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NBA: Golden State Warriors @ Boston Celtics Preview

There are five games in the NBA on Thursday, the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls meet in one of this season’s Global Games in Paris, but the standout clash takes place in Boston as the Celtics entertain Golden State Warriors.

Golden State won 4-2 to claim the championship after fighting back from 1-0 and then 2-1 down, ultimately securing a fairly comfortable series win as the Celtics failed to cope with Steph Curry and co. 

The Warriors defence hasn’t gone to plan so far, while Boston go into the game with a league-best 33-12 overall record and they look well placed to go all the way this year after falling at the final hurdle in 2022. 

The Celtics can be backed at 7/2 to win the NBA Championship outright, while Golden State are 17/2 to successfully defend the title.

WhatGolden State Warriors @ Boston Celtics
WhereTD Garden, Boston
When00:30, Friday 20th January 2023
How to watchbet365 Sports Live Streaming, NBA League Pass, Sky Sports Arena, Sky Sports Main Event
OddsGS Warriors 21/10, BOS Celtics 2/5

Celtics looking to break Warriors stranglehold 

Golden State won the final three games of the Finals Series last season and claimed a 123-107 win over Boston in San Francisco in December in their first regular season meeting this season. 

The Celtics had been expected to take some revenge in that game as they went into the clash on the back of a run of eight wins in nine games, but the Dubs managed to secure a win thanks to a Klay Thompson and Curry masterclass as they combined for 66 points, while Jordan Poole managed 20. 

That defeat sparked a slump for the Celtics as they lost four of the next five games but they have since recovered and have 11 wins in their last 13 – now they are seeking an eighth straight win ahead of Thursday’s meeting. 

With home advantage, Boston will be looking to end Golden State’s winning streak against them and this is their last chance this season to claim a victory over the Dubs. 

Golden State may be struggling but they can never be written off as championship contenders if they can find some form in the second half of the season and Boston will want to make a statement in front of their own fans when the champions visit, with the Celtics priced at 10/11 to win with a -6.5 handicap in the Point Spread.

Road for the key concern for Dubs 

Golden State sit in seventh spot in an incredibly competitive Western Conference and there are no guarantees they will even quality for the playoffs this season. 

The Dubs have a 22-22 overall record and a top six seed is very much an achievable goal, but they will have to find a way to win on the road if they are to mount a serious title defence. 

Golden State are 5-17 on their travels but two of those wins have come in their last three trips so they will feel they have a chance in Boston, despite the fact they are yet to win at a team who are currently inside the top six in either conference.

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Brown could make Boston return 

Jaylen Brown has missed the last three Boston games with an abductor issue but the guard did come through a full practice on Wednesday and is officially rated as day-to-day by the team ahead of Golden State’s visit. 

If the 26-year-old guard were available, it would come as a big boost to Boston as Brown is averaging career-highs with 27.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. 

Brown also impressed in the defeat to the Warriors earlier in the season as he led the Celtics in scoring with 31 points alongside nine rebounds – as MVP contender Jayson Tatum had a difficult night with just 18 points on 6-for-21 shooting. 

Brown is the Celtics only injury concern of note with veteran Danilo Gallinari, who is yet to make his debut after joining in the offseason, their only confirmed absentee. 

If Brown does miss out again either Derrick White or Malcolm Brogdon will start alongside Marcus Smart in the backcourt for the Celtics. 

The Warriors arrive with a few issues as Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman, JaMychal Green and Andre Iguodala all remain unavailable. 

Golden State may name the same starting lineup that featured in the win over Washington last time out, and Thompson should see some game time after remaining on the bench against the Wizards.

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