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Brunei
Wednesday, August 17, 2022
23.4 C
Brunei
Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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    Warriors remain loose, Celtics stay focussed entering Game 2

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A peek at Golden State’s practice on Saturday wouldn’t have suggested that the Warriors are trailing the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.

    Stephen Curry was making most of his shots, as usual. Klay Thompson was bobbing his head in time with the music in between his own shot attempts. Draymond Green was at the other end of the floor with the forwards yelling “Oh, yeah!” at nobody in particular.

    The biggest game of their season is Sunday (Today 8am Brunei Time). Say this much for the Warriors: They don’t seem nervous about it. The Celtics can take a 2-0 lead – and absolute command – of the NBA Finals on Sunday when they visit the Warriors in the second game of the title series.

    It’s not must-win time for the Warriors, technically, but opening a series with two home losses would mean they’d need to pull off something nearly unprecedented to win a championship.

    “It’s really important to turn the page one way or the other,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “If you win and you get happy and you let your guard down, then you’re in trouble. And if you lose and you feel sorry for yourself, then you’re in trouble doing that, too. It’s all about how you respond.”

    Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum drives toward the basket as Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole defends. PHOTO: AP

    Boston has a similar approach. Much was made of how the Celtics didn’t have any players with finals experience before the series opener on Thursday night; they used a 48-18 run to pull away late and win 120-108. But moments after the final buzzer, there was no celebrating in the winning locker room – just a reminder from Marcus Smart that, like Kerr said, the page needed to turn quickly.

    “I know it may sound arrogant, but when you play for the Celtics, the expectation is to win a championship,” said Boston’s Al Horford, who led the Celtics 26 points in Game 1 on Thursday night and turned 36 on Friday.

    “Even when I got here in ’16, that was the expectation even then. That’s what it is in the organisation. We don’t have to talk about it. We don’t even talk about it at this point. We’re just taking it a game at a time.”

    The Celtics ended Golden State’s 13-game winning streak in Game 1’s at home, and that means the Warriors are trailing 1-0 in these playoffs for the first time.

    The Warriors led by 15 points late in the third quarter of Game 1, then trailed by 15 points in the final moments. It was only the second finals game in the last 25 years where both teams held leads of at least 15 points – the other being Game 5 of the 2014 finals between San Antonio and Miami.

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