How the Celtics fared against the Warriors in recent clashes originally appeared on NBC SportsBoston
The stage is set for what should be an exciting NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors.
It’s the Celtics’ first Finals appearance since 2010, when they fell to the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games. The Warriors, meanwhile, are set to play in their sixth final in the past eight years. They won three titles in five appearances between 2014 and 2018.
Despite the Warriors’ unparalleled success over the past decade, this Finals series is not a “David and Goliath” scenario. While Golden State has the experience advantage over Boston, the C’s have had a lot of success in their recent encounters.
Here’s a reminder of how the last six Celtics-Warriors matchups have gone.
November 15, 2019: Celtics win, 105-100
The Celtics rode a nine-game winning streak in San Francisco against an injury-plagued Warriors team. Golden State largely played with a G League roster as “Splash Brothers” Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were sidelined. D’Angelo Russell also left the game with a thumb injury.
Despite being outnumbered, the Warriors put up an admirable fight until the last minute. They were trailing by just one point at halftime. But a 3-point clutch in the fourth quarter from Kemba Walker (20 points) and late exploits from Jayson Tatum (24 points) and Jaylen Brown (22 points) were enough to propel Boston to its 10th straight victory.
January 30, 2020: Celtics win, 119-104
The Warriors were without Curry and Thompson again in the second meeting of the 2019-20 season, and the result was the same. Gordon Hayward led the way with 25 points to give the Celtics their fifth victory in their last six games. Smart Marcus added 21 from the bench, including 17 in the second half, and Tatum lost 20 after honoring his late hero, Kobe Bryant. Boston led by no less than 19 points in the fourth quarter.
Russell led Golden State with 22 points in the losing effort.
February 2, 2021: Celtics win, 111-107
Curry had 38 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and three steals in his first game against the Celtics in three years. He shot 7 for 14 from beyond the arc, but it still wasn’t enough to propel Golden State to victory over Boston.
The C’s overcame Smart’s absence with five of their players scoring in double figures. Tatum had a team-high 27 points while Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown have 19 and 18 respectively. Grant Williams added 15 off the bench to help the Celtics earn their fourth straight victory over the Warriors.
April 17, 2021: Celtics win, 119-114
Curry again brought the heat in their second meeting of the 2020-21 campaign. The two-time MVP exploded for 47 points while hitting 11 3-pointers. Unfortunately for the Warriors, Tatum was just as good for the Celtics.
Tatum led the C’s to victory 119-114 with 44 points – the second-highest total of his career at the time – and shot 16 for 25 from the field. Kemba Walker added 26 points to him while Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard netted 11 each off the bench. Make that five straight wins for Boston against Golden State.
December 17, 2021: Warriors win, 111-107
The Warriors finally got over the bump against the Celtics in their first game of the season. It was yet another brilliant performance from Curry, who dropped a game-high 30 points. Andrew Wiggins also played for Golden State with 27 points on 11-of-20 shooting.
Tatum and Brown were down 27 and 20 points respectively for the Cs. Boston had five players in COVID-19 protocol for the game, including Al Horford and Grant Williams.
March 16, 2022: Celtics win, 110-88
Boston rebounded in the last meeting between these two teams in March, but an injury to Curry overshadowed the final outcome of the game. Clever had a heated exchange with Warriors coach Steve Kerr after diving to the ground for a loose ball and colliding with Curry’s ankle. The injury kept Curry sidelined for the rest of the regular season.
With Curry injured, Jordan Poole had a team-high 29 points for Golden State. Tatum and Brown each had 26 points for Boston, and Smart himself had a strong offensive performance with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting.