Summer 2024

Al Horford gives 'honor and glory to the Lord' after playoff career-high helps Celtics win

Al Horford picked a great time to turn in a playoff career high. His 30 points Monday night, 16 of which came in the fourth quarter, sparked a 116-108 comeback win on the road for the Boston Celtics. It tied the second-round playoff series with the defending-champion Milwaukee Bucks at 2-2.

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<

The Celtics were down by 11 in the second half, but then Horford got going. They tied the game when Horford topped off a 10-0 run by driving the baseline and dunking. Boston’s Jason Tatum also scored 30 points on the night, with 12 coming in the final quarter, when the Celtics outscored the Bucks 43-28. Boston took the lead for good on a Horford 3-pointer with 5:40 remaining.

“We all understood the importance of this game,” Horford said in the postgame press conference. “And we felt that, at the end of Game 3, we were in a position to win the game and we didn’t. I was just really locked in. I understood the moment, what we needed to do as a group and just come out and then really just did whatever it took tonight.”

Horford’s playoff career high in scoring came on 11-of-14 shooting from the field, with eight rebounds and three assists. On the court after the game, Horford thanked God first in a postgame interview on TNT.

“First, I just want to give the honor and glory to the Lord. I’m very grateful for this opportunity that I’ve received and I know it’s come from Him,” Horford said. “I’m just very happy to back here in Boston.”

His 30 points were also the most he’s scored in a game this season, his first with Boston after three years as a Celtic from 2016-2019. He spent 2019-20 with the Philadelphia 76ers and 2020-21 with the Oklahoma City Thunder before getting traded back to Boston in June.

Horford started his career in Atlanta and spent nine years with the Hawks after being the third overall pick in the 2007 draft. That followed three seasons and two national championships in college at Florida.

Before signing with the 76ers in 2019, Horford was one of the many prized free agents due to his consistent product throughout his career. But while Horford’s presence on the floor usually brings steadiness to any team he’s on, he says he relies on his faith in God to navigate the often turbulent waters of life in the NBA.

“With me, my faith is something that really gives me stability and makes me keep a lot of things in perspective and helps me manage through all the ups and downs that can go within a season,” Horford said in a 2019 video by NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Horford also mentions his faith on his social media accounts, usually in Spanish as well. “The Glory to God,” Horford said in a 2018 tweet after being selected to his fifth NBA All-Star Game.

After the big Game 4 win for Horford and the Celtics, the series is headed back to Boston for a pivotal Game 5 at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday.

Philadelphia 76ers forward Al Horford says faith in God gives his life stability
Celtics chaplain Robert Gray: ‘Take what God gave us and make it better’
Celtics forward Jayson Tatum honors God with prominent new back tattoo
Christ-following Monty Williams wins Coach of the Year: ‘This is so stinkin’ cool’
Tyrese Maxey grateful to God as record-setting game powers 76ers in playoffs