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The Sports Daily > Red's Army
Recap: 3rd-quarter explosion carries Warriors past Celtics

If you were hoping for a repeat of last year’s epic double-overtime, you were sorely disappointed. The Golden State Warriors came into the Garden and demonstrated what happens when you add an all-world scorer to a 73-win team. Analysis: They become really, really hard to beat.

The Celtics fell to the Warriors, 104-88, after hanging tough through the first half, despite once again playing without Al Horford and Jae Crowder. But the Warriors blew open the game by dominating the third quarter, 31-9.

The Warriors were led by 28 points on 12-21 shooting from Klay Thompson (who missed last year’s game in Boston) and Kevin Durant’s 23 (10-13). The Celtics’ high scorer was Isaiah Thomas with 18, but his streak of scoring at least 20 points ended at 11 games. Avery Bradley added 17 points and again reached double-figure rebounds with 10.

Marcus Smart suffered a “left ankle contusion” in the third and sat out the rest of the night. He missed the first three games this season with a sprain of that same ankle, so keep your fingers crossed.

The Celtics began the game hot behind eight quick points from Marcus Smart. The Warriors countered with a 13-2 run behind Thompson and Durant. Then over the final 3:11 of the quarter, the Cs returned the favor with an 11-4 burst capped by a pair of Tyler Zeller 20-footers. At the buzzer, Golden State held a 29-27 lead.

The Warriors reestablished their lead early in the second quarter, as Durant hit two jumpers and fed Shaun Livingston for a slam. Still, the Celts stayed close thanks to balanced scoring and solid contributions off the bench from Terry Rozier, Jonas Jerebko and Gerald Green, who hit two straight triples. But over the last 2:50, Boston’s only scoring was four FTs from Isaiah, and the Warriors carried a 55-48 lead to intermission. IT led Boston with 12, while Thompson had 17 and Durant 15 for Golden State.

Everything began to unravel in the third quarter. Thompson and Draymond Green combined for all the Golden State points in a 13-3 burst that forced a Boston timeout. When play resumed, two straight Celtics turnovers led to a Durant dunk and a Steph Curry three. Another timeout, with the Warriors now up, 73-51. The onslaught continued as even Zaza Pachulia drained a 17-footer. A 16-0 run ended when IT made a free throw after Curry was T’d up. Steph (just 16 points on 7-20 shooting) had a tantrum after being called for a foul on Isaiah’s dribble. (Note: The Warriors were up 28 at the time.)

In that third quarter, the Warriors shot 13-23 and made five three-pointers. Meanwhile, the Cs were only 2-17 in the period, with one triple. Golden State had a 7-0 advantage in fast-break points and also won the boards, 15-9.

After trailing by as much as 30, Boston fought back in the fourth and got as close as 11, but the Warriors were never in jeopardy.

The Green:

In the first two minutes, Kelly Olynyk chased down Curry and prevented a layup, then cut off Durant’s drive to draw the charge.

The Gross:

Olynyk was scoreless on 0-5 shooting.

Irony alert: Jaylen Brown was hit with a technical foul for flailing his legs leg on a shot and hitting Iguodala in the man area. Under NBA rules this is now known as an “unnatural act” (???) but probably should be called the Draymond Rule.

Durant caught a pass in stride but took literally four steps before dribbling. There was no call and, of course, he hit the shot.

Early third quarter, Golden State got three offensive rebounds on one possession, and on their fourth shot Thompson hit a triple.

The Greenlights:

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The Grid:

  • FGs: Warriors 44-90 (48.9%), Celtics 31-83 (37.3%)
  • 3Pt. FGs: Warriors 9-28 (32.1%), Celtics 11-32 (34.4%)
  • Rebounds: Warriors 50, Celtics 43
  • Assists: Warriors 33, Celtics 19
  • Fast Break Points: Warriors 19, Celtics 8
  • Points in Paint: Warriors 44, Celtics 28
  • CSN put up a graphic to report that Durant had missed only one free throw in Boston in his entire career. His next time at the stripe, KD missed both.

Box Score