Saturday, January 11, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Warriors 99, C's 97
By Chris Forsberg
Rapid reaction after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics 99-97 on Friday night at Oracle Arena:
THE NITTY GRITTY
Jeff Green put together a nice outing (team-high 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting with 11 rebounds), Jared Sullinger had his best night in weeks (21 points, 11 rebounds) and Kris Humprhries was a beast on the glass (16 points, game-high 14 rebounds), but Steph Curry made a clutch jumper with 2.1 seconds remaining and Green fumbled the ball on the final play, leading to a desperation Gerald Wallace heave as the Warriors escaped with the win. Curry finished with 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting, while Andre Iguodala added a team-high 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting with seven assists, five rebounds, and three steals to pace the Warriors.
The Celtics were down 13 after an Iguodala dunk with 10:32 to play in the game, but made a late surge (riding Humphries to spark the initial part of the comeback). Green got going late and a strong drive produced a 5-foot jumper that tied the game at 97 with 11 seconds to go. The Warriors put the ball in Curry's hands and, when Humphries got switched on him, he drilled a long pull-up jumper for the deciding hoop. Boston got Green free on the final play, but he lost the ball while dribbling to his right and Wallace had to rush a final shot that was off the mark.
HUMPHRIES AND SULLINGER ON THE GLASS
The Warriors entered the game ranked first in the league in defensive rebound rate and third in total rebound rate. Boston, a team that ranked 24th in defensive rebounding and 17th overall in total rebound rate, went out and won the battle on the glass, 49-46. Sullinger had five offensive rebounds while being particularly active early, and both he and Humphries worked hard despite giving up size to Golden State's big front line.
The Celtics ran with a tight nine-man rotation. Keith Bogans, Vitor Faverani, Phil Pressey and the recently recalled MarShon Brooks were all healthy DNPs. ... Boston's frontcourt was exceptional, though it's hard to ignore that Brandon was a team-worst minus-14 overall. He was efficient offensively, going 4-for-5 from the floor with nine points, but had three rebounds and three turnovers. ... After carrying the offense against the Clippers, Boston's backcourt of Avery Bradley and Jordan Crawford combined to go 6-for-24 shooting for 17 points. ... The Celtics turned the ball over 17 times, while the typically fumble-happy Warriors gave it away just 11 times. ... Boston held Golden State to 41.3 percent shooting overall, including 30.8 percent beyond the 3-point arc.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics (13-26) have now lost seven in a row and 10 of their last 11 overall. They wrap up this daunting five-game road trip on the tail end of a back-to-back on Saturday night in Portland. Things don't get much easier as they come back home with a visit from another strong Western Conference foe in the Houston Rockets. The Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors and the rival Los Angeles Lakers also visit TD Garden next week as part of a three-game homestand.