Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals is in the books with the Boston Celtics drawing first blood thanks to an insane fourth-quarter performance where they outscored the Golden State Warriors 40-16. The final score was Boston 120, Golden State 108.
NBA Finals – Game 1 Recap
The first half was tightly contested as Boston took a 56-54 lead to the locker room. The theme of the first half has been the incredible three-point shooting by both teams. In fact, the 20 combined threes made is the most in NBA Finals history. The first quarter was the Stephen Curry show as he dropped 21 points which included six three-pointers for the Warriors. Some of it was due to the poor defense the Celtics played on the two-time MVP. Andrew Wiggins also scored some early baskets. Boston on the other hand, also found it from long range as they hit five three-pointers. Marcus Smart hit a couple of early threes for the Celtics. Whenever the momentum seemed to shift in the Warriors’ favor, the Celtics made timely shots to keep it close.
With Curry on the bench, the Warriors supporting cast started to get it going offensively. Otto Porter Jr. hit three triples, and Klay Thompson showed some signs of life. For the Celtics, it was Derrick White who gave them a nice spark off the bench. Jayson Tatum on the other hand struggled with his shot but was amazing as a playmaker. He dished out seven assists in the first half. When the Warriors took their first double-digit lead, the Celtics quickly responded with a 10-0 run of their own. Boston’s defensive intensity picked up and got into a groove offensively. The Warriors turned the ball over a bit and missed some open shots to end the half. The biggest thing worth noting was that Curry was held scoreless in the second quarter and picked up his third foul before halftime. Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 13 first points in the first half plus five rebounds while Smart added 10 points and three assists.
The Warriors have done nothing but dominate the third quarter in these playoffs and they looked sharp on both ends of the floor to start the second half. Wiggins and Curry carried them offensively as they combined for 21 points in the third quarter. Jordan Poole showed signs of life towards the end of the third quarter. Kevon Looney was strong on the offensive boards through the first three quarters. He finished with six offensive rebounds. Golden State ended up outscoring Boston 38-24 in the quarter. Tatum has continued to struggle for the Celtics just 3-for-14 shooting through three quarters. However, it was White who kept them afloat with his timely shooting for Boston. It also helped that the Celtics got to the free-throw line thanks to Draymond Green fouling a lot in that quarter.
The Celtics start off strong in the fourth quarter with Brown being the main culprit. His aggression offensively has made this into a close game once again. The Boston defense has got the Warriors playing in mud. Furthermore, their hot three-point shooting continued as they made their first seven attempts from three in the fourth quarter. As a result of their hot shooting, they’ve managed to reclaim the lead. First, it was White, then Al Horford. The Boston three-point barrage continued, and that effectively ended the Warriors in Game 1, handing them their first home loss in the 2022 Playoffs.
NBA Finals Game 1 – Top Performers
It was a total team effort for Boston in their Game 1 victory. Horford led the Celtics with 26 points, including a career-high six three-pointers in his NBA Finals debut. Brown added 24 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. White was a spark off the bench as he added 21 points with five threes. Tatum struggled shooting the ball but added 12 points, five rebounds, and 13 assists. Smart finished with 18 points for Boston. Robert Williams made his presence felt on defense with four blocks.
For Golden State, Curry scored a game-high 34 points which included seven threes. Wiggins also played well for the Warriors in his NBA Finals debut. He finished with 20 points, five rebounds, and three blocks. However, neither one could get it going in the fourth quarter though the same could be said for the whole team.
Game 2 of the NBA Finals will be played Sunday, June 5th at 8 p.m. ET.