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Game 2: Warriors 107, Celtics 88

How it happened: Celtics collapse in third quarter, lose Game 2 of NBA Finals to Warriors, 107-88

Jayson Tatum gets denied by Kevon Looney (left) and Klay Thompson during the Celtics' loss on Sunday at the Chase Center.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

SAN FRANCISCO — Any hope the Celtics had that they might be able to recover from a third quarter in which they scored just 14 points disappeared the moment Warriors guard Jordan Poole sunk a heave from the halfcourt line as time expired.

The Warriors outscored the Celtics by 21 in the third, and by early in the fourth quarter, Boston coach Ime Udoka made clear his squad had no chance to win this game.

The Celtics lost, 107-88 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals at the Chase Center. The series is tied, 1-1, as it shifts back to Boston. Game 3 is on Wednesday at TD Garden.


The 19-point loss wasn’t the worst in Celtics franchise history, but it was up there.

Worst losses in Celtics' NBA Finals history
Year Game Opponent Score Margin
1984 Game 3 Lakers 137-104 33 points
1985 Game 3 Lakers 136-111 25 points
1964 Game 3 Warriors 115-91 24 points
2010 Game 6 Lakers 89-67 22 points
1965 Game 3 Lakers 126-105 21 points
1963 Game 3 Lakers 119-99 20 points
2022 Game 2 Warriors 107-88 19 points
1987 Game 2 Lakers 141-122 19 points
SOURCE: Sports-Reference.com Stathead Tool

Steph Curry led all scorers with 29 points on 9-21 shooting, and was 5-for-12 from three.

Jayson Tatum scored 28 points in the loss, including 6 of the 9 threes he attempted. Jaylen Brown added 17 on 5-17 shooting.

The Celtics got very little help from anyone else — Al Horford, Robert Williams, and Marcus Smart scored two points each.

Read the Globe’s stories from Game 2

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Sullivan: Who wouldn’t take a split on the road? — 11:30 p.m.

It’s a best-of-five series now, with three games in Boston.

Who wouldn’t have signed on for that?

Sure, a 107-88 final out of San Francisco stung, and yes, a Game 2 loss that tied this NBA Finals with the Warriors at a game apiece was weighed down by the disappointment of what could have been.

But as much as Celtics fans had their giddy hopes dashed that Boston could somehow top the heroics of a Game 1 shocker and leave the Bay area with a near-insurmountable 2-0 series lead, they can certainly head to TD Garden Wednesday night secure in the knowledge these Celtics can hang with the mighty Dubs. They just have to figure out how to survive the third quarter.


Read the rest of Tara Sullivan’s column here.

Horford doesn’t think Draymond had an impact — 11:10 p.m.

Here’s an exchange from Al Horford’s postgame press conference.

On Draymond’s impact and physicality, and if it messed with the Celtics’ composure:

“Nah, no impact.”

On Draymond’s defensive intensity:

“I mean, he’s going to do what he does. We’re not worried about him. We’re going to do what we do, focus on us. We just didn’t get it done tonight. We’ll be better at home Game 3.”

Himmelsbach’s observations — 11:00 p.m.

By Adam Himmelsbach

With time running down on another disastrous third quarter for the Celtics, Warriors guard Jordan Poole gathered the ball just inside midcourt and fired it toward the rim. In most other cases, it would have no chance. In this case, it seemed there was no chance that it would miss.

Sure enough, the ball slid through the net at the buzzer, the final moments of the 12-minute avalanche. The Warriors outscored Boston by 21 points in the third quarter, setting an NBA Finals franchise record and leaving no room for a powerful comeback as they rolled to a 107-88 win that tied the series at 1.

Jordan Poole's heave at the end of the third quarter came from closer to the halfcourt line than the arc.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Jayson Tatum had 28 points on 8 of 19 shooting for Boston. Jaylen Brown added 17, but 9 came in the first two minutes; he was just 2 for 14 after that. Seventy-five seconds into the fourth quarter, they, Marcus Smart, and Al Horford all went to the bench for the rest of the night.


Stephen Curry had 29 points to pace Golden State, which made 13 of 29 3-pointers as a team. The Warriors scored 33 points off of 19 Boston turnovers.

Read Himmelsbach’s observations here.

Ime said he wanted to get T’d up — 10:50 p.m.

“I just let them know how I felt throughout the game, in a demonstrative way, on purpose, to get a technical,” he said after the game.

Ime Udoka picked up a technical foul in the second half.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Ime on the third-quarter struggles — 10:47 p.m.

“That’s been an ongoing theme in the playoffs at times,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said after the game.

“... That’s a disappointing quarter of course, but the first half was just as disappointing. Only being down 2 and not playing good basketball at all.”

That was the Celtics seventh-worst loss in NBA Finals history — 10:46 p.m.

Stat Masterson — aka Alex Speier — has the rundown.

Worst losses in Celtics' NBA Finals history
Year Game Opponent Score Margin
1984 Game 3 Lakers 137-104 33 points
1985 Game 3 Lakers 136-111 25 points
1964 Game 3 Warriors 115-91 24 points
2010 Game 6 Lakers 89-67 22 points
1965 Game 3 Lakers 126-105 21 points
1963 Game 3 Lakers 119-99 20 points
2022 Game 2 Warriors 107-88 19 points
1987 Game 2 Lakers 141-122 19 points
SOURCE: Sports-Reference.com Stathead Tool

Celtics lose — 10:36 p.m.

Gratefully, that is over.

Why is Klay still in the game? — 10:25 p.m.

Finn: They should get Klay Thompson off the court now. This game is a mess, and it could get worse. Shouldn’t be risking him like this just to help him get out of his slump.

Yang: I feel like rest is also important for Klay? So, I agree it’s probably time to sit him. Maybe they just want an adult on the floor.

It looks like the Celtics are going to take the L — 10:15 p.m.

Yang: With the Warriors up by 30 and under 10 minutes to go, Ime Udoka is seemingly waving with the white flag, rolling with a lineup of Payton Pritchard, Derrick White, Aaron Nesmith, Grant Williams, and Daniel Theis.

Finn: It’s not the end of the bench guys out there yet — Nesmith, who just scored, is out there to cause some chaos — but as I said, they should punt this, and Ime is calling the punt team onto the field.


Tatum hit a second straight 3 to cut the Warriors lead to 68-62 at 4:32 of the third. It’s 25-4 since. Anyone who thinks a comeback is plausible tonight isn’t being realistic. Get the split, get home, and get it together.

Can the Celtics come back from that dreadful third? — 10:10 p.m.

They’re down 29 with 10:45 to play.

Finn: The Celtics have been outscored in the third quarter in this series, 73-38. Should probably solve that for Game 3. They haven’t moved the ball on offense, are getting tired of chasing everyone through 40 screens on defense, have falled into the Draymond trash-talking trap, and psychologically are probably fine with leaving San Francisco with a split.

No, they’re not coming back.

From Alex Speier: The Celtics have now played 523 non-overtime quarters in their NBA Finals history. Their 14-point third quarter is tied for their fifth-lowest scoring output in any of those quarters.

Finn: Empty the bench. Now. Get these guys a few minutes of extra rest. And let Malik Fitts cook.

Well, that was rough: Warriors 87, Celtics 64 — 10:04 p.m.

Jordan Poole just hit a bucket from HALF COURT as time expired in the third quarter to put the Warriors up by 23.

The Celtics were outscored 35-14 in the third.

Warriors take a 14-point lead — 9:57 p.m.

It’s 76-62 with 2:29 to play in the third quarter.

Finn: Draymond is baiting multiple Celtics to distraction. Grant Williams needs to just walk away when Green starts jawing it at him.


Another disastrous third quarter? Udoka gets called for a T. — 9:47 p.m.

It’s 67-56 as Steph Curry goes to the line to shoot two after Celtics coach Ime Udoka got called for a technical after arguing with the refs.

The Celtics have been outscored 14-6 so far.

Yang: Is there a prop bet in Vegas about whether there will be an ejection this series? If so, I would encourage people to bet yes.

Finn: Smart is starting to have a tough time resisting Green’s jawing, too.

Meanwhile, Jaylen is playing an extremely poor game since picking up his second foul in the first quarter. He’s made one of his last 11 shots, missed his last five 3s, and other than a pass to Horford for a contested layup, is playing with blinders on.

Williams is slow to get up — 9:44 p.m.

Yang: Robert Williams was down on the floor, visibly hurting after that last offensive possession. He’s such a valuable rim protector, but it pains me to watch him out there. I’m sure a championship probably makes everything worth it, but I am starting to fear for Rob’s health given his injury. It would not surprise me if he undergoes another procedure on his knee after the season.

The Warriors will be in the bonus for the final 6:55 of the third quarter. Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown each have three fouls.

Scoring update: 9:21, third quarter — 9:39 p.m.

Warriors 59, Celtics 52

Yang: Ime Udoka takes a timeout, with the Celtics down 7 and 9:21 remaining in the third quarter. Every time the Warriors seemed to pull away in Game 1, the Celtics managed to respond. We’ll see if they can do the same tonight.

Finn: I was wondering if he’d take that timeout a possession or two sooner. Just some painfully sloppy basketball. Jaylen Brown has now hit 1 of his last 9 shots, and his shot selection is terrible. Tatum has had some mismatches. They should be looking his way right now, though he’s also having a weird game. He’s 2 for 9 from 2-point range.

Klay’s rough start continues — 9:35 p.m.

Yang: Klay Thompson’s rough shooting night continues. He’s now 1 of 10 and has missed from everywhere — three, midrange, at the rim. He can’t buy a bucket.

Yang: LOL. Klay just answered with a three to give the Warriors a 59-52 lead.

Finn’s good and bad from the first half — 9:30 p.m.

The good and the bad from the first half:

Good: Celtics have hit 10 of 19 from 3, and Tatum has hit five of seven. The Warriors are just 6 of 16. ... The Celtics have kept Curry under reasonable control -- he’s 5 of 12 and 2 of 6 from 3 ... Jaylen Brown got off to a great start, hitting 4 of 6 shots in the first quarter, including 3 of 4 from 3.

Bad: Brown was terrible in the second quarter, missing all six of their free throw attempts ... Warriors have 15 assists to just 5 turnovers, while the Celtics have 12 assists and 11 turnovers. They are way too careless with the ball ... Al Horford hasn’t taken a shot, and Rob Williams and Marcus Smart have combined for 4 points.

Halftime stat check — 9:20 p.m.


Curry: 15 points, 5-12 FG, 2-6 3pt, 4 assists

Wiggins: 10 points, 4-10 FG, 2-3 3pt, 1 assist


Tatum: 21 points, 7-16 FG, 5-7 3pt, 3 assists

Brown: 15 points, 4-12 FG, 3-7 3pt, 2 assists

White: 8 points, 3-9 FG, 2-3 3pt, 2 assists

Via Alex Speier:

Tatum now has scored at least 20 points in a half 14 times in his playoff career, matching Paul Pierce for most by a Celtics player in the last 25 years.

For the second time in his career, Al Horford played at least 12 minutes in the first half without attempting a shot. The other instance came in 2007, when he was a rookie with the Hawks.

At the half: Warriors 52, Celtics 50 — 9:16 pm.

Tatum leads all scorers with 21 points on 7-16 shooting.

Watch: Draymond avoids another T after dustup with Brown — 9:14 p.m.

He and Brown got into it. Brown shot three after the refs decided it wasn’t a technical.

Watch the play here:

Finn: Steve Javie admitted on the ESPN broadcast that the refs think about whether a player has a technical or not before calling another one. So in other words, Draymond is getting a little extra leeway.

Tatum makes Celtics history — 9:10 p.m.

Here’s some cool info from NBA.com/stats:

Jayson Tatum has passed the 500-point mark in these playoffs — the fourth player in Celtics franchise history to score 500-plus in a single postseason.

The others? Kevin Garnett (2008), Paul Pierce (2008), Larry Bird (1987), Larry Bird (1985), Larry Bird (1984) 632 points

He’s also the youngest to do it. Bird was 27 when he accomplished the feat in 1984.

The Celtics need to get others involved ASAP — 9:07 p.m.

Yang: Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have scored 32 of Boston’s 43 points. They are the only two Celtics with double-digit scoring. It’s obviously a positive that Brown’s production has continued and Tatum’s scoring has bounced back after a poor Game 1.

Finn: And out of the timeout, the Celtics move the ball, and Brown finds Tatum for a 3. Wonder what Ime said to them.

Scoring update: 4:52, second quarter — 9:00 p.m.

Warriors 45, Celtics 40

Udoka calls a timeout after Golden State fires off 10 unanswered points.

Yang: No fouls on the Celtics with 4:52 remaining in the second quarter. That’s big for two reasons: 1. Jayson Tatum, Grant Williams, and Jaylen Brown all had two in the first. 2. Warriors likely won’t reach the bonus.

Finn: Agree with Nicole on that Thompson/Poole assessment. Curry’s best bet for help right now might be Wiggins, who just drilled a 3 from the top of the key after Curry initiated some excellent ball movement.

On the Celtics side of things, Tatum is up to 4 turnovers, and Jaylen has been playing way too much iso ball since his fast start.

Kerr calls a TO after White puts up five straight — 8:55 p.m.

It’s Celtics 40, Warriors 35 after Derrick White puts up a jumpshot, and follows it up with an undefended baseline three.

Finn: Pretty gutty performance by Rob Williams. He has no explosiveness at all, but he’s hustling around out there.

Himmelsbach: Draymond said the Celtics wouldn’t shoot the 3 like they did in Game 1 again. So far, they’re at 61.5 percent.

Gasper: The Celtics playing great, dedicated defense. They’re making everything hard for the Warriors in the half court.

Yang: Klay Thompson still can’t seem to get anything going offensively. He’s 1 of 7 from the field, including 0 of 3 from three. Jordan Poole, who is 1 of 5, is having an even tougher series, making poor decisions and getting attacked on defense. If Thompson and Poole cannot score at their typical levels of production, then the Warriors will probably end up asking too much from Steph Curry.

Scoring update: 9:30, second quarter — 8:50 p.m.

Celtics 33, Warriors 33

End first quarter: Warriors 31, Celtics 30 — 8:41 p.m.

Golden State regained the lead as time expired on a Curry jumpshot. He has 10 points so far.

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum both have 13 points.

Finn: Really bad stretch there for Tatum since hitting a pair of free throws at 2:47. Passes to Theis on the break, with results in a turnover. Picks up his second foul at midcourt on Curry, leading to two made FTs. Then turns it over, with Curry hitting a 3 on the other end. Of course, he’s scored six points while I was typing this.

Yang: Steph Curry once again played all 12. minutes in the first quarter. He typically takes his rest to start the second quarter, but I wonder whether coach Steve Kerr will truncate the incoming break. Having Curry on the floor just puts more pressure on Boston’s defense because they must account for him at all times.

Plus, he seemed to get going a little bit toward the end of the quarter.

Finn: The Celtics led 22-15 with 3:37 left in the quarter. From that point, they turned the ball over five times and committed two fouls resulting in three made Steph Curry free throws. They’d be up at least five if they didn’t play so carelessly.

What the Celtics need to do better, and what GSW can capitalize on — 8:37 p.m.

Finn: Marcus Smart has all three of the Celtics’ turnovers so far, and his decision-making on his own shots hasn’t been great, either. He needs to be a point guard tonight, when no possession should be wasted, rather than the Celtics’ de facto third option (which ought to be Horford anyway).

Yang: Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Grant Williams all picked up two fouls in first quarter. The Warriors should continue to drive to the rim and draw contact.

Scoring update: 3:37, first quarter — 8:30 p.m.

Celtics 22, Warriors 15

Finn: Jaylen Brown picked up his second personal foul, so he had to check out. Unfortunate for the Celtics because he’s 4 of 6 from the field, including 3 of 4 from three, for 13 points.

Finn: Scott Foster gets a lot of grief, but I’ll take him every time over Zach Zarba. Zarba is notorious for calling fouls after he sees whether or not the shot falls.

Draymond gets T’d up — 8:27 p.m.

Yang: Chad was right. Draymond Green did something stupid and picked up a technical foul for getting into it with Grant Williams.

Finn: He’s their emotional leader and all that, but he’s getting away with a lot right now and acting like he’s getting called for everything.

Finn: Lisa Salters relays words of wisdom from Al Horford on the ESPN broadcast: “Don’t worry about Draymond. If we do what we do, it’s not going to matter.”

Big cheers as Gary Payton II checks in — 8:24 p.m.

Gary Payton II, who is still nursing an inured elbow, subbed in for Andrew Wiggins at 5:30 and the crowd erupted. Payton hasn’t appeared in these playoffs since Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Other things we’re seeing:

Finn: Marcus Smart is doing a heck of a job boxing out. He should give Rob Williams a lesson.

Celeb sightings at the Chase Center — 8:22 p.m.

The video board just showed Michael B. Jordan (fresh off his breakup with Lori Harvey!) sitting courtside with rapper Cordae. Cordae’s girlfriend, Naomi Osaka, isn’t in the house.

Draymond is trying to mix it up — 8:19 p.m.

Finn: Draymond Green is either going to do something dumb or entice a Celtic into doing something dumb.

Yang: Draymond Green took some time to flex after making a layup and drawing a foul to get to the line. Green missed the free throw, but he is very obviously pumped up following his poor performance in Game 1. He’s also staying extremely physical on the defensive end.

Scoring update: 8:00, first quarter — 8:14 p.m.

Celtics 13, Warriors 7

Yang: Well, this start certainly cannot be what the Warriors wanted. The Celtics have jumped out to a 13-7 lead, while Golden State’s offense still uncomfortable and out of rhythm. The Warriors have already committed two bad turnovers, too.

Finn: Nine points for Jaylen Brown so far with 7:40 left in the quarter. Not sure he’ll match Curry’s 21 from the first quarter of Game 1, but he’s pretty close to that pace. In a related note, Marcus Smart should not be taking ah-what-the-heck 3s when either Tatum or Brown is on fire.

Players, coaches wear ‘End Gun Violence’ shirts — 8:10 p.m.

By Nicole Yang

Several players and coaches sported orange “End Gun Violence” T-shirts before Game 2 of the NBA Finals tipped off Sunday evening at the Chase Center.

“Both teams are wearing the shirts,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “I think we feel very strongly as a league that it’s time for people to take notice and to take part in what should be a nationwide effort to limit the gun violence that’s out there.”

Jaylen Brown was one of a number of players to wear the "End Gun Violence" shirt.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Kerr and Celtics coach Ime Udoka have each used their platforms to bring attention to gun violence following the tragic school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. On Sunday, Kerr stressed the importance of continuing to raise awareness so that people recognize their agency.

“The biggest thing, I think, is to vote,” Kerr said. “What I understand is that a lot of congressional races that are out there, despite the fact that the majority of people in this country want gun safety measures put in place, a lot of those races are decided by people who aren’t so much for any kind of gun safety measures.

“People have to vote. If you feel strongly about saving lives and possibly even someone in your own family, get out and vote. That’s the only way to convince the people we need to convince to start implementing gun safety regulation prevention laws.”

Read the rest of the story here.

What happens to teams that play two Game 7s before the Finals? — 8:05 p.m.

By Julian Benbow

If this NBA Finals run by the Celtics feels familiar, it should.

Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Jayson Tatum might be a generation removed from the Ray Allen-Kevin Garnett-Paul Pierce team that won the title in 2008, but the marches both teams took toward the Larry O’Brien Trophy are linked historically.

The Celtics who raised the banner 14 years ago took a grueling path that required two seven-game series to get out of the Eastern Conference.

It started against a Hawks team that just wouldn’t go away — or lose a game on their home floor. Atlanta coach Mike Woodson convinced a young team — with a rookie Al Horford as one of its anchors — that it could push the star-loaded Celtics to the brink.

The series stretched to seven games and there was genuine worry in the Celtics locker room when a team constructed for an instant championship faced a win-or-go-home situation in the first round.

Those Celtics avoided disaster, eliminating the Hawks with a 99-65 win in Game 7, then played with fire again in the second round against the Cavaliers but again needed seven games. They ultimately beat the Lakers in a six-game Finals series to hang banner No. 17.

That title run took 26 games, the longest postseason run in playoff history. But those types of runs typically don’t end well.

Read the rest of the story here.

Three things Chad’s thinking — 8:00 p.m.

By Chad Finn

A couple of things on my mind before Game 2:

▪ There’s been a lot of talk from the Golden State side — OK, it was Draymond — suggesting that the Celtics won’t get spectacular shooting from Derrick White, Al Horford, and Marcus Smart in Game 2. They were a combined 15 of 22 from 3-point territory, so that’s probably true. But the counter to that is that Jayson Tatum is highly unlikely to shoot 3 of 17 overall again. If they want to leave Tatum to cover Smart at the 3-point line, however, no one is stopping them.

▪ I’m not sure what the solutions are to what plagued the Warriors offensively in the fourth quarter. Playing Steph Curry more, as Steve Kerr indicated he might do, is probably wise, but he did play 38 minutes in Game 1 as it was, so that’s not going to solve everything. Klay Thompson could go off, but he’s a step slower than he was pre-injury. Jordan Poole looked overwhelmed in Game 1 and wears a flashing neon “HUNT ME” sign on defense. The best hope might be a stellar performance from Andrew Wiggins, and that is not something the Warriors want to have to count on.

▪ The key to the Celtics remains Jaylen Brown. The Warriors don’t have another excellent defender (again, Klay isn’t all the way there yet) to devote to him, with Draymond doing his thing and Wiggins often dealing with Tatum. Marking him down for another big scoring game.

Tonight’s starting lineups — 7:55 p.m.

Celtics: Tatum, Horford, Williams, Brown, Smart

Warriors: Wiggins, Green, Looney, Thompson, Curry

The deal to bring back Al Horford has already earned a special place in Celtics lore — 7:45 p.m.

Column by Chad Finn

In the Celtics’ long history of winning lopsided trades, there are different tiers of thievery.

The ultimate heist — and this is beyond debate — was Red Auerbach sending Cliff Hagan and Ed McCaulay to the St. Louis Hawks for the No. 2 pick in the 1956 NBA Draft. The Rochester Royals owned the first pick, but Auerbach (as a story Tom Heinsohn liked to tell goes) convinced Celtics owner Walter Brown to send some lucrative Ice Capades show dates to the Rochester owner in exchange for passing on the player the Celtics desired.

Rochester agreed, taking Sihugo Green from Duquesne with the first pick, and so the Celtics got their man: University of San Francisco center Bill Russell, who became the fulcrum of 11 championship teams as the greatest winner in the history of team sports.

Al Horford.Jed Jacobsohn/Associated Press

But if the Celtics get the victories necessary to secure Banner 18, the deal that brought the ever-admirable Al Horford back to Boston last summer is going to require its own chapter in franchise lore.

Read the rest of the column here.

What the numbers say about teams with a 2-0 lead — 7:30 p.m.

Via Alex Speier: Both teams that took 2-0 series leads on the road in the NBA Finals won the title (1992-93 Bulls, 1994-95 Rockets). Overall, teams that win Games 1 and 2 on the road in seven-game playoff series are 25-4.

A bad shooting night doesn’t faze Celtics star Jayson Tatum — 7:15 p.m.

By Adam Himmelsbach

The Celtics have shown remarkable consistency during their run to the NBA Finals. They have not lost consecutive games during these playoffs, and their last two-game losing streak came on March 30. That setback deserves a significant asterisk, too, because the first loss in that pairing, against the Raptors, came without Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Al Horford.

Before that, Boston last lost two in a row on Jan. 19 and 21, and guard Marcus Smart missed both of those games and center Robert Williams sat out one. Time and again, this team has bounced back from frustrating nights quickly, ensuring that one bad game would not swell into something more.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the team’s superstar has mirrored this tendency with his own performances.

Read the rest of the story here.

How one terrible fourth quarter for the Celtics in November helped them rally to win Game 1 — 7:00 p.m.

Column by Tara Sullivan

The story of the Celtics’ improbable Game 1 win over the Warriors will forever be told through an epic fourth-quarter comeback, a stunning stretch of basketball when shots fell like soft rain, defense descended like heavy clouds, and confidence coursed through an entire roster.

Yet to understand how the Celtics got here, to this place of beautiful basketball filled with skill, sacrifice, and success, not to mention a 1-0 lead in the NBA Finals, it is a different, much uglier fourth quarter that helps tell their story. Back to an epic 15-minute meltdown in November, to a bewildering stretch when shots were contested, defense was nonexistent, and selfishness reigned to such an alarming degree that one veteran leader was moved to publicly call out his younger, star teammates.

At the time, it felt like Marcus Smart’s seething words might tear the team apart. Instead, the Celtics took his words and their mistakes to heart, and went about proving how much they could learn, change, evolve, and grow.

Placed side by side, the fourth quarters from a Nov. 1, 2021, loss to the Bulls and the June 2, 2022, win over the Warriors offer an amazing comparison of how far this team has come.

Read the rest of the tale here.

Why the Celtics can take a defense-first approach —6:50 p.m.

By Gary Washburn

Ignored amid the Celtics’ fourth-quarter offensive brilliance in Game 1 was their second-half defensive impact against the Golden State Warriors.

The Celtics contained Stephen Curry, who scored 21 points in the opening quarter but just 13 in the final three. With Curry being hot and one of the best shooters in league history, he spent the second half trying to carry the Golden State offense. He attempted one third of the Warriors’ shots after halftime, but he made just 5 of 14.

Marcus Smart (right) plays some tight defense against Warriors star Stephen Curry that caused him to stop on this penetration attempt and turn around and go the other way.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

That limited the opportunities for Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins, who combined for 12 attempts. Draymond Green, never considered a strong perimeter shooter, was left wide open and missed 4 of his 5 shots.

And the Celtics pressured first-time NBA Finals participant Jordan Poole, a high-scoring reserve guard, into several mistakes and forced shots.

The Boston defense is elite because it contains several key elements that are essential to a successful unit.

Read Gary’s dive into the defense here.

Ime Udoka’s family couldn’t be prouder — 6:30 p.m.

By Adam Himmelsbach

On Friday morning, Bobby Harris took his small boat out on the Willamette River just south of Portland, Ore., and caught a 13-pound spring Chinook.

“The best salmon you can eat,” he said. “They don’t spawn until later in the fall, so their flesh is just packed with nutrients and minerals. You feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven when you eat one.”

And that was just the second best part of Harris’s day. As he floated along with a line in the water, his friends in passing boats wanted to talk about the quiet, competitive basketball player Harris once coached at Jefferson High who is now just three wins from an NBA title.

Harris and his fishing buddies watched with pride and amazement Thursday night as Celtics coach Ime Udoka helped Boston roar back from a 15-point deficit and take a 120-108 win over the Warriors in Game 1 of the Finals.

“The comeback was almost indescribable,” Harris said. “Everybody here is just so excited for Ime.”

The past few months have been a joy for those closest to Udoka. His older sister, Mfon, said that after the Celtics defeated the Heat in the conference finals Sunday, the flood of calls and text messages was so constant that she needed to put down her phone.

Read the rest of Himmelsbach’s story here.

Robert Williams is available for the Celtics — 6:21 p.m.

The Celtics will have big man Robert Williams for Game 2.

He played 24 minutes in Game 1, scoring 8 points on 4-of-4 shooting.

Pregame fit check 📸 — 6:10 p.m.

Jayson TatumJim Davis/Globe Staff
Jaylen BrownJim Davis/Globe Staff
Al HorfordMatthew J. Lee/Globe Staff
Grant Williams (left) and Daniel Theis.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Andre Iguodala is out — 6:00 p.m.

By Nicole Yang

After playing 12 minutes in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, his first playoff action in over a month, Warriors forward Andre Iguodala was downgraded to out for Game 2.

“His knee swelled up on him yesterday afternoon,” coach Steve Kerr said Sunday before tip-off. “So, he’ll be out tonight and is day-to-day.”

Before Game 1, a disc injury in Iguodala’s neck sidelined him for five and a half weeks. He also missed an extended stretch of the regular season because of back soreness.

Iguodala played in 31 regular-season games this year, averaging just under 20 minutes per game. His only postseason appearances came in Golden State’s first-round series against Denver, when he averaged just over 14 minutes in three games.

Kerr said Thursday he thought Iguodala did “a really good job” in Game 1. His teammates also commended his performance, highlighting his veteran presence and defensive contributions. Iguodala connected on 3 of his 4 shot attempts, including a three, for 7 points, and also dished three assists. He finished with an individual plus-minus of minus-6.

In the most recent episode of his podcast, “Point Forward,” Iguodala said he would not have played if the Warriors were still in the regular season. When Iguodala spoke to the media Saturday, he explained why he feels compelled to play through ailments at this stage.

“Understanding the importance of each chance you get, you want to try to maximize it because you don’t want to look back and think you let one get away,” Iguodala said. “That’s the sacrifice of playing through certain things.”

Hello from the Chase Center! 👋 — 5:50 p.m.

How’s it going, folks? The Globe team is back at the Chase Center for Game 2 of the NBA Finals. In case you forgot what happened Thursday (if that’s even possible!), the Celtics have a 1-0 lead on the Golden State Warriors.

Here’s a rundown of our stories from that game. Happy reading!

▪ Christopher L. Gasper: No one came up bigger in Game 1 than Big Al Horford, and it’s fitting he delivered the Celtics a victory

‘That’s who we are’: The Celtics couldn’t be rattled and knew when to pounce — and that’s how they beat the Warriors in Game 1

▪ On Basketball: Instead of wilting after ugly quarter, resilient Celtics went fourth and overwhelmed stunned Warriors

▪ Dan Shaughnessy: Capped by a championship-caliber Celtics comeback, this was everything an NBA Finals game should be

▪ Chad Finn: When the Celtics (and Jayson Tatum) needed it, Jaylen Brown stepped up. You saw what happened next.

Chad Finn can be reached at chad.finn@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeChadFinn. Nicole Yang can be reached at nicole.yang@globe.com.Follow her on Twitter @nicolecyang. Katie McInerney can be reached at katie.mcinerney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @k8tmac.