NBA Finals: Celtics beat Warriors on record night for three-pointers
San Francisco, Massachusetts - The Boston Celtics started the NBA Finals off on the right foot with a 120-105 road win against the Golden State Warriors in Game 1, on a historic night of point scoring.
Talk about a spectacular start to the series: these teams combined for the most made three-pointers ever in a Finals game!
Early on it looked like it was going to be the Steph Curry show, as he finished the first quarter with 21 points – hitting an NBA Finals record six threes in a quarter, from eight attempts – as the Warriors led 32-28 at the first break.
But Boston's defensive adjustments at quarter-time had an immediate effect, holding Curry scoreless in the second period as the Celtics won the quarter 28-22 and went into halftime leading 56-54.
Jayson Tatum struggled with his shooting, but made up for it with his playmaking, with seven assists in the first half, while Jaylen Brown had 12 points and Marcus Smart had 10 to pick up the slack.
Celtics pull away in spectacular final quarter
A consistent theme with the great Warriors teams of recent years, their ability to explode in the third quarter in front of the home fans was on full display: the Dubs came out swinging with six-of-11 threes after halftime.
Andrew Wiggins had 12 points in the quarter, Curry had nine, and Jordan Poole had seven, as that trio combined for 28 to carry the Warriors to a 38-24 period, earning a 92-80 lead heading into the last.
As impressive as the third quarter was for the Warriors, the fourth was even more so for the Celtics, as their red-hot shooting coincided with their best defensive stretch of the game.
The Celtics shot nine-of-12 from long range in the fourth, and 15-of-22 from the field, while holding the Warriors to just seven made field goals, turning the last phase into a 40-16 rout.
Three-points galore for both teams
It was a historic game from beyond the arc as the two sides combined to hit an NBA Finals record of 40 threes, with the Celtics shooting a blistering 51% (21-of-41) while the Warriors were also terrific at 42% (19-of-45).
Boston's Al Horford hit a career-high from long range, going six-of-eight on his way to 26 points, while Derrick White set a new season-high from deep, hitting five-of-eight for his crucial 21 points off the bench.
Tatum finished three-of-17 from the field, scoring only 12 points, but he was the architect of the Celtics' hot shooting night as he dished a career-high 13 assists. The 24-year-old punished the Warriors defensive collapses after his initial dribble penetration.
Jaylen Brown finished with 24 points (10-of-23 shooting) with seven rebounds and five assists, while Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart had 18 points (seven-of-11 shooting, four-of-seven from deep) to go with five rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
For the Warriors, Curry finished with 34 points (12-of-25 shooting), five rebounds, five assists, and three steals, while Andrew Wiggins had 20 points (eight-of-15 shooting) with three steals and one block.
Game 2 will remain in San Francisco, before they head to Boston for Game 3 and Game 4.
Cover photo: USA TODAY Sports