Warriors Defeat Celtics 115-111 In Prime Time Thriller
The Warriors and Celtics met to do battle in prime time Saturday evening. This was a matchup that featured two of the league’s top teams. Many picked these squads to represent their respective conferences in the NBA finals. The Warriors are the first team since the 1975 Boston Celtics to feature a lineup comprised of five all-stars. The Celtics were led by perennial all-star Kyrie Irving, second-year stud Jayson Tatum, and twelve-year veteran Al Horford.
Boston received a boost from their rowdy home crowd that would have made Anthrax and Public Enemy proud with how they brought the noise. Both of these teams boasted win streaks which exceeded five games. Golden State entered this contest with nine straight wins, while the Celtics had six. One thing was for sure, the Celtics planned to do everything within their power to make earning a road win difficult for the Warriors. In the end, they did not succeed. The Warriors finished strong down the stretch and defeated the Celtics 115-111 in a prime time thriller.
Steph Curry Unleashes Second Quarter Three-Point Barrage
After only hitting one three-pointer in the first quarter, Stephen Curry began to heat up in the second. Although not his best shooting performance of the season (6-12 from three), he was able to hit four in a row which gave the Warriors a slight two-point lead going into halftime (61-59). This gave Curry 24 points on the evening. He now ranks 3rd all-time in three-pointers made. Klay Thompson trailed Curry by making 3 of his 3 pointers, racking up 21 points in the process.
Kevin Durant led the squad with 33 points. Although he only knocked down one 3-pointer, he was the benefactor of some efficient passing from the foul-prone DeMarcus Cousins (15 points, 3 assists and 8 rebounds). This put him in prime position to finish off a fast break with a thunderous dunk that silenced the TD Bank Arena. Cousins also embraced his inner Boogieman by spooking the Celtics into turning over the ball three times. Draymond Green did not manage to reach double figures (5pts, 8 assists, and 11 rebounds), but he made one of the most important plays of the game by securing a rebound from an intentionally missed free throw. By doing so, he was able to pass the ball to Steph Curry. Curry drew a foul which sent him to the line to make two clutch free throws that secured the win for the Warriors.
Was this a Moral Victory for The Celtics?
Let’s look at the positive takeaways from this game. The Celtics led the second and fourth quarter in points. Smart and Tatum both finished with double figures. Al Horford had a better night statistically than Cousins. Kyrie Irving delivered a spectacular performance by nearly finishing with a triple-double (32 pts, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds). With that said, there were a couple of costly errors committed by the Celtics which prevented them from being able to take down the defending NBA champions. Although this might have been a disappointing loss for the Celtics, they can’t allow themselves to dwell for too long. Awaiting them is a hungry Brooklyn team with a seven-game win streak. The Nets would love to add another W to their win column by catching them off guard while they are vulnerable.
Warriors Versus Pacers… Minus Victor Oladipo
Next up for the Warriors is to head to the Hoosier State to take on the Pacers. The Pacers recently suffered a huge loss with the season-ending injury of Victor Oladipo. This will keep him sidelined for the remainder of the season. To add insult to injury, the lowly Memphis Grizzlies just ended an eight-game losing streak by denying them a victory at the Fed Ex Forum. Will The Pacers be able to gather themselves and pull off the unthinkable by derailing the 10-game winning streak of the Warriors? Or will the momentum continue to ride in Golden State’s favor as they bring their onslaught to the Hoosier state? Tune in to find out!
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James Anderson via Flickr