The daily preview takes it to the rim with NBA tips for Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Finals between Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics.
10:00 (AEST), Mon 6th Jun @ Chase Center, San Francisco
History: Played 370: Celtics 225 V Warriors 145
Last meeting: June 3, 2022: Celtics 120 d Warriors 108 at Chase Center
Final Thoughts: Boston Celtics’ stunning Game 1 victory on the road has set the scene for an epic NBA Finals against Golden State Warriors.
The Celtics took the Warriors on at their own game and won, with a stunning three-point shooting display – and a freakish fourth-quarter rally – underpinning a widely unexpected 120-108 result in San Francisco.
Golden State got off to a flyer with Steph Curry racking up 21 first-quarter points. But Boston matched strides with the sharpshooting hosts to lead by two at halftime. The Warriors reclaimed the ascendancy with a 38-point third quarter – but the Celtics produced an incredible 40-16 final term (including a mesmerising 17-0 run) to run out emphatic winners.
The Celtics shot 21-of-41 from three-point range, with top-scoring Al Horford (26 pts, 6-of-8 3PM) the surprise packet, Marcus Smart (18 pts, 4-of-7 3PM) coming up with some big buckets and Derrick White (21 pts, 5-of-8 3PM). Perhaps the most remarkable stat was Boston won with Jayson Tatum scoring only 12 points – though the offensive spearhead did dish up 13 assists. Jaylen Brown (24 pts, 7 reb, 5 ast) was a strong all-round contributor.
Curry finished with 34 points and 7-of-14 3PM, while Andrew Wiggins (20 pts) was the only other Warrior to post more than 15 points. Otto Porter Jr drained four of five three-point attempts, but Jordan Poole was a non-factor off the bench.
It was the Warriors’ first home loss of these playoffs and ended an 11-game Chase Center winning streak.
The gritty Celtics finding their range is a big concern for the Warriors, particularly given Tatum’s modest offensive return. The Warriors, though, can focus on the positives of being the better team for the bulk of Game 1.
It’s hard to imagine the Warriors clocking off in the same fashion at home two games in a row with so much on the line, or the Celtics being as untouchable from deep. Curry needs support from the likes of series-opening flops Poole and Draymond Green and should get it.
The Warriors are slightly shorter favourites than they were in Game 1 and I’m a little wary of 4.5-point line. But the hosts should square things up.