Draymond Green Not Dwelling Much On Late Game 1 Loss to Boston

Despite being up by as many as 15 points in Game 1, Golden State still couldn’t close the deal in the fourth quarter and are now down 1-0 after losing to the Boston Celtics, 120-108.

Stephen Curry deserves a lot of credit for the Warriors leading for much of the game after scoring 34 points, five rebounds, and five assists. His 21 points in the first quarter were the most scored in a quarter in the NBA Finals since Michael Jordan had 22 points in the fourth quarter of Game 4 against the Phoenix Suns in 1993. 

Curry’s six three-pointers also set a Finals record for most triples in a single quarter; the previous record was five made triples in a quarter. He shared the record with Ray Allen and Kenny Smith.

However, despite the spectacular exploits of the only unanimous MVP in NBA history, the Boston Celtics were never too far behind through the first three-quarters of Game 1. Yes, they were down by 15 at one point in the third quarter, but the Celtics were routinely able to cut any deficit down, tying the game up five times and exchanging leads up to nine.

Boston bided its time until the final frame, knocking down their first seven three-point attempts to outscore the Warriors 40-16. The onslaught was led by Jaylen Brown (24 points, seven rebounds, five assists) and Al Horford (26 points, six boards, and a Finals-debut record six threes), who scored a combined 21 points to help Boston retake the lead late in the fourth quarter.

Horford scored 14 points during Boston’s decisive 17-0 run to take Game 1, giving Boston a lead it wouldn’t give up after scoring eight straight points, including back-to-back three-pointers late in the fourth quarter. Boston also kept Golden State scoreless for nearly five minutes as they scored 17 unanswered, only ceding two meaningless field goals to Klay Thompson and Nemanja Bjelica over the final 69 seconds of the game.

“They gotta good defense,” Draymond Green (four points, 11 rebounds, five dimes), “We knew that coming in. There was no surprises; we know what they wanna get to on the defensive side and how they like to play; they know what we’re tryna get to. So, yeah, no surprises, they are who we thought they were, and now we’ll watch the clips, watch the film and figure out what we need to do to attack it.”

Green elaborated a bit more on his thoughts a moment later during his press conference. In his eyes, the Warriors were dominant for as much as “the first 41, 42 minutes” of the game. However, Golden State trailed in the first half at one point, and their most dominant stretch came in the third quarter when they built a 15-point lead and outscored the Celtics by 14 points.

Green also pointed out that Boston hit 21 three-pointers in Game 1, the bulk of which came from Horford, Marcus Smart, and Derrick White, who hit a combined 15 long-range bombs. Green directly downplayed the hot shooting of Smart and White, saying:

“They hit 21 threes, and Marcus Smart, Al Horford, and Derrick White combined for 15,” Green said. “Those guys are good shooters, but they combined for what, 15 out of eight, Smart seven, eight, 15-23. Is my math right? Eight, seven, and eight. Eight, seven, and eight. Yea, that’s 23, right? 15-for-23 from those guys. Eh. We’ll be fine.”

To counterpoint, Horford went from hitting 33.6 percent of his regular-season three-point attempts to improving that mark to 46.3 percent in the playoffs. White was shooting 20.8 percent from deep before catching fire over the last three games, managing to hit 11 out of his previous 18 three-point attempts, good enough for a 61.1 percent clip over his last three outings. Smart is hitting threes at a 34.5 percent clip also.

“They stayed within striking distance, and they made shots late,” Green said. “We’ll be fine. We’ll figure out the ways we can stop them from getting those threes and take them away. I don’t think it was a rhythm thing. We pretty much dominated the game for the first 41, 42 minutes, so we’ll be fine.”

Regardless, the championship core of the Warriors and Coach Steve Kerr will have some time in between now and Game 2 to readjust and formulate a new game plan. The Warriors will look to tie the series up and retake home-court advantage with a win Game 2 win on Sunday before the series shifts to TD Garden in Boston.