The Golden State Warriors suffered a brutal loss to the Boston Celtics on Thursday night. After taking down the Celtics in the 2022 NBA Finals and again in their first meeting of the year on December 10, Golden State faltered and allowed the Celtics to mount an impressive comeback.
Led by Al Horford, the Celtics were able to defeat the Warriors in overtime. After the game, Marcus Smart spoke to the media about what it meant to take on the Warriors again. He said that any game against the reigning champs is a big one.
“I mean, you’re playing against the defending champs. It’s one game, but that game’s always gonna mean a lot,” Smart said via CLNS Media. “Especially when we were right there last year, and it could have been us. It’s always gonna mean a lot. Yes, it’s one game, but it was a game that we needed to win for a multitude of reasons. And one, it’s just for us. We needed to go up against a really good team. A hard team that’s going to challenge us on both ends of the floor, and we need to work on some things. So it was a good win overall.”
Golden State’s win over Boston in the Finals marked their fourth championship victory in the last eight years. And with all that they’ve dealt with over the past few years – Klay Thompson’s injuries, a full-on rebuild, and more – so this title was particularly meaningful.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, they were unusable to finish the job on Thursday night. As for Smart, he played a crucial role in Boston’s win, as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were relatively inefficient. He ended the game with 18 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals on 7-of-16 shooting from the floor and 3-of-6 shooting from behind the three-point line.
Steve Kerr Rips Into Warriors After Celtics Loss
One of the most important moments of the night came near the end of regulation. Brown nailed a game-tying three-point shot (his first three-point make of the night), and it occurred due to a lapse in Golden State’s defense.
After the game, head coach Steve Kerr spoke about the mistake.
“I haven’t seen the replay yet, but in that situation, it’s – the whole game plan is no threes, right? And there was no timeout. They didn’t take a timeout,” Kerr said via NBC Sports Bay Area. “They just came down and played. And so that’s where the guys have to be able to decipher that on the fly. You can debate fouling there. It’s pretty early to foul generally, it’s, you know, kind of under eight, under 10, or whatever. Everybody’s going to debate that forever in this game. But what you can’t do is give up an open three. And so the whole idea is switch everything and run them off the line and don’t don’t let them line up at three. So we had a defensive breakdown that led to the opening.”
Stephen Curry Sounds Off on Major Warriors Change
Kerr made a major change against the Celtics, starting Jordan Poole over Kevon Looney. Stephen Curry spoke about the switch-up after the game.
“There’s strength and weaknesses to it,” Curry told Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “But we got great shots with it tonight. Came out with a lot of juice. We gotta be better at rebounding. If we give up size, we gotta be more physical, prepared to rebound. But it gives us great space and gets us great shots, and you gotta like the way we can play fast and put pressure on defenses.”