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2024 NBA Playoffs Day 40 Recap: Boston draws first blood in NBA Finals

2024 NBA Playoffs Day 40 Recap: Boston draws first blood in NBA Finals

After over more than a week of waiting, the pinnacle of the NBA is finally here. And in the first game, a familiar dominant team set the record straight and set the tone that could potentially dictate the series’ pace.

The Boston Celtics were their usual dominant selves despite having more than a week off to dismantle the visiting Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the 2024 NBA Finals on Day 40 of the 2024 NBA Playoffs on Thursday night.

The Celtics had an avalanche of a first quarter, pouring it on from three to lead by 17 right from the get-go. The lead swelled at its biggest to 29 in the 2nd – with the Celtics dominating in Kristaps Porzingis’ first game back since the first round – before settling down to 21 at halftime.

The Mavericks threatened to close the gap in the third quarter when Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving made a run of their own, cutting the lead down to just 8 points. However, the Celtics struck again and never looked back until the final buzzer sounded.

Some takeaways from this game include:

  • Boston taking away Dallas’ biggest weapons from the first three rounds: lob plays and three-point corner shooting. It was basically nonexistent in this game and credit to the Celtics’ defensive gameplan for taking it away
  • Celtics putting on their bigger wings (Tatum and Brown) on the Mavericks’ screening bigs to force a switch onto Doncic. The Celtics usually switch at a high rate and it gave the Mavs some problems in the pick-and-roll as Doncic was not able to exploit slower players
  • Kyrie Irving with a rare bad shooting night after being spectacular in the playoffs thus far; would likely bounce back big time in Game 2
  • One of the best three-point shooting teams in the league, the Celtics lived and died by the three and they were greatly rewarded for it, going 16-42 shooting (38 percent)

Game 2 of the 2024 NBA Finals continues on Sunday night still at the Boston Garden in Boston, MA.

Check out our recap here:

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