The Boston Celtics got off to a strong start, but it was not enough as the Brooklyn Nets turned it around in the second half for a Game 1 victory in front of a sell out crowd at Barclays Center.
It was not the start to the game that Brooklyn were looking for as Durant, Irving and Harden went 5 for 20 combined in the opening quarter and the Nets failed to score a three-pointer on nine attempts. Boston’s solid defensive efforts led to some important points in transition in the first half. Boston’s three point shooting was also very efficient in the first two quarters. Boston led by 12 early in the second quarter and held a six point lead at the half.
However, the game was flipped on its head quickly at the start of the second half. Brooklyn opened the third quarter on an 18-4 run that set the tone for the rest of the half. The star-studded trio of Durant, Irving and Harden scored 28 of Brooklyn’s 31 points in the third quarter. Those three ended up scoring 82 of the team’s 104 points in the game. Boston’s offense went cold in the second half, scoring just 40 points.
Kevin Durant finished with 32 points and 12 rebounds and Kyrie Irving tallied 29 points. James Harden added 21 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, making it 82 points for Brooklyn’s big three.
In the losing effort, Jayson Tatum scored 22 points for the Celtics but only managed to shoot 6 for 20. Robert Williams, returning from injury, was a bright spot. He was a great defensive presence with nine blocked shots. Marcus Smart had 17 points as well.
It was certainly a sluggish start for Brooklyn, but once they woke up, there was no doubt as to who was going to win. The Nets are obviously big favorites in the series and took care of business as expected in Game 1. Game 2 will be crucial as the Nets look to take a commanding 2-0 series lead on Tuesday night at 7:30 pm.