BOSTON – The Celtics gave the NBA’s best team all it could handle Sunday night, but it wasn’t enough.
Stephen Curry scored a game-high 37 points and Klay Thompson chipped in with 20 for the Golden State Warriors, who escaped with a hard-fought 106-101 win over the Celtics at the TD Garden.
Isaiah Thomas had a team-high 20 points off the bench for the hosts, while Brandon Bass posted a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Thomas had a chance to tie the game with an open 3-point attempt with three seconds remaining, but the shot was off the mark.
Boston led by as many as 26 points in the second quarter thanks to a sensational 23-5 run midway through the first half. The Warriors trimmed that lead to 16 by halftime, but the Celtics still managed to explode for 65 first half points.
Those 65 points came via a balanced performance from Brad Stevens’ rotation. Thomas led the way with 15 points, but each of the nine Celtics that saw minutes scored three points or more during the game’s opening 24 minutes. The hosts also hit the offensive glass hard, leading to 16 second chance points.
The second half was a different story as the NBA’s best defense started to lock down on the defensive end. The Warriors limited the Celtics to just 30 percent from the floor in the second half on 15-of-50 shooting.
With Boston’s offense reeling, the Warriors slowly but surely trimmed down Boston’s 16-point second half edge, claiming the lead with 3:26 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Celtics fought back, regaining the lead on a clutch Marcus Smart 3-pointer with 1:45 remaining. Golden State closed out the game with a 8-2 run featuring key buckets from Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala to dash Boston’s upset hoops.
The loss snapped Boston’s three-game winning streak. Another stiff challenge awaits Tuesday night in Cleveland when the Celtics face off against LeBron James and the Cavaliers.