On Day 15 of 2017 NBA Playoffs Roundup, the Celtics pull off a Game 1 comeback, the Jazz take Game 7 to advance and the Clippers are who we thought they were.
The first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs is officially over following Sunday’s action. While the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards kicked off the conference semifinal action in the morning game, the only Game 7 of the first round saw the Utah Jazz advance on the road.
For the Los Angeles Clippers, questions that have been swirling for months now come to the forefront.
As we advance deeper and deeper into the postseason, we’ll be taking a look at what stood out from each day of playoff action. On Day 15 of our NBA Playoffs Roundup, the Celtics’ Game 1 comeback, the Wizards’ continued bench woes, Derrick Favors‘ big Game 7 and the Clippers still Clippin’ take centerstage.
Basketball is a game of runs. But sometimes, as was the case in Game 1 Sunday afternoon, those runs can be as unpredictable and explosive as the Depends of a diarrhetic 80-year-old on a prune diet.
Early in the first quarter at the TD Garden, the Boston Celtics found themselves in a familiar position: getting outworked on the glass, missing makable shots and trailing an inferior team at home despite the support of a racous crowd. They were kicked in the teeth — literally.
The Wizards scored the first 16 points of Game 1, leading 20-3 at one point. Slowly but surely, the Celtics chipped away at the deficit, until their 36-point third quarter — outscoring Washington by 20 in the process — had built a 15-point cushion heading into the fourth.
Isaiah Thomas led the way with 33 points and nine assists. Al Horford finished one rebound shy of a triple-double (because of course he did) with 21 points, 10 assists and nine boards. Jae Crowder added 24 points on 6-of-8 shooting from deep, Avery Bradley chipped in 18 and Kelly Olynyk helped keep Boston in the game early, with 10 of his 12 points coming in the opening frame.
It was a total team effort, and one that included 48.7 percent shooting from three-point range. Will the Celtics make a franchise-record 19 three-pointers every game for the rest of the series? Probably not.
But after dropping those first two games to the Chicago Bulls in which their emotional leader had just learned of the tragic death of his sister, the Celtics have now won five straight games. The alleged “worst No. 1 seed in NBA history” is suddenly starting to look more like a No. 1 seed.