The Atlanta Hawks shocked a lot of people beating the Boston Celtics 83-74 on Sunday to win Game 1 of the series.
The Celtics were without Ray Allen for the game and got off to a very slow start while Atlanta looked fresh.
The Hawks were led by Josh Smith who scored 22 points to go with 18 rebounds and four assists and completely outplayed Kevin Garnett.
In the fourth quarter with frustrations high, Boston’s Rajon Rondo was ejected from the game after arguing a call and then bumping referee Marc Davis.
It is expected now that Rondo will be suspended for Game 2 and possible Game 3 because of the incident.
Rondo had 20 points and 11 assists in the game and surely the Celtics will have a much tougher time beating the Hawks in this series without him.
If the suspension is just one game and Rondo and Allen return for a Game 3 at home, the series shouldn’t be viewed as completely over but it will be tougher than most thought for the Celtics to advance to the second round.
The Los Angeles Clippers pulled off one of the most improbable comebacks in NBA history late Sunday night. The Clippers ended their Game 1 with the Memphis Grizzlies on a 28-3 run to stun a Memphis crowd and win 99-98.
Chris Paul had 14 points and 11 assists and scored the final two points of the game at the free throw line with 24 seconds left.
Nick Young made three consecutive three-pointers for the Clippers during the run and led the team with 19 points.
The Clippers came into the game with not a lot of playoff experience and it showed as the Grizzlies immediately jumped out to a big lead.
Memphis of course had the great run last year in the playoffs and were looking as good as any team thus far in the playoffs this year.
The Grizzlies may have had a little fool’s gold though with their percentage from beyond the arc making 11-of-16 threes before going cold in the final minutes of the game.
This series promised to be one of the best first round matchups and with the Clippers stealing Game 1 on the road it probably will live up to that.
The Oklahoma City Thunder will play Game 2 tonight against the Dallas Mavericks. It will be the second game in a TNT double-header with the Miami Heat and New York Knicks playing first. Orland and Indiana will also tip Game 2 tonight on NBA TV.
The Thunder looked great in the final quarter against Dallas coming back to win thanks to Kevin Durant’s game-winner but they will have to play with the same intensity they showed in the fourth quarter for 48 minutes to ensure another victory.
Miami blew out New York badly in Game 1 but all the Knicks have to do is steal Game 2 and they’ve done their job of getting homecourt. After the Clippers-Grizzlies game, a complete flip-flop of fortunes in the Miami-New York series doesn’t seem as farfetched.
Indiana – like Memphis – blew what should have been an easy Game 1, home win to Orlando. The Magic scored the final 11 points of Game 1 to win.
The Pacers showed a sizable inside advantage with no Dwight Howard and Roy Hibbert blocking nine shots in the game but he also only scored eight points. The Pacers will need to find more reliable offense to get by the Magic tonight.
Tags: Atlanta Hawks Boston Celtics Chris Paul Comeback Ejection Indiana Pacers Josh Smith Kevin Durant Los Angeles Clippers Memphis Grizzlies Miami Heat NBA Playoffs New York Knicks Nick Young Orlando Magic Rajon Rondo Ray Allen Round 1 Suspension