Kevin Garnett leads the way for the C's with 24 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists, not too far off from a triple-double. Paul Pierce scores 23, and Rajon Rondo adds 19 with 15 assists. Four of the C's starting five comes up big.
The fifth is Kendrick Perkins, who left in the third quarter with a bruised knee. The C's are hoping he's OK, but right now that's still up in the air.
With or without Perk, the C's next take on the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night. Time to get a look at the Mile High squad post-Melodrama.
Fourth quarter, 2:46, Celtics 108-90: Now it's an 18-4 run. The fans are starting to file out of Oracle Arena.
The Warriors used to have Boston's number in this building, but no longer. The C's have this one in the bag.
Fourth quarter, 4:20, Celtics 104-88: Ray Allen gets a steal and takes it coast to coast all by himself. The C's are now on a 14-2 run, and they're up 16.
You never want to say the Warriors have run out of steam. They're the Warriors. But it sure looks like they've run out of steam.
Fourth quarter, 6:02, Celtics 100-86: Paul Pierce draws a foul, gets to the line and nails two. The C's are now on a 10-0 run, opening their lead from four to a game-high 14.
The C's might finally break their Oracle Arena curse. They haven't won here since 2004.
Fourth quarter, 7:46, Celtics 96-86: On cue, the Celtics crank out a 6-0 run, culminating in an emphatic slam by Paul Pierce. The captain is officially fired up.
Now the C's need to maintain their focus on defense. They can't get carried away just yet.
Fourth quarter, 8:47, Celtics 90-86: Here's an idea, Celtics. When the game's close in the fourth quarter, don't give Steph Curry a layup completely uncontested.
This one's too close for comfort. The C's are only up four, and there's still plenty of time left.
Fourth quarter, 9:41, Celtics 88-82: Kendrick Perkins has a bruised left knee, and he will not return in this game. The C's will look to win this one without him.
Hopefully the C's are keeping Perk out of this game for precautionary reasons — in a February game against the Warriors, there's no reason to take any big risks with the big fella. He's sitting on the bench and doesn't look to be in any terrible amount of pain, so that's encouraging.
End of third quarter, Celtics 88-78: Rajon Rondo just closed the third quarter by drilling a 3. He's now got 15 points and 12 assists.
The C's have the first double-digit lead of the night. They're in good shape now if they can put a few stops together down the stretch.
Third quarter, 2:39, Celtics 83-76: Rajon Rondo is now 7-of-10 from the field. He's got 14 points and 11 assists. Just another quietly efficient Rondo performance.
The C's point guard is becoming more confident with his mid-range jumper. He just buried one to push the Celtics' lead back to seven.
He can hit that shot now. But will he hit it in May, when the C's go deep in the playoffs?
Third quarter, 4:42, Celtics 79-76: All it takes is back-to-back 3s from Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry to make this a game again. Get nervous, C's fans.
It's never over when those two guys are hitting shots. Offensively, the Warriors might have the best backcourt in the NBA.
Third quarter, 6:11, Celtics 79-71: Kevin Garnett now has 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting. He's just lights out. And these aren't gimmes under the basket — he's knocking down some tough mid-range jumpers.
What's even more encouraging for the C's is the style of play leading to KG's buckets. Methodical offense, ball movement, smart shot selection. If the C's keep that up, they're in good shape.
Third quarter, 7:21, Celtics 73-68: The C's are doing just fine without Perkins on the floor. Kevin Garnett knocks down another jumper, and the C's lead opens to five.
Perk's injury isn't anything serious. He bumped into Stephen Curry earlier in the third quarter and hurt his knee, but it's the left knee, not the right. No injury history there.
Perk should be back soon.
Third quarter, 8:57, Celtics 69-66: And now it's Rajon Rondo getting nicked up, smacked in the face by Monta Ellis. He's holding his eye.
Looks like Rondo will stay in the game, though. He's a trooper.
Third quarter, 10:31, Celtics 66-62: The Celtics have an early lead in the third quarter, but Kendrick Perkins just limped off the floor. That really can't be good.
The C's intended to monitor Perk's minutes closely as he returned from the knee injury, but he's been thrust into a big role really quickly. Now, it appears he might be having some trouble handling that.
Updates to come on Perk. The C's are in serious trouble if he's not healthy.
Halftime, 60-60: The Celtics usually win with defense and teamwork. Not tonight. This is a case of the C's trying to beat the Warriors at their own game.
A 60-60 tie ballgame at the half probably wasn't what the C's had in mind. It means they're letting the Warriors control the tempo of the game, and that can't be a good thing.
Kevin Garnett leads the way for the C's with 16 points, five rebounds, two assists and a block; Rajon Rondo adds 12 points, and Ray Allen chips in 11. The Warriors get 15 in the half from David Lee and 13 from Dorell Wright.
But forget about individual stats — Boston's goal in the second half will be to slow the game down, get stops and execute their way on the offensive end.
Second quarter, 2:47, Warriors 53-52: This is a really, truly ugly game on both ends. So many rushed shots. Why can't the Celtics impose their own tempo and their own style on this game? Whatever happened to methodical ball movement?
The C's close the Golden State lead to one on a dunk by Kevin Garnett. But there's no reason they couldn't have slowed down, called a play, and then scored 10 or 15 seconds later.
Second quarter, 5:18, Warriors 48-45: Nine different Warriors have scored in this first half. They're really getting their bench guys involved now — Ekpe Udoh, Acie Law, Vladimir Radmanovic, Reggie Williams.
The Warriors have a 13-9 advantage in bench scoring. It's got to be worrisome for Doc Rivers that the Warriors are the deeper, more energetic team — they're the better-equipped team for a run-and-gun ballgame.
Second quarter, 6:35, Warriors 46-45: This been a brutally physical game for Kendrick Perkins, but the big guy keeps chugging along.
Perk has been pushed around and gotten his shots blocked by David Lee, Andris Biedrins and the rookie Ekpe Udoh. But he's kept his composure for the most part, and he keeps working hard down low. He's got a game-high seven rebounds to show for his efforts.
The Celtics are really, really good when Perk does his job.
Second quarter, 8:45, 37-37: Delonte West just put in a solid five minutes of work, but he doesn't yet have the stats to show for it. Nothing but one assist, one turnover and one missed jumper.
The approach is the same for both Delonte and Semih Erden — ease back in slowly, don't try to do too much. The Celtics have enough heroes already — they just need modest, reliable role players on that bench.
Second quarter, 9:35, Celtics 37-34: Semih Erden just made a beautiful entry pass to Glen Davis, who got a quick bucket and a foul.
We're starting to see the chemistry return to this second unit. When those two guys are making plays together, it's beautiful to watch.
End of first quarter, Celtics 31-30: Which game's got more defense — this one, or the All-Star Game?
The Warriors are trying to get out and run, and the Celtics aren't doing anything to stop them. Fast-break points are cheaper than dirt right now. Despite dominating on the glass and putting up godly shooting numbers, the Celtics lead by one single solitary point.
Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett have 10 points each, but the Warriors counter with 11 from Dorell Wright and 10 from David Lee.
Neither team has put together a solid string of defensive possessions so far.
First quarter, 2:40, Celtics 27-21: Ten points for KG now, and 10 for Rondo. The two are a combined 10-for-12 from the field.
Let's see if they can hold this lead once their shooting falls off. KG has been knocking down long twos with ease, but that might not last. Now's no time for the C's to get cocky.
First quarter, 4:42, Celtics 23-14: Kevin Garnett just knocked down yet another jumper over the outstretched arms of Andris Biedrins. He's off to a great start — six points, four boards, two assists.
The Celtics have a big advantage on the glass, 10-5, and they're outshooting the Warriors, 68.8 percent to 38.9. It's a miracle they're only up nine.
First quarter, 6:52, Celtics 15-8: The Celtics aren't about to stop running anytime soon. Rajon Rondo keeps on chugging along. He's got six points and two assists early.
This could be a big, big night for Rondo. He's quickly figured something out — the Warriors are very beatable if you force Steph Curry and Monta Ellis to play some defense.
First quarter, 7:50, Celtics 11-6: How long do the Celtics plan to keep winning a track meet?
Every stop leads to a quick outlet pass, a fast break and a quick shot. For the Warriors, that style makes sense — they've got the young, athletic bodies to run and gun. But for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce?
The C's have a nice lead early, but they need to play their style. The Warriors might have them right where they want them later.
First quarter, 9:36, Celtics 6-2: It's still February, but that was a playoff foul from Kendrick Perkins against David Lee. Perk just decked the Warriors' big man.
He looks a little peeved at the double technical call. All Perkins did was foul the guy — Lee came back and bumped him unnecessarily after the whistle.
First quarter, 11:17, Celtics 2-0: After each side gets a stop to start the ballgame, Rajon Rondo puts the Celtics on the board with a mid-range jumper in transition.
It's not every day you see the little man pull up and shoot like that.
Maybe that'll be a trend in the second half — the C's should look to establish Rondo more as a shooting threat. They're off to a good start in that regard.
9:45 p.m.: It's now official — Delonte West is a go for Tuesday night against the Warriors, as is Semih Erden. Both guys will come off the bench for C's coach Doc Rivers.
It'll be interesting to see how the minutes shake out for the three guards in Doc's bench rotation. West will surely see plenty of time assuming he's 100 percent, but Von Wafer has played really well lately, and Nate Robinson still deserves a few minutes. Doc has a challenge on his hands, juggling the three guys.
As for Semih, his return is huge and will have an immediate impact. This team needs healthy bigs.
2:45 p.m.: The Celtics' bench has been pretty thin over the last couple weeks, but it's about to thicken up considerably. Delonte West and Semih Erden are both likely to return Tuesday night, as the C's open their second half on the road against the Warriors.
West broke his right wrist in a Nov. 24 game against the Nets at the TD Garden; Erden has been out since Feb. 6 with a cocktail of minor injuries, most notably an adductor strain. But both were able to practice with the Celtics on Monday night in Oakland, so both should be good to go on Tuesday night.
Add those two to a bench that's gotten solid minutes lately from Glen Davis and Von Wafer, and the C's are suddenly in pretty decent shape.
Still waiting on those O'Neals, though.
8 a.m.: On Tuesday night, the Celtics will open their second half with a four-game road trip out on the West Coast. That sounds tough, until you consider that most of the C's are already there.
Four Celtics — Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett — were in Los Angeles on Sunday night to compete in the NBA All-Star Game. A few others — most notably Shaquille O'Neal, Glen Davis and Kendrick Perkins — were at the Staples Center as well, enjoying the festivities. The C's have already enjoyed life out west over the last few days. But now, it's back to work.
From L.A., the Celtics fly north to Oakland, where they open up a four-game road trip against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. From there it's on to Denver, then Los Angeles, then Utah before the C's finally return home a week from Tuesday.
They've already proven they can win on these road trips. They won three out of four out west last month, including an impressive victory over the Lakers. Overall this season, the Celtics are 15-9 on the road and 11-7 against Western Conference foes. Not too shabby.
The C's are about to get even stronger. Delonte West is on the mend from his broken wrist, and he should return Tuesday. A pair of backup centers, Shaquille O'Neal and Semih Erden, probably won't be far behind.
The Celtics are two months away from the playoffs, and they're working to get better every day. The work resumes Tuesday.
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