Fourth quarter, :05.1, Celtics 105-103: Garnett made some errors in the fourth quarter, but he also delivered big time in the clutch.
Pierce drew the defense on a pick-and-fade drive with Garnett, then kicked it back out to Garnett. KG's jumper swished through the net as the shot clock expired.
Fourth quarter, :30, game tied 103-103: The Celtics picked a poor time to miscommunicate on defense. Bass and Rondo got hung up on a screen and roll and nobody covered Robinson. That's not a good thing, especially for a player as hot as Robinson.
Robinson hit the tying layup to give him 20 points.
Fourth quarter, 1:01, Celtics 103-101: Whenever a different player than Bass feels like scoring, Doc Rivers will accept it. Bass scored six straight Celtics points to almost single-handedly hold off a furious Golden State flurry, led by Robinson. He left Rondo spinning by bursting around a screen for a layup to pull the Warriors within two points.
Fourth quarter, 2:15, Celtics 99-97: Rondo worked his way up to 13 assists, but if he really wanted to help the Celtics, he could start denying dribble penetration by Robinson. Simply put, Rondo can't guard Nate-Rob, and it's the single biggest reason the Celtics have not closed this game out already.
Rondo was so effective at shutting down Chris Paul's dribble drives on Monday, it's curious why he can't do the same in this game against Robinson.
Fourth quarter, 4:40, Celtics 95-94: Garnett alternated moments of saving the Celtics and burying them, and it appeared the moments of burying came more frequently. Three turnovers by KG turned into baskets by the Warriors, canceling out two jumpers and a nice tip-in of a Rondo oop pass by the Big Ticket. Brandon Rush and Robinson swept into the lane at will against the Celtics, whose defensive rotations were all screwed up against the Warriors' hectic offense.
Stiemsma exited the game in favor of starter Bass, but based on how the two played in this game, it might be wise to stick with Stiemsma. Bass struggled at both ends while Stiemsma played solid defense and only picked up three personal fouls.
Fourth quarter, 9:08, Celtics 89-85: The first tenant of the Oracle Arena (then known as the Oakland Coliseum) was the California Seals of the Western Hockey League. If someone didn't know better, they'd think the original ice was still on the floor.
The footing has been unsteady all game and it got worse in the fourth quarter. Pietrus lost his footing along the sideline late in the third, and several Warriors slipped and fell after driving the lane against the Celtics. The refs granted fouls, but it was fairly obvious the plays were just a result of a slippery surface.
End of third quarter, Celtics 81-77: The Pietrus shooting exhibition continued. After a defensive three-second violation gave the Warriors a free throw and the lead at 77-76, the Celtics scored the final five points of the third quarter. Pietrus hit the 3 — his fifth of the game — to give the Celtics a 79-77 lead.
The Warriors came up empty on their final possession of the quarter, and even though Pierce's jumper wouldn't fall, Stiemsma followed with a putback dunk to stretch the Celtics' advantage to four points headed into the final 12 minutes.
Third quarter, 2:44, game tied 74-74: Whatever Robinson has been practicing, the Warriors have to hope he keeps doing it. If Robinson were the slightest bit less reliable than he has been, the Celtics would have taken the lead.
Robinson scored back-to-back buckets to give Golden State the lead before the Celtics came back to tie it. He approached the final minutes of the third quarter with 14 points, eight assists and still had yet to commit a turnover.
Third quarter, 5:16, Warriors 74-72: At this rate, the over-under for points scored in this game is a billion. Don't bet against the over.
Both teams shot better than 50 percent from the field through 2 1/2 quarters as defensive stops were optional. The Celtics could not stop the Warriors' penetration or 3-point shooting, while the Warriors kept daring the Celtics to miss medium range jumpers.
Neither team really missed any, which is why the Celtics kept pulling within a basket but got no closer. The Warriors, meanwhile, were unable to pull away.
Third quarter, 8:53, Warriors 68-64: Pierce must have rehydrated at halftime or something, because he came out with much more energy to begin the third quarter.
Pierce scored five of the Celtics' first seven points in the quarter. Thompson continued his impressive run, though, drilling a 3 to increase his scoring total to 20 points.
Halftime, Warriors 60-55: It was clear which Celtics enjoyed playing the Warriors' up-tempo style. Those players are young, in good shape or love to shoot 3-pointers.
Rajon Rondo, Brandon Bass, Ray Allen and Mickael Pietrus topped that list, while Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett struggled. Even the Celtics' leading rebounder was 26-year-old Greg Stiemsma, with four boards.
Every opponent seems to use the same equation to beat the Celtics: put up a lot of shots and hit the boards. The difference in this game is that those things are already features of Golden State's game. Predictably, the Warriors pushed the tempo, leading to 83 combined field goal attempts, and dominated on the glass 23-14. They also held a 7-4 advantage on the offensive boards.
The Good: Golden State apparently knew what it was doing by dealing Monta Ellis. If the first half was any indication, Klay Thompson is better. Thompson led al scorers with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting. … Dorell Wright made the first half his own personal playland with 15 points, including going 2-for-3 from downtown. He added seven rebounds, tying David Lee for the game high. … Lee got a nice start on his double-double, notching 14 points with those seven rebounds. … Pietrus can carry a team when he's hot, and for a few minutes in the second quarter that was exactly what he did. Pietrus knocked down four of his five 3-point attempts. He didn't attempt a shot inside the arc. … Who was the guy wearing No. 2 for the Warriors? It couldn't be Nate Robinson. The traditionally wild hotshot guard was a model of efficiency in 19:34. He scored eight points on 4-for-8 shooting, handed out six assists and swiped three steals. Most importantly, he did not commit a turnover.
The Bad: Pierce shot 3-for-8, missed both of his 3-point attempts and did not get to the foul line. He also committed four turnovers and two fouls in 16 minutes of action.
The So-so: Brandon Bass tied Pietrus for the Celtics' lead with 12 points, but it took some doing to get there. Bass went 4-for-11 from the field and needed four free throw attempts, although he hit all four.
Second quarter, 4:39, Warriors 46-45: Pietrus caught fire, and it's a good thing. Without Pietrus' stroke, the Celtics might have gotten into hot water.
A jumper by Pierce put the Celtics ahead by seven points, but it took barely two minutes for the Warriors to completely wipe out that deficit. Wright did much of the damage with two 3's, including a prayer over solid defense by Garnett. Thompson also continued his impressive run in his third start by nailing a 3-pointer on a fastbreak.
Pietrus hit four 3-pointers in the second quarter, with more than four minutes to add to his register.
Second quarter, 9:31, Celtics 31-29: Stiemsma did not pick up his first foul until more than 14 minutes into the game, but he made it count. Stiemsma appeared to catch Lee in the eye with his right elbow, drawing blood. The foul itself wasn't called on the arm, but on an alleged hip check. It appeared Stiemsma's hip was stationary when he collided with Lee, but when there's blood it is difficult to argue a call.
Second quarter, Celtics 31-27: There was a time when Mickael Pietrus was good for at least one big 3-pointer a game. His recent slump brought an end to that, temporarily.
Pietrus appears to have his stroke back. He drilled a corner 3 on a dish from Keyon Dooling to pull the Celtics within a point at 27-26, and shortly thereafter hit another 3 that stretched the Celtics' lead to 31-27.
The Celtics took the lead at 28-27, their first lead since early in the first quarter, on two free throws by Stiemsma.
End of first quarter, Warriors 25-21: Rondo opened the game with another 11 minutes of excellence, dashing and dishing his way to four points on 2-for-4 shooting and five assists with one turnover.
He provided one of the highlights of the year with just over three minutes to go in the frame. Even the pro-Warriors crowd, with some C's fans mixed in, appreciated it.
Rondo drove the lane and took off toward the hoop, but two Warriors stood in his way. So Rondo whipped a behind-the-back pass out to Ray Allen cutting into the corner for a 3-pointer.
That was about a 22-foot pass behind the back, in the air. If you don't understand how tough that is, go try a behind-the-back pass from a standing position to hit a target 22 feet away. Now try it while moving. Now try it while jumping.
First quarter, 2:36, Warriors 23-14: Dorell Wright is one of those players who simultaneously seems like he's been in the league forever but also seems like he can't be a day over 24 years old.
The swingman out of Leuzinger High School in California is a dangerous shooter, even if he's had an off year. Pierce got a little overzealous getting out on one of Wright's early 3-point attempts, giving Wright a three-shot foul. The eighth-year veteran (who is actually 26) converted all three.
Pierce was upset over not getting a foul call on his own shot on the previous possession. His shot fell far short, which usually doesn't happen to the Celtics captain if he gets a shot off cleanly.
First quarter, 5:14, Warriors 12-8: Brandon Bass had a rough start to this game, missing his first four shots. Andris Biedrins drew aahs from the crowd by blocking a Bass dunk attempt, but don't be fooled by Biedrins' 6-foot-11 frame or 1.0 block per game average. He's really not a very good defender.
Like Greg Stiemsma, Biedrins has good shot-blocking timing but suffers from being out of position and averages more than six fouls per 36 minutes.
Neither Biedrins nor David Lee are particularly good defenders, which is part of why the Warriors were so eager to add Andrew Bogut, one of the best defensive centers in the league when healthy.
10:20 p.m.: A spot in the starting lineup as a shooting guard was tough to come by when Monta Ellis was employed by the Warriors, but now that Ellis is gone, there's a spot for Klay Thompson.
Thompson, a rookie who has impressed with his shooting and length, gets just his third career start on Wednesday. He'll slide into Ellis' customary spot. Nate Robinson runs the point in place of Stephen Curry, who is out with another of his chronic ankle injuries.
The projected starting lineups appear below.
9:15 p.m.: Picking up another big man became and even greater priority for the Celtics when the team announced Wednesday that Chris Wilcox will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing aortic surgery.
The team's personnel situation is of secondary importance to Wilcox' health, of course, but a news released expressed optimism for Wilcox' long-term prospects. He should be able to return to the court next season, according to the Celtics.
"While we are saddened that Chris will not be able to play again this season, the most important thing is his health and we were fortunate to have access to an amazing team of specialists to evaluate Chris' case," Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in a statement. "The entire Celtics family supports Chris during this difficult time in his career."
Wilcox' surgery will be March 29 at the Cleveland Clinic.
Wilcox became a favorite of Rajon Rondo due to his willingness to run the floor, a trait unique among Celtics big men. It is unclear if the Celtics will orchestrate a buyout of Wilcox' contract to open up a roster spot or if he could be traded for a non-player piece such as a draft pick. Both options would open up a roster spot for the Celtics to sign another player.
The Celtics and Wilcox declined further comment in the news release.
9:30 a.m. ET: Celtics fans are in for another late night as their team travels to Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday to take on the Golden State Warriors.
Kevin Garnett is no doubt looking forward to this game, because for the first time in three games he won't have an All-Star big man to contain. The Warriors (18-21) are more outside-oriented than the Celtics' recent foes, with former Celtic Nate Robinson enjoying a sizeable role off the bench.
The Celtics (22-19) may be able to cross one major name off in the scouting report. Lead guard Monta Ellis was traded to the Bucks on Tuesday night, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, and Andrew Bogut, the main player Golden State received in the deal, will not be active for this game.
Join us for updates and analysis for the game, which starts at 10:30 p.m. ET.
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