The NBA Finals are here with a mouth-watering matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics.

This Warriors team are used to this stage, playing their sixth Finals in eight years, but this is the first trip for the 17-time champion Celtics since 2010.

Ahead of Thursday's highly anticipated Game 1, Stats Perform delves into the best STATS numbers going into an intriguing series...

HISTORY SIDES WITH CELTICS

Only the Los Angeles Lakers (32) have been to more NBA Finals than the Celtics (now 22) and the Warriors (now 12), yet this is only the second time they have met at this stage of the season.

The Celtics beat the Warriors in five in the 1964 Finals, the sixth in a run of eight straight Boston titles.

But that is not their only postseason encounter to date, with the Warriors based in Philadelphia until 1962. They fared no better against the Celtics in the Eastern Conference playoffs, however, losing all three series, as the Warriors have never beaten Boston in the postseason.

More recently, the teams split the two-game series this year, but the Celtics have won six of the past seven meetings between the sides by an average of 14.0 points.

THE THREAT FROM THREE

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will have played in half of the Warriors' Finals appearances, although neither of them have yet won a Finals MVP award.

They will certainly be key to any Golden State success this year and head into the series in form, having again displayed their outstanding ability from three-point range.

Curry has made multiple threes in every game in this playoff campaign and in 34 straight postseason games dating back to 2019. It is the longest streak of games with two or more made threes in playoff history.

In fact, with runs of 27 games between 2014 and 2016 and 20 games between 2016 and 2017, the point guard owns three of the four best such sequences.

Thompson's longest run of playoff games with multiple made threes was 14 in 2016, but he passed team-mate Curry in another regard while scoring 32 points in the closeout Game 5 against the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals.

Thompson knocked down eight shots from deep for his fifth playoff game with eight or more made threes – now the outright most ahead of Curry, Ray Allen and Damian Lillard (four each).

DEFENSE TO BE DECISIVE?

The Celtics have their own scorers, with Jayson Tatum (27.0) on course to average at least 25.0 points in the playoffs for a third straight year.

He would become only the third Celtic to achieve that feat, following in the footsteps of Larry Bird and John Havlicek, who each scored at that rate in four consecutive postseason campaigns.

But what Boston do on the other end of the floor will likely be decisive, as it has been so far in their run to the Finals.

The Celtics beat the Miami Heat 100-96 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals for their 31st win across the regular season and postseason in 2021-22 while holding their opponents to fewer than 100 points. That is the most in the NBA.

If Tatum drives the offense, Al Horford is the key man on defense, and the Celtics have outscored opponents by 10.7 points per 100 possessions with him on the court. They have been outscored by 2.2 points per 100 possessions with Horford off the court.

In Game 7 against the Heat, Horford had 14 rebounds, two blocks and a team-high plus/minus of 10.