Live Blog: Celtics vs. Warriors

Live Blog: Celtics vs. WarriorsFinal, Celtics 109-95: It was an ugly first 30 minutes or so for the Celtics but they dominated down the stretch to snap the little two-game slide and improve to 9-3.

Boston will have a day off before hosting Orlando on Friday night.

Some notable numbers from this one:

- The Warriors turned the ball over 21 times and have now allowed at least 100 points in 23 straight games.

- Boston shot 7-of-14 from 3-point range in the second half.

- Six Celtics scored in double figures, led by Paul Pierce with 19 points.

- Rajon Rondo had 18 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds.

- Boston is now 9-1 in games I blog, 0-2 in games I don't.

Check back soon for a Rondo feature and then again Friday for all the action courtside.

Fourth quarter, 2:12, Celtics 105-88: Paul Pierce hits a 3-pointer to push him past Isiah Thomas and into 48th on the NBA all-time scoring list with 18,824 points.

After that the Celtics emptied their bench. The Warriors would've done the same but they don't have one with just eight healthy players.

Fourth quarter, 3:50, Celtics 98-81: Give the Warriors a lot of credit for making it competitive but the Celts just have too much here down the stretch.

Ray Allen's three-point play makes it a game-high 17-point game.

Fourth quarter, 6:43, Celtics 91-76: Eddie House keeps firing away and this time gets a great look, hitting his third 3-pointer to open it back up to 15 points.

A few more stops and the Celtics will be on their way to improving to 9-3, but the Warriors can fill it up in a hurry so it's not time to pullback on the throttle.

Fourth quarter, 7:44, Celtics 86-76: I hate to sound like a broken record but the C's are hurting themselves by firing away from outside as if their lives depended on it.

That is now six 3-pointers in a span of less than three minutes and the Warriors are back within 10.

Fourth quarter, 8:52, Celtics 86-72: After making a pair from beyond the arc Boston continues to shoot early and often from the outside, but it has been a bit rushed the past few possessions.

The Celtics took two 3-pointers and a 23-footer just inside the line in a span of 38 seconds, missing all three. Fortunately, the Warriors have gone 0-of-4 of late and it remains a comfortable margin.

Fourth quarter, 10:30, Celtics 86-70: The 3-pointer has turned a dodgy affair into one which might yield an easier stretch run for the Celtics.

Eddie House made the first and seconds later Rasheed Wallace hit from long range to make it a game-high 16-point advantage.

End of third quarter, Celtics 80-67: Overall it was a 25-12 run to end the third quarter by the Celtics.

Rajon Rondo, who has had an eventful night, was the catalyst.

Rondo left the game early with what appeared to be a side injury, but had 12 points, four assists and three rebounds in the quarter. He did miss two more free throws, however, making it a 1-of-13 mark from the line over his last six games.

Rondo capped his quarter by making his first 3-pointer of the season.

The Celtics have all five starters in double figures.

Third quarter, 2:50, Celtics 70-61: Monta Ellis scored on a layup to snap a span of four minutes, 57 seconds without a basket for the Warriors.

He then assisted on another to chip into what was a game-high 13-point lead for the Celtics.

Paul Pierce just hit a 3-pointer to crawl within three points of matching Isiah Thomas for 48th on the all-time NBA scoring list. Once he passes Thomas, Pierce will set his sights on Chet Walker, currently in 47th with 18,831 career points.

Third quarter, 4:18, Celtics 67-55: Rajon Rondo has scored five straight points and finally hit a free throw, snapping his personal streak of misses at the line at 10, three short of the NBA record.

It is a 12-0 run overall for the Celtics. 

Third quarter, 4:56, Celtics 62-55: The Celtics are currently on the quietest 7-0 run you've ever seen.

Three free throws and well-spaced baskets by Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have accounted for the burst.

Golden State has not scored in nearly four minutes.

Third quarter, 5:57, Celtics 58-55: We've gone ice-cold at the Garden amid a woeful offensive stretch for both teams.

Since Paul Pierce hit a jumper at the 7:50 mark, seven straight shots have been missed.

Not known for his defensive prowess, Corey Maggette just blocked Ray Allen on the break to keep it a three-point game.

Third quarter, 7:57, Celtics 56-55: Monta Ellis, amid all the turmoil that has dogged the Warriors, has been the team's best player and is making his presence felt here in the third quarter.

Ellis has a pair of baskets and has proven tough to keep up with, even for the speedy Rajon Rondo.

Meanwhile, Boston is 9-of-17 from the line.

Third quarter, 10:35, Warriors 52-51: The Celtics come out a bit sloppy to start the second half and lose the lead when Monta Ellis leaks out for an easy two.

There have been several stretches tonight where the C's look like the lesser of the two teams athletically.

Halftime, Celtics 49-48: An otherwise lackluster first half was ended on a great note by Kevin Garnett, who just made a shot from three-quarter court at the buzzer.

The referees reviewed it and correctly waved it off, but the crowd had something to cheer about. Garnett did a 360-degree spin, jumped and threw the ball with one hand to get it off, drawing nothing but net.

While the shot was impressive, it was too late and the Celtics' lead is just one point. The Warriors are somehow controlling the glass and shooting 50 percent from the floor to keep this one close.

Corey Maggette leads all scorers with 14 points for Golden State. Kendrick Perkins has 12 to lead the hosts.

Back in a bit for the second half action.

Second quarter, 1:14, Celtics 49-45: The struggles for Rajon Rondo on the foul line are getting to be a bit absurd.

With a miss moments ago Rondo ran his streak of missed free throws to 10, dating back to his last made free throw Nov. 4 against Philadelphia.

Second quarter, 1:31, Celtics 49-45: Paul Pierce is showing no ill effects from the minor knee sprain that robbed him of practice time.

With Corey Maggette marking him he will get plenty more opportunities to get to the hole, as he has a few times this quarter.

I turned to a colleague before the game and said this might be a career night for Kendrick Perkins, facing a host of undersized players.

Perkins' career high in scoring is 26 points. He is at 12 with 91 seconds left in the half.

 Second quarter, 5:56, Celtics 41-39: Rookie Stephen Curry is showing flashes of what made him a dominant scorer in college.

Curry has all seven of his points this quarter on a 3-pointer, a reverse layup and a high-arching jumper.

Golden State already has nine turnovers but is shooting 17-of-34 from the floor and is out-rebounding the Celtics 16-10.

Second quarter, 8:52, Celtics 34-33: After Raja Bell buried a 3-pointer to give the Warriors an unlikely lead, Marquis Daniels put the Celtics back on top with a great play underneath.

Daniels rebounded a Rasheed Wallace miss and tossed in a reverse layup. In just five minutes Daniels has four points, two rebounds and a steal, great production off the bench.

Second quarter, 9:57, Celtics 32-30: Rajon Rondo has returned and the Celtics are showcasing an interesting lineup.

In addition to Rondo we have J.R. Giddens, Marquis Daniels, Rasheed Wallace, Shelden Williams and the little-used J.R. Giddens.

End of first quarter, Celtics 27-23: Both teams cooled off a bit at the tail end of the first quarter, but a 3-poiunter from the corner by Eddie House has given Boston a bit of a cushion.

The Rajon Rondo watch continues. He remains on the Celtics' sideline and we'll see if and when Doc Rivers goes back to him.

On another injury note, the Warriors do have Raja Bell available tonight. Bell had been sidelined with a wrist injury that will require major surgery, but apparently he will be able to play until the procedure without further hurting it.

First quarter, 1:35, Celtics 22-21: Rajon Rondo still has not returned for Boston and he was just speaking with Celtics trainer Ed Lacerte.

It appeared as if Lacerte had eye drops in his hands, and Rondo also has been moving his upper body a bit to test things. Still unsure what the issue is.

First quarter, 3:37, Celtics 20-19: Doc Rivers said before the game that the Warriors' small lineup could cause some problems.

Much of that is by necessity, but it appears as if Rivers' concerns were legit.

Golden State has managed to use some quickness to get to the hole a few times and Boston's four turnovers aren't helping.

First quarter, 5:54, Celtics 17-13: This has all the makings of a shootout, as exhibited by the teams' combined 13-of-18 mark from the field.

With the way Golden State can fill it up, but given the fact that they simply don't have the bodies to match Boston tonight on the defensive end, expect more of the same throughout.

I'm calling a 124-109 final.

Rajon Rondo was replaced very early by Eddie House, but he remains on the Celtics bench and doesn't appear to have hurt anything. I'll keep an eye on that.

First quarter, 8:55, Celtics 10-5: It took Mikki Moore two minutes and 12 seconds to pick up two fouls as he struggled to guard Kendrick Perkins.

This is not the game Don Nelson wants to see his team gettng into foul trouble. Anthony Randolph quickly popped off the bench to replace Moore.

First quarter, 10:24, Celtics 6-2: Just a quick correction as we get underway. Corey Maggette started for the Warriors instead of Anthony Morrow.

On the Celtics' first possession they found Kendrick Perkins, who drew a quick foul on Mikki Moore. Moore then drew the ire of several fans, who remember Moore's unspectacular stint with Boston last season.

7:32 p.m.: With warm-ups underway we are now certain the Warriors will only dress seven players for this one, just as they did in a loss to Cleveland on Tuesday.

In addition to the starting five previously mentioned, Corey Maggette and Anthony Randolph are available to coach Don Nelson.

Before any fans get too cocky about the mismatch, remember that the Celtics played against just eight health New Jersey Nets a couple of weeks ago and were in a tight one until pulling away late.

6:56 p.m.: Greetings from the Garden, where we are just about set to get underway.

Caught the tail end of coach Doc Rivers' meeting with the media. He said Paul Pierce is playing tonight, to no surprise.

Pierce had missed some practice time with a mild knee sprain suffered Friday against Atlanta. Rivers said he has had second thoughts on playing Pierce the next night in Indiana.

Pierce scored 15 points in 34-plus minutes in the loss to the Pacers.

As for the current state of his team, Rivers indicated it is a work in progress.

"I don't think we're a 48-minute team yet," Rivers said, adding that the Celtics have become too comfortable with leads. "We've got to get to the point where we can finish things."

Rivers chipped in a few nuggets on the Warriors, who lead the league in scoring at 111.2 points per game, despite numerous issues.

"They have a lot of offensive players," Rivers said. "They've had a lot of distractions, injuries and turmoil, but they keep scoring. They work at it."

The Celtics will send out the usual starting five. The banged up Warriors start Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry at guard, Vladimir Radmanovic and Anthony Morrow at forward, and ex-Celtic Mikki Moore underneath.

11:49 a.m.: The Celtics will try to snap their first losing streak of the season, a two-game slide, when they host Golden State at the TD Garden. We'll be courtside for this one so follow all the action right here.

It has been a full week since Boston got its last win, a 105-86 rout of Utah at home, and the two losses since then were a bit troubling. In an 11-point loss to Atlanta at the Garden, the Celtics were outrebounded 47-29, turned the ball over 15 times and made only one of 15 attempts from 3-point range.

The next night, Indiana shot 53 percent from the floor and dominated the second half in a 113-104 win that represented Boston's worst defensive effort this season.

During their current 2-3 stretch, the Celtics have allowed an average of 96.4 points. In their 6-0 start opponents scored just 81.5 per game.

Paul Pierce, who has been hampered by a knee injury, will play.

Perhaps the Warriors, mired in turmoil and with just a handful of healthy players, will provide some relief for the suddenly struggling C's. Golden State is coming off a 114-108 loss in Cleveland on Tuesday night in which just seven players were available. 

Since trading star swingman Stephen Jackson to Charlotte on Monday, the Warriors have lost forward Kelenna Azubuike for the season and guard C.J. Watson to swine flu. Guard Raja Bell, acquired in the Jackson trade, will likely miss the rest of the season because of wrist surgery, and several other players remained sidelined with a litany of injuries.

Additionally, rumors have surfaced that Monta Ellis, the team's leader in scoring and assists, remains unhappy with the club and might be traded as well.

It will be interesting if the Warriors, wrapping up a five-game road trip, can keep it close against the rested Celtics.

Yardbarker

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