Celtics, Nets combine for most first quarter fouls of season in playoff opener

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Whistles come out at season-high pace for Celtics-Nets opener originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

If you thought that fouls were being called at an absurd rate in the first quarter of the Boston Celtics-Brooklyn Nets game on Sunday, you were on to something.

In fact, fouls were being called at a rate not seen over the course of 1,230 games in the 2021-22 regular season.

Per ESPN analyst Kirk Goldsberry, the staggering 18 fouls the Celtics and Nets combined for in the opening 12 minutes were the most in any game this season.

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Boston big man Daniel Theis was whistled for three fouls in the first half overall, by which point the teams had combined for 30 fouls (15 apiece). Brooklyn big Andre Drummond picked up four personal fouls over the first 24 minutes.

Now that the standard for what is and isn't a foul under referees Zach Zarba, James Williams and Rodney Mott has been set, it will be interesting to see if either team takes a different approach on the defensive side of the floor in the second half -- or, better yet, if the refs err more on letting the teams play at a more fluid pace.