Is it just me, or do Sunday NBA matinee's rarely disappoint? The Dubs defense missed the first act of Sunday's show, but eventually took center stage in the second half to help complete the biggest comeback victory in the Steve Kerr era.
After giving up 38 points in the first quarter, the Warriors uncharacteristically continued to allow easy fast break buckets throughout the first half as the Celtics tallied 17 fast break points before the Dubs could record two of their own. Isaiah Thomas ended the first quarter with a smooth crossover on Klay Thompson at the top of the key that created enough space to nail a 3-pointer that pushed the Boston lead to 13. With 6:45 left in the second quarter, Jonas Jerekbo all but put the nail in the Warriors' coffin with a three-pointer that extended the Celtics lead to 26, which equaled the Warriors' largest deficit of the entire season.
To offer my honest and slightly biased opinion, there might not be any lead that is insurmountable for the 2015 Golden State Warriors. This team possesses all of the necessary skills that can threaten any lead by an opposing team. Like Warriors squads of past, this team clearly has the firepower to reel off 10 to 15 points in a matter of minutes, but that is not the only way that they can get back into games.
That's right people: this Warriors squad gets it all started on the defensive end, and my god is it a thing of beauty.
The Dubs quickly began to chip away in the second quarter, cutting the 26 point deficit to 16 at the half. The Warriors came out of the locker room in the second half with newfound energy, as the Dubs began to secure the loose balls and defensive rebounds that all seemed to go the Celtics way in the first half. But then one play by Steph Curry took the air out of the TD Garden and completely shifted the momentum into the Warriors favor for the remainder of the game.
With 8:45 left in the third quarter, Curry jumped the passing lane for an easy steal that began a two on two fast break. Evan Turner retreated back to the free throw line to stop the break, but Curry, who had only one shot in mind, slowed down to hit a wide open 3-pointer to bring the Warriors within nine. As stated after the game, Steph noted this play "as the moment we had the most life all night", and added that the team "capitalized on it for the rest of the game."
Check out Curry's full highlights here:
Even though the Warriors were down nine, there was a collective look in the players' eyes that resembled the very same look that LeBron James had just a couple of nights earlier when he single handedly torched the Warriors for 42. The Dubs maintained a champion like demeanor that never fizzled out no matter what the score.
Curry carried the load offensively throughout the game with 37 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds, but it was contributions from up and down the Warriors bench in the fourth quarter that sealed the win. Scrappy play by Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston helped the Warriors go on a 9-2 run late in the fourth quarter to give the Dubs their first lead since early in the first quarter. Both Harrison Barnes and Iguodala had clutch layups in the final two minutes of the game that sealed the win for the Dubs.
The Celtics played incredibly well throughout the game, as guards Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart hounded Steph Curry and Klay Thompson throughout the game. Boston crushed the Warriors on the offensive glass early on in the game, which helped the Celtics control the tempo by limiting Golden State's transition offense. Jae Crowder recorded a career high 17 rebounds, and Brandon Bass also posted a season high in rebounds with 12 to go a long with 15 points.
The Warriors improve to 46-11 on the season and wrap up their longest road trip of the year tomorrow night in Brooklyn as they will play their second game in as many nights.