The Rundown: Celtics stun Warriors to take Game 1

Published June 3, 2022, 12:20 PMMiguel Flores

The Celtics rallied in the fourth period to beat the Warriors in the NBA Finals series opener.


Celtics 120, Warriors 108 (BOS leads series, 1-0)

What went down

Through the first three quarters of Game 1, it felt like the Golden State Warriors should have been up by a massive margin on the Boston Celtics.

Consider how Steph Curry fed off the home crowd and rattled in six triples in the first quarter for a total of 21 points. But Boston was just down four heading into the second quarter. Consider then how Golden State got four 3s from Otto Porter Jr. and then shackled Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum in the third quarter. It was a classic Warriors third quarter run, complete with an unexpected Andre Iguodala triple at the end. The Celtics were down just 12 heading into the fourth quarter.

When the Warriors were ready to boom, the Celtics smothered their explosions into manageable morsels.

Then the fourth quarter hit with Brown suddenly dropping 10 points to cut Golden State's lead down to two. That snowballed into an Al Horford solo 8-0 run, followed by back-to-back Marcus Smart triples. In one giant swoop, Boston snatched Game 1 from the Celtics.

Boston’s surge was direct and surgical. They refocused their defense, throwing bodies at Curry and Klay Thompson. Their fourth quarter defense forced the Splash Bros. to put the ball on the floor and create shots inside the arc. Today, Boston's bunch of brutish defenders were enough to deter Curry and Thompson.

Big-time baller

It’s tough to pick out one standout performer in what was clearly a team win. But Horford draining 3s against the Warriors’ sagging defense felt like heavyweight uppercuts to the jaw.

Horford finished with 26 points and a career-best six triples. In his first NBA Finals appearance, the 36-year-old Big Al made his presence felt. 

What he said

Before Game 1, Adam Silver conducted the annual state of the league press conference during the NBA Finals.

The biggest news to come out of the press conference was the league looking into removing positions as a consideration for the All-NBA ballot. This was a big talking point this year since the ballot allowed just one center per team, which left MVP runner-up Joel Embiid on the Second Team as MVP Nikola Jokic was on the First Team.

This could have a big effect on player compensation, especially for rookie-scale deals which have a special clause for All-NBA selection affecting the max money a player could make.

Did you see that?

This clip of Jay-Z and Jayson Tatum dapping it up after the game is incredible.

It would be great to hear whatever HOVA was telling Tatum, but the no-dialogue close-ups with his song blaring in the background already puts it over the top.