Jaylen Brown, Al Horford propel Celtics to comeback win in Game 1 of Finals

The Marietta native and former Hawks star were key in Celtics’ Game 1 NBA Finals win
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) celebrates with center Robert Williams III (44) and...
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) celebrates with center Robert Williams III (44) and center Al Horford (42) during the first half of Game 1 of basketball’s NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco, Thursday, June 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)(Associated Press Photo)
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 2:48 AM EDT
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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS46/AP) — The Boston Celtics overcame a 15-point deficit late in the third quarter to defeat the Golden State Warriors 120-108 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.

Marietta native Jaylen Brown fueled the late charge and scored 24 points; former Atlanta Hawks star Al Horford finished with 26 points and added six 3-pointers, a new career-high.

Horford hit a three-pointer that gave the Celtics the 106-103 lead at the 5:08 mark of the fourth quarter. The savvy 15-year veteran also set the record for the most scored for a player making his NBA Finals debut.

“I felt like the guys kept finding me time after time. Also Derrick White hit some tough shots there, too,” Horford said. “I was just getting the looks, knocking them down. That’s that.“

Horford, who turns 36 Friday, played in 141 postseason games, the most ever before playing in the NBA Finals.

Horford finished 9-12 shooting with six rebounds and three assists,

The Celtics outscored the Warriors 40-16 in the final 12 minutes after trailing by 15 points late in the third quarter.

The C’s went on a 17-0 run in an almost five-minute stretch in the fourth quarter, a shocking, yet impressive feat for a young team with zero previous NBA Finals experience.

The savvy veteran, who just celebrated his 36th birthday, has the record for most playoff games played without making an NBA Finals appearance in league history with 141.

“The way that we were moving the ball on offense and just being in those positions, I felt like the guys kept finding me time after time,” Horford said at the post-game press conference. “I just got the looks and knocked them down.”

The Celtics found themselves trailing most of the game after taking an early 9-8 lead in the first few minutes if the gam. However, they’ve proven to be battle-tested throughout the 2022 postseason.

“Just continue to play, that was our message throughout the whole game,” Horford said. “For us, just continue to play no matter what and that’s what we did. We continued to find different ways to get this win.”

Brown finished 10-23 shooting, with seven rebounds and five assists. The former Wheeler High School star made several clutch three-pointers late in the fourth quarter to help the Celtics mount the furious comeback.

The Celtics became the first team in history to win an NBA Finals game by double digits after trailing by double digits in the fourth quarter, according to ESPN Stats and Info.

Game 2 of the NBA Finals is scheduled at the Chase Arena in San Francisco on Sunday at 8 p.m.