The NBA Finals: How the Celtics won Game 1 by giving the Warriors and Stephen Curry a taste of their own medicine

San Francisco – A relentless barrage of 3 indicators leaves the opponent covered in impotence, searching for answers from a higher power. Players on the bench celebrate with earned arrogance every time the ball splashes into the net without any resistance from the edge. A record string that makes you look through record books, unable to comprehend that something devastating has happened before.

In the first ever NBA Finals game at Chase Center, it was meant to be Golden State WarriorsStory – their return to the highest level in the basketball world. Instead of that Boston Celtics He went on an unprecedented run in the fourth quarter, sparked by faint shooting and precise ball movement, to come out with 120-108 win in first game in San Franciscowhich drains life from what was a throng of electrically frenzied selling.

The Golden State novel that seemed too good to be true was actually being written in the middle of the first quarter. Stephen Curry was on an unstoppable heater and only he can, going 6-for-8 from the 3-point range on his way to 21 points in the opening frame. Fast forward to the second half, when the Warriors trade series in the third quarter turned their two-point delay in the first half into a 15-point lead with just over two minutes remaining.

A third quarter of 38 points of that nature has been a fatal blow to many an unfortunate opponent over the last eight seasons of Warriors basketball. To say Boston responded would be one of the biggest understatements in the NBA’s 75-year history.

When people think of Warriors, they likely think of three-pointers—the long-distance endowments of Curry and Clay Thompson that stand above all other bowlers in the basketball tradition. On Thursday, though, Boston used the warriors’ beloved weapon against them.

The Celtics outperformed Golden State, 40-16, in the final frame, making it even more peculiar by shooting a 9-for-12 3 that they rained on the Bay Area and the fans. At one point, they made seven consecutive three-pointers, most recently by Horford giving his team a six-point lead, which seemed nearly impossible, given the imbalance at the time.

The transformation was even more remarkable considering that Jason Tatum, Boston’s leading scorer who had just been named Eastern Conference Finals MVP, held 12 points on 3-of-17 shooting, and faced various aggressive defensive appearances throughout the night including a square-and-one. However, his 13 assists encapsulate the Celtics – bolstered by head coach Aim Odoka’s message – committed to doing the right play, no matter how simple, confident that it will eventually lead to positive results.

“They do a great job of helping out and things like that,” Tatum said after the first game. “So, you know, it’s obviously as simple as you’re going back two, and you find someone who opens up.” “That’s what I was just trying to do.”

It wasn’t just that the Celtics made 3 seconds – it was 21 to 41 in the game – it was the way they set them up. They moved the ball quickly, got into the paint and kicked players in perfect position with more subtle passes. Take a look at this play as the Celtics made four assists in six seconds, opening up 3 assists for Horford, who set an NBA record for players making their World Cup debut with six three-pointers per night.

We dare say, the movement of the ball looks like Warriors.

The Celtics also used the small ball, which has been a staple of Golden State in past years, to dominate the fourth quarter from both ends. Unity was on the court when Boston finally took the lead with Horford in the center, along with Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Derek White and Peyton Pritchard. Less than three minutes later, the Celtics developed a six-point advantage and Warriors midfielder Kevin Looney played off the field. Steve Kerr responded with a ‘Poole Party’ lineup made up of Carrie, Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole – which backed down after looking like no other in the face of Denver Nuggets In the first round – but she wasn’t able to fill in the gaps in the Warriors dam which the Celtics broke so badly.

The attack was so extensive that the warriors had no one to play. Horford, Brown, White and Marcus Smart made two 3-second goals in the fourth quarter. Pritchard added one. “Strength in numbers” has been the Warriors’ mantra for years, but on Thursday it certainly applied to the Celtics.

“We are proud that everyone is able to contribute on both sides,” Odoka said after the match. “It pays off, especially on a night when your best man has a night off.”

Defensively, the Celtics went to a lot of substitutions and pre-swaps in the fourth quarter in order to limit Curry’s firing and the Warriors’ penetration. Odoka said the little unit also played with more fitness and “looked like she was wearing a [the Warriors] down a little bit. “They stopped Golden State for 6 of 15 in the fourth quarter, including a 1 for 6 from a 3-point range, before emptying the seats in the last minute, forcing them to spin as many assists as the Warriors had, and overall, the little ball lineup paid dividends for Boston. , which is something to watch as the series progresses.

In a way, it was fitting that these Celtics came out of a major deficit in their first NBA Finals — after all, their regular season was marked by the unlikely act of substitution. After a humble start, they found themselves 25-25 on January 28th. From that point on, they went 26-7 with a net rating of 13.8-plus, five points better than the nearest competitor, and earned the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics know how to respond because they’ve been fighting all year, and Udoka continued to preach resilience as the Warriors extended their lead in the third quarter.

“We’ve been through a lot. We’ve been through a lot of trials, a lot of losses. We know what it takes to win,” Brown said after the first game, “I give credit to everyone in this changing room. From top to bottom. We have a big, flexible group. And the chain Strong only in its weakest link.”

The strangest part about the playoffs, and especially the finals, is that once the last bell in Game 1 sounds, it’s all about Game 2. The two teams will look at the movie and make adjustments, knowing that the look of Sunday’s game can’t look at all like the opening. But on Thursday the Celtics confirmed what they’ve found over the past five months — they believe they have what it takes to be NBA champions, and nothing can deter them from that mindset.

“We can’t go up too much and we can’t go down too much,” Smart said. “We played very well, but we have to reward that energy in the next game, and we understand that.” “We all know this game is a running game. Don’t get into the game planning to play poorly. Things happen. You just have to find a way.”