Former Nigeria basketball star Ime Udoka missed the chance to win his first ever NBA championship, after Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics 103-90 on Thursday night to claim their fourth title in the last eight seasons.
Celtics was up 14-2 to start the game but the Golden State went on a 52-25 run to end the first half. That included a 21-0 run — the longest scoring run in an NBA Finals game in the last 50 years.
Celtics cut the Warriors’ lead to single digits late in the third quarter and again in the fourth quarter but could get no closer.
Udoka and his Celtics side, which made the Finals for the first time since the 2009-10 season, had previously excelled in do-or-die games in this year’s playoff run.
Until their Game five loss in these Finals, they were unbeaten in postseason games following a defeat.
They have been victorious in two win-or-go-home games against the Milwaukee Bucks and a Game seven gainst the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Yet the Celtics were up 2-1 in the series before losing three straight to Golden State, including Games four and 6 in Boston.
And reacting to the disappointing defeat Udoka said after the game:”There are a lot of guys in there, very emotional right now.
“The message was we thanked them for the effort and the growth and everything they allowed us to do coaching-wise this year. The biggest message was ‘Learn from this, grow from it, take this experience and see there is another level to get to’.
“A team like Golden State who has been there, done that, it was evident in a lot of ways.”
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