Brooklyn Nets star guard James Harden liked the way his team fought in Game 1 against the Boston Celtics on Saturday night. The Nets, seeded at No. 2 in the Eastern Conference, trailed by six at halftime before storming back to win 104-93- "I liked the way we fought," said Harden, who had 21 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and four steals.
"It just shows every game isn't gonna be perfect." After the Celtics took a 32-20 lead with nine minutes to go in the second quarter, Nets head coach Steve Nash called a timeout. "I know that sounds weird, but we came out of that timeout a little bit more settled and were able to cut the lead to six [at halftime]," Nets star forward Kevin Durant said.
"We looked at the scoresheet and they made way more 3s than us, and we knew that our offense would start to come around."
Harden, Durant and Kyrie Irving all delivered
Durant scored a game-high 32 points, while Irving contributed with 29 points.
"[Kevin] came out and was extremely aggressive, [and] got to the free throw line [to] start that third quarter," said Irving. "So I think when one of our leaders on our team sets the precedent, sets the tone, then we follow suit.
He got it going. He started attacking the rim and then it started opening up the rest of the floor for us and we made timely shots." The superstar trio of Harden, Durant and Irving was playing its first playoff game together.
"There was a little bit of newness in many ways," Nash said. "We weren't sharp offensively, but we found a way." The Nets won the second half by 17 points. "In that first half, shots just didn't go in," Harden said.
"Maybe I'm speaking for myself, but the crowd kind of just threw me off a little bit. It was pretty loud in there. The vibe was what we've been missing, and it just threw me off a little bit. "That second half we got more comfortable and shots started to fall when we needed it to."
"We stuck with our defense," Durant said. "We didn't let that get in the way of what we wanted to do out there. We helped each other and boxed out well. We've got to keep that same effort going into Game 2."