IT TOOK 15 seasons and 141 playoff games before Al Horford reached the National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals and he surprisingly played the role of hero in his first expedition.
Now, the 35-year-old Horford aims to help the Boston Celtics take a 2-0 series lead when they battle the Golden State (GS) Warriors on Sunday night in San Francisco.
Boston impressively rallied for a 120-108 victory in Thursday’s Game 1 and Horford led the way with 26 points on nine-of-12 shooting. In the 1,092nd overall game of his career, Horford made a career best six 3-pointers (in eight attempts).
“Just grateful for this opportunity,” Horford said. “It’s just going out there and playing basketball at the end of the day. That’s just what it is… Just excited to be able to share this stage with these group of guys.”
The feeling is mutual after Horford helped Boston recover from a 15-point late third-quarter deficit to hand the Warriors a painful home loss.
“We were ecstatic for him,” Boston guard Marcus Smart said. “He puts in the work. Nobody deserves to be here more than him. The way that he carries himself professionally, the professionalism he comes to this game with every day, we knew it was only a matter of time for him to have a big game, and continue to have a big game.”
Horford’s final-quarter scoring splurge (11 points on 4-of-4 shooting) and the Celtics’ fourth-period explosion leave Golden State in a dire position on Sunday night.
The Warriors thought they were cruising to a victory until Boston’s uprising. The Celtics outscored Golden State 40-16 in the period and buried nine of 12 3-point attempts in that time.
“Obviously, everybody is down,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “You want to go out and win the first one. We had every opportunity, 12-point lead going into the fourth. Guys are bummed, as you would expect. But it’s a seven-game series for a reason.”
Golden State star Stephen Curry recorded 34 points and seven…
All news and articles are copyrighted to the respective authors and/or News Broadcasters. VIXC.Com is an independent Online News Aggregator
Read more from original source here…