Celtics' Al Horford: 'The Warriors Were at a Different Level' in 2022 NBA Finals

Erin WalshJune 17, 2022

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 16: Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics looks on prior to Game Six of the 2022 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors at TD Garden on June 16, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The Boston Celtics came so close to winning their first NBA title since 2008, but they fell short in their quest for banner 18, falling to the Golden State Warriors 103-90 in Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals on Thursday at TD Garden.

Aside from Game 1, the Celtics were largely outplayed by the Warriors throughout the series, and veteran center Al Horford told reporters after Thursday's loss that Golden State was "at a different level" in the finals.

Brian Robb @BrianTRobb

Al Horford: "The Warriors were at a different level."

Alex Barth @RealAlexBarth

Al Horford credits Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown's growth throughout the season, but adds "as you can see, there's still a lot of growth and a lot of work for all of us."

Brian Robb @BrianTRobb

Al Horford: "It wasn't meant for us this year...I feel like we can hold our heads high."

With a fully healthy core group that includes Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green and depth that includes Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole and more, the Warriors were destined to capture their fourth title in the last eight seasons.

That said, the Celtics frequently beat themselves, with turnovers and scoring inconsistencies, highlighted by struggles from Jayson Tatum, leading to their demise.

This was the first NBA Finals that Boston's core group of Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart played in together. They have a lot to learn, but there's little doubt that the trio will lead the Celtics back to the finals in the near future.