Advertisement

Golden State Warriors' 54 game home streak ends in loss to Boston Celtics

By
Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The streak continued Friday night. No, not the Golden State Warriors' incredible run of home wins.

That was stopped at 54 when the Boston Celtics out-finished Golden State for a 109-106 victory.

Advertisement

The stunning outcome was a direct result of Boston guard Isaiah Thomas' 22 points, the franchise-record 15th consecutive time he's led the Celtics in scoring.

Incredibly, all 22 of the points came in the second half, including a driving layup to pad a one-point lead with 8.3 seconds remaining.

RELATED Golden State Warriors fool Festus Ezeli with fake roster cut

"To be up at halftime with Isaiah 0-for-7 felt really good," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "You knew he was going to get some to go down."

He did, including the key layup less than two seconds after Harrison Barnes had given Golden State life with a 3-pointer that trimmed Boston's lead to 107-106.

With the Warriors attempting to deny all possible inbounds passes, Thomas snuck behind the defense for a layup that put Golden State in desperation mode once again.

RELATED Report: Kobe Bryant turns down basketball offer from top European club

"That was one of the funnest games I've been a part of just because every time they hit us with something, we hit them right back," Thomas gushed. "Usually teams don't do that."

Advertisement

The Warriors still had two opportunities to tie, but Stephen Curry misfired from 28 feet and, after an offensive rebound, Barnes wasn't close on a fall-away 24-footer, allowing Boston to snap a five-game losing streak against the Warriors.

The home loss was Golden State's first since Jan. 27, 2015, and first after 36 straight wins this season.

RELATED Lakers' D'Angelo Russell is feeling heat from all directions

"It's definitely different," Warriors power forward Draymond Green sized up of the atmosphere in the locker room. "There have been quite a few games like that this year and we still found a way. It finally caught up to us."

The Warriors (68-8) retained a 4 1/2-game lead over the San Antonio Spurs in the race for top seeding in the Western Conference playoffs. Golden State had won five in a row.

The Celtics (44-32), meanwhile, gained ground on Atlanta (45-32) and kept pace with Miami (44-31) and Charlotte (44-31) in a tightly bunched battle for the No. 3 spot in the East.

RELATED Golden State Warriors set franchise wins record in OT victory over Jazz

They did so by getting balanced scoring and forcing 22 Golden State turnovers, which the Celtics turned into 27 points.

Curry had nine of Golden State's 22 turnovers.

Advertisement

"The strength of our defense is the pressure we can put on at the guard position," Stevens noted. "They (the Warriors) didn't play their best, but our guys had something to do with that.

"Guys had to play really well, and we didn't have anyone play poorly. That's what it takes to beat a team like this."

Boston, which had taken the Warriors to two overtimes before losing at home on Dec. 11, improved to 2-2 on their five-game Western swing. The Celtics were coming off a 116-109 loss at Portland on Thursday night.

Evan Turner backed Thomas with 21 points, and Jared Sullinger recorded a 20-point, 12-rebound double-double for the Celtics, whose win was its 200th all-time against the Warriors.

Boston both outshot (47.1 percent to 45.8) and outrebounded (44-41) the defending champs.

Curry had a game-high 29 points for Golden State, hitting eight 3-pointers along the way. Twenty-one of his points game in the third quarter, the ninth time this season he's had 20 or more in a period.

"We gave ourselves a chance to win, but the Celtics made their shots in the fourth quarter," Curry noted. "It's a weird feeling, but we've got to be able to move on from it, and during the playoffs, we don't want this feeling to come."

Advertisement

Green had 16 points to go with team-highs in rebounds (nine), assists (seven) and steals (six), but Klay Thompson was limited to 15 points on 6-for-16 shooting.

The Warriors trailed 103-96 before Thompson hit a 3-pointer, Curry converted a drive and Shaun Livingston dropped in two free throws in a 7-2 run that got Golden State within two with 46.9 seconds to go.

Green then stole the ball from Boston's Amir Johnson, but after a timeout, Green gave it back to Johnson with 23.7 seconds left, handing the Celtics an opportunity to run out the clock.

Turner made it a four-point game, 107-103, with two free throws with 18.1 seconds left, setting up Barnes' 3-pointer, Thomas' layup and Golden State's two last-second failures.

The Celtics led by 10 on two occasions in the final period, the last time at 95-85 after a jumper by Turner with 7:52 remaining.

NOTES: The last team to beat the Warriors at home was the Chicago Bulls, 113-111 in overtime on Jan. 27, 2015. ... Warriors C Andrew Bogut left the game for good in the third quarter with bruised ribs. X-rays taken at the arena were negative. ... The Celtics were without starting SF Jae Crowder, who was rested after having played 34 minutes in Thursday's loss at Portland. Before returning Thursday, Crowder had sat out the previous eight games with a sprained ankle. ... Boston's Brad Stevens, a candidate for Coach of the Year, disclosed his personal favorites for the award before the game, insisting: "That's a two-horse race between however they want to divide it between Luke (Walton) and Steve (Kerr) and then Pop (San Antonio's Gregg Popovich), and that's it. I mean, those two teams have had historic runs and nobody else should even be in the mix for that."

Advertisement

Latest Headlines