Old habits died hard for the Boston Celtics — and ended their season in the process — as the Celtics committed a staggering 22 turnovers in a 103-90 Game 6 loss to the Golden State Warriors at TD Garden.
It was a loss where the Warriors’ championship poise once again came to play, with a game-high 34 points from Steph Curry thanks to a 6-for-11 mark from beyond the arc on the way to his first career NBA Finals MVP honors.
The loss also marked three straight defeats for the Celtics, which had not happened to the Celtics since late December 2021. Golden State’s win, meanwhile, made them just the second road team in NBA history to win a title on Boston parquet, joining the 1985 Los Angeles Lakers in that respect.
With their backs against the wall, the Celtics stormed out of the gate with the exact start they needed, led by a pair of three-point makes from Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, the C’s scored 14 of the game’s first 16 points. But, in what’s been a theme of the Celtics Playoff Experience, the Green allowed the Warriors to storm back and in a major way.
Not only did the Celtics lose the lead along the way, they allowed Golden State to go historic on them, as the Warriors at one point ripped off 21 straight points on Boston. That marked the longest scoring stretch in an NBA Finals game in 50 years.
Overall, it was a 35-8 run for the Warriors, and with ’em making it look waaaaay too easy along the way.
On the cusp of letting this game slide out of control, Ime Udoka called yet another timeout, and the Celtics went back to work. A Brown three from deep in three-point range ended the C’s drought, and the Celtics appeared to be generating some momentum by way of a pair of hoop-front finishes from Tatum and Robert Williams.
But the Celtics struggled to turn those mini-spurts into much of anything, and entered the half down by 15.
A Draymond Green three to begin the second half made it 18. And though the Celtics countered with multiple Al Horford makes from deep, the Warriors responded every single time, and refused to let the Celtics generate any energy.
Horford refused to quit, however, and the Celtics followed his lead and finally found their chance to break through, and ended the third quarter on a 16-4 run to cut the deficit to 10 for the start of the fourth quarter.
But the Celtics failed to make that comeback push matter much early, as they didn’t bring that deficit into the single digits until the midway point in a fourth quarter that began with two more turnovers sandwiched around an early miss.
Eight was as close as the Celtics made it in the fourth, and turnovers reared their ugly head as the No. 1 reason behind Boston’s inability to push it any closer, as the C’s turned the ball over six times in the fourth quarter alone.
Jaylen Brown finished the night as the highest-scoring Celtic, with 34 points in 44 minutes, while Tatum finished with a disappointing 13 points in a 6-for-18 shooting performance.
PHOTOS: Warriors defeat Celtics in Game 6 at TD Garden
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has been covering the Bruins since 2010, and has been a member of the Boston chapter of the PHWA since 2013. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.