If I told you Stephen Curry had 21 points on 6-8 shooting from deep in the first quarter, Andrew Wiggins scored a total of 20 points and the Golden State Warriors outscored the Boston Celtics 38-24 to take a 12-point lead entering the fourth quarter, how many points would you say the Warriors won Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals by?
Any number you just shouted at your computer, tablet or phone is the wrong answer because the Warriors actually lost Game 1 with all of these things happening!
Getting outscored 40-16 in the fourth quarter on Thursday night, the Warriors were stunned 120-108 at home in this first game of the NBA Finals. Boston sent a clear message that while they may be the underdogs, they certainly do not view themselves in this kind of role, as they have taken down some of the best players and best teams in the league to get here in this series against Golden State .
Beating Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets in the first-round, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in the semifinals and then Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics have proven that they truly are one of the best teams in the league after many were calling for a rebuild close to halfway through the year.
The turnaround the Celtics have made is quite remarkable and in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, they left over 18,000 fans in Chase Center and millions of viewers across the globe with their mouths hanging open.
With the Warriors up by 12 points after the third quarter and their rolling offense, nobody except those in the Celtics’ huddle were giving them a chance to win this game.
Their performance in the fourth quarter of this game may have been the best fourth quarter performance in NBA history, as the Celtics went 9-12 from three-point range, 14-21 overall from the floor in the fourth, and they closed the game on a 20-5 run over the final six minutes of play.
Should the Golden State Warriors be worried and concerned heading into Game 2 on Sunday given that they no longer own home court advantage in the NBA Finals and trail Boston by a game?
The Warriors now find themselves in a familiar, uncomfortable spot, as they also dropped Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals to the Toronto Raptors, a series they went on to lose in six games. Golden State knows they are more than capable of bouncing back in this series though and veteran All-Star Draymond Green mentioned that in his postgame remarks on Thursday night.
“They hit 21 threes, and Marcus Smart and Al Horford and Derrick White combined for 15 of them. The guys are good shooters, but they combined for, what, 15 out of 8; Smart, 7, 8, 15-for-23,” Green said. “Yeah, 15-for-23 from those guys, eh, you know, so, we’ll be fine.”
Green does not seem too concerned after the Warriors blew a 12-point lead heading into the fourth quarter and head coach Steve Kerr also brought up the fact that this game was decided in the fourth quarter during his postgame press conference.
“I thought we had some really good moments. We had 38 in the third quarter. We had a good run there,” Kerr mentioned. “It was mainly the fourth quarter that got us. So we feel confident with our ability to score against them. But like I said, you give up 40 in the fourth and the other team makes 21 threes, it’s going to be tough to win.”
Compared to Boston going 14-21 from the floor in the fourth quarter alone, the Warriors made just seven shots in the final quarter of play, one of which was by Nemanja Bjelica after both teams had emptied their benches.
“You know, we’ve been in this position before, and we’ve won series where we’ve lost the first game,” Kerr said. “We’ve won a road game, at least one road game in I don’t know how many consecutive series. So you always kind of assume that you’re going to have to win on the road to win a playoff series.
“It’s a different feeling, but it’s still first one to four.”
Starting this series by losing Game 1 on their home floor is definitely not ideal, but if there is any team in the league that can rattle off four consecutive victories and come back to win the NBA Finals after dropping the first game of the series, it is the Golden State Warriors.
One of the best offensive and defensive teams in the league, the Warriors definitely have the capability to even up this series in Game 2 and then potentially reclaim home court by taking Game 3 in Boston.
The Celtics are definitely better though than most of the teams they have played through in these playoffs simply because they match up so well with the Warriors.
Their blend of three-point shooting on offense and being able to switch almost any ball-screen defensively is what makes them a very worthy foe to Golden State in this series. It will not be easy, but the Warriors are not by any means done in this series.
As Steve Kerr mentioned, this is just one game and whoever wins the championship this year will have to win four games, not one or two. The Celtics threw the first punch in this fight and now, it is time to see what the Warriors are made of as they get back up and look to even the score in Game 2 on Sunday.
Related stories on 2022 NBA Finals
- 2022 NBA Finals: What Celtics Game 1 Victory Against Golden State Means For Rest Of Series: The Boston Celtics defeated the Golden State Warriors 120-108 in Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals on Thursday, giving them a massive early edge in this series. CLICK HERE.
- Steph Curry’s Bold Quote After Losing Game 1: Steph Curry met with the media after the Golden State Warriors lost Game 1 of the NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics on Thursday night. CLICK HERE.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism