Stephen Curry hands Celtics seventh straight loss with late jump shot
|01.11.14 at 1:06 am ET|
Stephen Curry buried a 23-foot jumper with 2.1 seconds remaining to break a tie game and secure a 99-97 win for the Warriors over the Celtics, as Boston suffered its seventh straight loss.
Andre Iguodala paced the Warriors with 22 points, and dynamic guards Curry and Klay Thompson added 19 and 17 points, respectively.
Jeff Green led the way for Boston with 24 points, and the Celtics got massive double-doubles from Jared Sullinger (21 points, 11 rebounds) and Kris Humphries (16 points, 14 rebounds).
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE CELTICS
Igoudala: It seemingly happens all the time: Commit all your defensive effort on the top scorer(s), only to have a complementary player step up and torch you. In the case of the Celtics Friday night, the team focused its game plan around curtailing the production of Curry and Thompson. But the added attention to the spectacular guard duo allowed Iguodala to step up for a huge game. Iguodala posted a team-high 22 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals. It was his first game with at least 20 points since Nov. 6, and he reached double figures for only the third time in his last 14 games.
Guard woes: The main concern for Boston’s guards Friday was how they would perform on the defensive end, guarding arguably the NBA’s most lethal guard combination. Avery Bradley and Jordan Crawford passed that test, containing both Curry and Thompson (who combined to shoot 12-35). However, they failed when it came to the offensive side of the ball in a big way. Not only did they not contribute much in the scoring column (17 combined points), they hurt their team with poor shooting (6-for-24 from the field).
Bench reversal: Boston owed a strong performance from its bench for its two-point advantage at halftime. The Celtics’ bench outscored their own starting unit 26-23, and the Warriors’ reserves 26-6. But in the second half, the switch was flipped on the C’s as Marreese Speights led a second-half push from the bench that helped propel Golden State over Boston. Speights tallied 11 second-half points to lead a bench unit that outscored Boston 15-5 in the final two quarters.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE CELTICS
Green start: The aggressive version of Green, the version that appears only occasionally and the one that so many Boston fans beg to see more of, showed up in the first quarter and decided to stick around for the rest of the game. Green poured in a quick 11 points in the first quarter on 5-of-6 shooting. His 11 points were highlighted by a pair of examples of his jaw-dropping athleticism: the first, a vicious reverse one-handed dunk; and then a seemingly impossible reverse lay-up shortly after. Green exceeded his first quarter point total in the final three frames and finished with 24. He also tied the score at 97 in the fourth quarter with 11.6 seconds left on a layup.
Sully: In the Celtics’ last game versus the Clippers, the benching of Sullinger did not elicit a breakout game from the forward. Instead, Sullinger tallied just two points, and his only highlight was his league-leading fifth flagrant foul. However, a second straight game coming off the bench seemed to do the trick. Sullinger, after experiencing an incredibly rough stretch of play, lit up the Warriors for 21 points and 11 rebounds. Sullinger also broke his streak of missing 13 consecutive 3-pointers. His previous eight games were marred by poor play (28.9 percent shooting) and questionable behavior (ejection versus Nuggets); Friday marked a reversal.
Humphries: The experienced forward played his second straight productive game with the starting lineup, notching a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds and erupting for 10 points in the fourth quarter. Humphries added three blocks and two assists.
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