Do you think the Boston Celtics may be a tad motivated Thursday night when the Golden State Warriors visit TD Garden for a TNT national TV game? Of course, the Celtics lost the NBA Finals on their own floor back in June to the Warriors and then were soundly defeated in San Francisco earlier this season. The Celtics, though, are 6-point favorites at Caesars Sportsbook tonight and it's looking as if All-Star Jaylen Brown will return from injury. Click here for model picks.
The last time Golden State stepped on the TD Garden floor was June 16, 2022, when it beat Boston 103-90 to win the Finals in six games for the franchise's fourth title in the last eight years. Stephen Curry was brilliant with 34 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and would win Finals MVP. The game was never much in doubt with the Warriors leading by as many as 22.
Klay Thompson struggled in the win, shooting 5-for-20 from the field. He will be in the lineup tonight after sitting out Monday in the second game of a back-to-back for injury management purposes (note that Golden State starts another B2B tonight and is in Cleveland on Friday). Thompson appears to be back in All-Star form, averaging 30.7 points over his past seven outings. He's set at over/under 21.5 points and Curry at 27.5, with Curry coming off a 41-point game in the win at Washington on Monday. It was only the Warriors' fifth road win of the season. Curry is averaging 25.0 points in four games since returning from an 11-game injury absence.
Boston's Jayson Tatum is +500 to win his first MVP Award. He's coming off a season-high 51-point game in Charlotte on Monday. It marked the fifth 50-point game of his regular-season career, breaking a tie with the legendary Larry Bird for the most in franchise history (Tatum also has two in the playoffs). No other Celtic has more than one such performance. Tatum is set at O/U 32.5 points tonight, which likely drops if Brown is cleared to play. Tatum is averaging 31.1 points per game, which would be a team record.
Brown has missed the past three with left adductor tightness but practiced in full Wednesday, and undoubtedly wants to play in this game if he's medically cleared. He's officially questionable as of this writing. Brown is having a career year, averaging 27.2 points and 7.1 rebounds. Brown is the only name on the Boston injury report -- he did participate in this morning's shootaround.
Out for Golden State are Andre Iguodala, JaMychal Green, Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman – none are major contributors. Golden State has won its last four games against Boston, including the last three games of the Finals. The Warriors have won six of the last nine regular season meetings in Boston.
Will these two meet in the Finals again this June? The Celtics are +180 favorites in the East, and the Warriors are +400 second-favorites behind Denver (+375) in the West.
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