the No. 2 seed and a first-round date with the Nets.

Tatum beat the buzzer with a decisive layup in Game 1, and the Celtics went on to sweep Brooklyn. Every game was tight, but Boston consistently prevailed in the clutch against Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving & Co.

The next matchup was far more taxing, as the Celtics fell behind the Bucks, three games to two, but rallied to win the series in seven games. Though Milwaukee was without Khris Middleton, it still had Giannis Antetokounmpo. It was a grueling series and a significant milestone for the Celtics to dethrone the defending NBA champs.


Against the top-seeded Heat in the Eastern Conference finals, the Celtics nearly found themselves on the other end of a 3-2 lead gone wrong. They lost Game 6 when Jimmy Butler dropped 47 at TD Garden Friday, but responded to take Game 7 on the road and book a trip to the Finals.

Championship history

Golden State’s most recent title came in 2018, when it swept the Cavaliers to earn its third championship in four seasons. This is the Warriors’ sixth trip to the Finals in the last eight years. They also won titles in 1947, 1956, and 1975, including two as the Philadelphia Warriors, for a total of six rings.

The Warriors are no strangers to postseason success, as they have been to the NBA Finals six times in the last eight years.Eric Risberg/Associated Press

The Celtics’ last title came in 2008, when Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen willed Boston to its first championship since 1986.

The Celtics have 17 championships total: 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984, 1986, and 2008.

Typical starting lineups and postseason stats

Warriors: G Stephen Curry (25.9 points, 6.2 assists), G Klay Thompson (19.8 points, 4.3 rebounds), F Andrew Wiggins (15.8 points, 7.0 rebounds), F Draymond Green (8.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists), C Kevon Looney (6.1 points, 7.7 rebounds).

Celtics: G Marcus Smart (15.5 points, 6.2 assists), G Jaylen Brown (22.9 points, 6.8 rebounds), F Jayson Tatum (27 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists), F Al Horford (11.9 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.6 blocks), C Robert Williams (7.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.9 blocks).


Key bench players

Warriors: G Jordan Poole (18.4 points, 4.5 assists), F Jonathan Kuminga (6.9 points, 2.2 rebounds).

Derrick White has become an important part of the Celtics' rotation.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Celtics: G Derrick White (8.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists), F Grant Williams (10.1 points, 4.3 rebounds).

Stats to know

▪ Curry has made 530 3-pointers in the playoffs, by far the most all-time. Next closest is LeBron James with 432.

▪ Tatum shot 39.5 percent from 3-point territory on the road during the regular season compared with 30.9 percent at home.

▪ The Warriors had the second-most turnovers in the NBA this season with 14.9 per game, but finished fifth in assists with an average of 21.7 per game.

▪ The Celtics had the best defensive field goal percentage in the league at 43.4 and were third in loose balls recovered at 6.2.

▪ Eleven of the past 16 games between the teams have been decided by 5 points or fewer.