2022 NBA Finals: Warriors vs. Celtics

24 thoughts on Game 1 of 2022 NBA Finals

Instant observations and real-time tweets from Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals as it happened in San Francisco on Thursday night.

Game recap: Celtics 120, Warriors 108 (Boston leads series, 1-0)

• Complete coverage: 2022 NBA Finals

After a two-year hiatus, the NBA Finals are back in the Bay Area as the Golden State Warriors host the Boston Celtics in Game 1. Can the Warriors win their fourth title in eight years (and seventh in franchise history)? Or will the Boston Celtics win title No. 18 and break a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most in NBA history? The first step toward the title will be taken inside Chase Center, which hosts its first Finals game on Thursday night.

Here are 24 thoughts on Game 1 as it unfolded in the Bay.

24. Before the game even tips off a bit of history has been made as the ABC broadcast will feature the first all-Black TV announcing crew in NBA Finals history. Salute to Mark Jones, Mark Jackson and Lisa Salters. Have a great call!

23. One more before things get underway: we have to discuss the pre-game fits, including a statement blazer from Jayson Tatum.


Who is rockin’ your favorite Game 1 fit? #NBAFinals presented by YouTube TV #nba #celtics #warriors

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22. This is a battle of the top two defensive teams in the league this season, so we’ll be watching individual matchups, how often teams are switching, how they will handle pick-and-rolls. Lots of chess moves to be made.

As expected, the DPOY Marcus Smart starts the game defending Stephen Curry. Curry gets the first bucket of the game — a 3-pointer — off an offensive rebound from Kevon Looney (as the Chase Center crowd chants “LOOOOONNNN!”)

Speaking of Looney, the Celtics are hunting him on the perimeter. He just had back-to-back possessions guarding Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. So far, Looney is holding up.

21. Curry with three 3-pointers in the first 6:05 of the first quarter. His third gives the Warriors a 20-14 lead and forces a Boston timeout. Curry has 11 of Golden State’s first 20 points. Andrew Wiggins with six, Klay Thompson with three. Smart leads the Celtics with six points, with three apiece from Tatum and Al Horford and an alley oop dunk from Robert Williams III.

The timeout didn’t cool Curry off at all as he splashes his fourth triple in the first seven minutes.

Find someone that trusts you as much as Steph trusts that Klay is going to splash this 3-pointer.


The Splash Brothers connection is something else 😂🔥 #NBAFinals presented by YouTube TV #nba #basketball #sports

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20. Defense —> Offense

Brown is getting it done on both ends of the court to deliver a four-point swing for the Celtics. First he blocks Looney’s dunk attempt in transition, then comes back down the court for an uncontested dunk of his own.

The block …

… and the dunk.

19. Andre Iguodala checks in for first action since Game 4 of the first round. It’s always nice to have a former Finals MVP coming off the bench. Good to see that all players were available to open the series after both teams had a number of players battling injuries in the previous rounds.

18. Just when you think there aren’t any more 3-point records for Curry to break, he found another one as his sixth 3-pointer of the first quarter topped the previous mark of five for most 3-pointers in a quarter in Finals history. Curry did have two of the four games with five 3s, so he’s really just breaking his own records at this point.

Most three-point field goals made, one quarter, NBA Finals

  • 6: Stephen Curry, Golden State vs. Boston, June 2, 2022 (1st Quarter)
  • 5: Kenny Smith, Houston at Orlando, June 7, 1995 (3rd Quarter)
  • 5: Ray Allen, Boston at L.A. Lakers, June 6, 2010 (2nd Quarter)
  • 5: Stephen Curry, Golden State at Cleveland, June 9, 2015 (4th Quarter)
  • 5: Stephen Curry, Golden State vs. Cleveland, June 3, 2018 (4th Quarter)

A few records to watch the rest of the game:

  • Ray Allen has the most 3s in a Finals half with seven (that one seems like its going down tonight)
  • Curry has the most 3s in a Finals game with nine (that one may also be in serious danger)

17. The first quarter ends with Golden State leading 32-28 thanks to 21 points on 7-9 FG (6-8 3FG) shooting from Curry.

Boston only trailing by four with Steph going Human Torch is significant. They’ve absorbed a heck of a punch from him and the Warriors. Can they deliver one of their own in the second quarter? They’ll get a chance to do it with Steph starting the quarter on the bench. So far that’s the only thing that’s been able to stop him.

16. We got a Finals wedgie — shout out to The Starters (now the No Dunks) crew — on a block by Robert Williams III on Jordan Poole layup attempt.

15. Big response from the Celtics with a 10-0 run to tie the game at 47-47 with five minutes remaining in the half. Brown with six of the 10 points in the run as he leads the Celtics with 10 points total.

A pair of free throws from Brown with 2:32 left in the half gives Boston its first lead since the opening minutes of the first quarter.

Meanwhile, Curry has no points on 0-for-2 shooting so far in the second quarter and was just hit with back-to-back fouls in less than a minute. He goes to the bench with 54 seconds to play still sitting on 21 points.

14. At the half, the Celtics lead 56-54 after outscoring the Warriors 28-22 in the second quarter.

Curry still leads all scorers with 21 points, while Brown (12) and Smart (10) have combined for 22 for Boston. Tatum has eight points and seven assists for the Celtics, while Otto Porter Jr. has been a spark off the Warriors bench with nine points on a three 3-pointers.

Shout out to Kevin O’Connor for digging into the Second Spectrum data at the half. As discussed earlier, Boston was hunting that Looney switch from the opening tip and now we have the numbers to show for it.

13. We’ve got a milestone watch update for the Warriors at the break as the “Big Three” continue to climb the all-time playoff lists: Klay is now second in playoff 3s, Curry is 13th in playoff points and Green is ninth in Finals steals.

12. A quick start for the Warriors to open the 2nd half, as they get a 3 by Wiggins and a runner by Curry to take the lead back.

But then Marcus Smart decided to break out the old around-the-world move to put the Celtics on the board in the third.

After going scoreless in the second quarter, Curry has a quick five points in the third as he knocks down his seventh 3-pointer of the game. He’s up to 25 points while only scoring in odd numbered quarters. Smart responds by picking up Steph at half court, plays aggressive on-ball defense 40 feet from the basket. After a few swipes, a foul is called. Curry shoots the 3-pointer after the whistle and it splashes (don’t waste them when they don’t count, Steph).

11. Wiggins knocks down another 3-pointer for Golden State, and another coming off an offensive rebound by Looney. We saw a similar play for the first bucket of the game for Curry. The Warriors are outscoring the Celtics on second-chance points 19-5 (and have a 10-3 advantage on offensive boards) so far.

10. Curry is fully in his bag in Game 1. He shakes Jaylen Brown on the drive, then flings up the acrobatic runner in the lane that falls through as Steph crashes to the floor. He’s up to 28 points on the night and the Warriors are up by nine.

9. It’s been another big third quarter for the Warriors so far — a theme for this year’s postseason. Can the Celtics stop the bleeding?

8. “(Finals) MVP” chants for Curry at the free throw line with four minutes remaining in the third. He makes both to give him 30 points on the night and puts the Warriors back up by double-digits (77-66).

The Warriors push the lead to 15 points — their biggest of the game — on a pair of Wiggins free throws (he’s up to 20 points). Can the Celtics cut this to single digits heading into the fourth or will the Warriors put this one out of reach?

7. The third quarter ends with Golden State leading 92-80 after winning the third quarter 38-24. It is the fifth time this postseason that the Warriors have scored at least 35 points in the third quarter.

In the star matchup, Curry has a decisive edge over Tatum. Curry has 30 points on 10-19 shooting (7-13 3P) while Tatum can’t buy a bucket as he has just 12 points on 3-14 FG (1-5 3P).

6. Boston’s not done yet! The Celtics open the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to five points with 9:35 to play. Timeout Warriors.

Similar to the second quarter, Steph begins the fourth on the bench. How long will they sit him? Not long … he’s back in the game after the timeout.

The Warriors come out of the timeout and immediately turn the ball over, leading to a fast-break layup for the Celtics and making this a three-point game.

5. We just saw nine straight possessions (from 8:44 to 6:05 remaining) with a made bucket as the teams are trading shots back and forth. Can one of these elite defenses get a stop?

Derrick White ties the game at 103-103 with 5:40 left to play.

After a missed runner by Curry, Al Horford splashes a 3-pointer to give the Celtics a three-point lead. We’ve now seen a 15-point swing in the fourth quarter and there’s still 5:08 to play.

4. Jaylen Brown has 10 points in the fourth quarter, continuing a stretch of incredible play in the final period this postseason.

Brown entered the game as the leading fourth-quarter scorer of the playoffs with 120 points on 41-for-66 (62.1%) shooting from field and 18-for-27 (66.7%) from 3-point range. Those numbers are going up tonight.

3. Warriors called two timeouts during this massive fourth-quarter run by the Celtics and have turned the ball over on the possession after the timeout both times.

Meanwhile, some history has been made as there have been 36 combined 3-pointers (and counting) made in this game, the most ever in a Finals game.

2. Somehow the Celtics are up by eight points (111-103) with 3:17 to play and Jayson Tatum is still stuck on 12 points on 3-for-17 shooting. While Tatum is shooting 17.6%, the rest of the Celtics have combined to shoot 59.7% (37-for-62).

The tables keep turning as Marcus Smart sinks a 3-pointer after a Celtics offensive rebound to push the lead to 11 with under three minutes remaining.

Less than a minute later, Smart delivers the dagger 3 to put Boston up 117-103 with 1:43 to play. The Celtics have outscored the Warriors 37-11 in the fourth quarter!

Horford played 140 playoff games before he got his first appearance of the NBA Finals stage. Man has he made the most of it in his Finals debut.

1. What a fourth quarter by Boston. They survived the Steph haymaker in the first quarter. They survived the worst shooting night of Jayson Tatum’s playoff career and still got the win.

That’s a wrap as Boston takes Game 1 by the final score 120-108. The final tally from the 4th quarter is 40-16 for the Celtics.

Jay-Z’s “On to the Next One” plays as the Chase Center empties. The Warriors have 48 hours to figure out what happened in the fourth quarter and put together a full 48 minutes to make sure they get out of the Bay with a split.

This is the first home loss of the 2022 playoffs for the Warriors, as the Celtics improved to 8-2 on the road this postseason. Boston is just one road win shy of tying the record of nine road wins in a single postseason set by the 1994-95 Houston Rockets. Can they get it on Sunday in Game 2?