A slow start
The first quarter was unkind to the Celtics, and that’s putting it mildly. With 2:38 remaining in the opening period, Boston only had eight points on 4-for-17 shooting. That’s 23.5 percent. The Warriors’ defense deserved a lot of credit for this, as they collectively did a great job of getting out to shooters and forcing turnovers in the early going. The Celtics didn’t do themselves any favors, though — they missed a lot of point-blank looks inside and didn’t move the ball enough at times (three assists in the first). Ultimately, they played right into the hands of the Warriors.
Granted, Jayson Tatum helped Boston stop the bleeding a bit with a six-point flurry late in the quarter. But the C’s scored just 16 points over the first 12 minutes, a stretch during which Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart combined to shoot 2-for-11 from the field.
Three-point woes for both sides
Overall, Boston has shot the three-ball well in these playoffs, 37.4% heading into tonight (the fifth-highest percentage of any team in the postseason). Although, for much of the first half, the Celtics couldn’t hit water falling out of a boat. They missed their first 12 long balls. It wasn’t until late in the second that Jayson Tatum ended the drought with a trey, followed by threes from Al Horford and Smart.
Having converted just three of 15 three-point tries at halftime, expect Boston to shoot the ball better over the last two frames. But expect the same from the Warriors, who fared even worse from three (3-for-16). Stephen Curry hasn’t made a single three yet in this game. That will almost certainly change, as he’s the best shooter ever to touch a basketball.