Celtics set NBA playoff record for fewest first-quarter points during shot-clock era, 7

AP Photo/David Goldman
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The Celtics, in the first quarter of Game 2 against the Hawks tonight:

  • Players used: 10
  • Points: 7

No matter what Boston tried, it didn’t work.

The Celtics’ seven points were the fewest in the first quarter of a playoff game since the NBA instituted the shot clock in 1954. They tied for the fourth-lowest scoring quarter in the postseason during the shot-clock era:

Date Team Opponent QTR PTS
May 18, 1999 Portland Trail Blazers Utah Jazz 4th 5
May 16, 2007 New Jersey Nets Cleveland Cavaliers 4th 6
May 6, 1986 Atlanta Hawks Boston Celtics 3rd 6
April 19, 2009 Miami Heat Atlanta Hawks 4th 7
June 15, 2006 Dallas Mavericks Miami Heat 4th 7
April 23, 2001 Miami Heat Charlotte Hornets 3rd 7
May 3, 2000 Utah Jazz Seattle SuperSonics 2nd 7

Boston shot 3-for-23, split two free throws and committed five turnovers while falling behind 24-7.

The Celtics settled for too many bad shots early, a big mistake because teams can’t afford to waste possessions against the swarming Hawks defense. It’s hard enough to score on them when doing everything right. Even moving the ball a little better generated few good shots for Boston.

Of the seven teams to score so little in a playoff quarter, only the 2007 Nets won, beating the Cavaliers despite scoring just six fourth-quarter points. Could the Celtics become the second to survive such a putrid period? They did overcome a 19-point deficit deficit in Game 1.