Celtics-Warriors Live: Stephen Curry’s Huge Shot Buries Boston as Celts Lose 99-97


JaredSullingerFinal, Warriors win 99-97: After a great game and tremendous shot by Stephen Curry to win, the Celtics’ last shot was anticlimactic. Jeff Green dribbled the ball off his foot and Gerald Wallace missed an off-balance 3-pointer badly as time expired.

The Celtics (13-24) have now lost seven straight games.

Green had 23 points and 11 rebounds, Jared Sullinger had 21 points and 11 boards and Kris Humphries had a monster game with 16 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots. But none of their efforts was enough to outdo Curry and the Warriors (25-14) at the end.

Curry didn’t shoot well overall but came through when it mattered. Andre Iguodala helped put Golden State in position to win with a solid 22-point, seven-assist, five-rebound performance. The Warriors capitalized on 17 Celtics turnovers and made up for their 30 percent shooting on 3-pointers by getting to the foul line, where they were 15-for-21 on freebies.

Fourth quarter, :02.1, Warriors 99-97: Steph Curry hasn’t had a great game, but once the ball was in his hands, there wasn’t much doubt he was making the shot. Curry picked up Humphries on a switch, played around with his defender for a while to run down the clock and drained a jumper from a step inside the arc.

Curry’s now just 7-for-18 from the field, but the last one is all they’ll remember. But the Celtics do have one last chance.

Fourth quarter, :11.6, game tied 97-97: Jeff Green comes through. Green inbounded to Gerald Wallace, got the ball back at the top of the key and drove past David Lee for a bouncing layup. It’ll be Warriors ball with a chance to win. Otherwise, overtime.

Fourth quarter, :19.6, Warriors 97-95: Here goes. Harrison Barnes was fouled but made only one of two, giving the Celtics a chance to tie or potentially even win. The ability to take the final shot without being limited to a three is a huge advantage for the Celtics. Let’s see what they do with it.

Fourth quarter, :22, Warriors 96-95: Sully’s done some excellent things for the Celtics tonight and all season long, but he may have cost Boston the game with an awful sequence.

Sully got the ball with the Celtics down one and dribbled the ball off his foot for a turnover. On the other end, the Celtics forced a miss but Sully failed to box out David Lee, who tipped the offensive rebound out to his own teammate. The Celtics were forced to foul and now things are going to get tight for Boston.

Fourth quarter, 1:21, Warriors 96-93: Jeff Green is doing all he can to get the Celtics back into the lead. Andre Iguodala is doing all he can to prevent that.

Green scored a couple of big baskets, one a follow of his own miss and another corner three to close the gap to a point, to give the Celtics life. But Bradley missed a three and Iguodala got the ball with another mismatch and scored an and-one layup over Sully.

Fourth quarter, 3:27, Warriors 93-88: The Warriors are giving the Celtics all sorts of chances. The Celtics just aren’t executing well enough to capitalize.

Humphries delivered another huge block to give the Celtics a chance to close the gap to one, but Crawford made a poor pass to Bradley, who attempted a difficult 3-pointer with Curry’s hand in his face.

Then Iguodala got the ball and drew Sully on a switch. Iggy tried to set something up, but when he saw Sully sagging off him into the paint, Iggy figured, “What the heck?” and just drained a jump shot to extend Golden State’s lead.

Fourth quarter, 5:34, Warriors 87-83: The Celtics are hanging on, thanks to Kris Humphries hitting shots and Steph Curry missing them.

Hump has done it all, hitting jumpers, getting to the line and scoring on putbacks. Meanwhile, Curry has gotten some decent looks but has missed far more than he usually does, which is how the Celtics have managed to hold on by a thread with Humphries as their temporary No. 1 scoring option.

Klay Thompson found the twine on a three to keep the Celts at bay, but eventually something’s going to give. Either the Dubs will start hitting or the Celts will need to start getting some more offense of their own to combat the Warriors’ ability to get open shots whenever they want.

Fourth quarter, 8:46, Warriors 82-74: The Warriors clearly expected this game to be easier than the Celtics are making it. It’s sort of ticking them off, too.

Marreese Speights took exception to an extra bump by Kris Humphries while Humphries was boxing him out, and approached Hump with some words. Crawford stepped in to defend his teammate while Hump walked away. It’s about the only time the Celtics haven’t put up a fight tonight.

Fourth quarter, 10:47, Warriors 79-69: Gulp.

Steph Curry wasn’t just warming up in the third quarter. He might have been igniting. The Warriors’ should-be All-Star came up the middle of the court on the break and pulled up for a 3-pointer between two defenders.

One of them, Jerryd Bayless, knocked Curry on the side of the head as Curry drained a triple for a chance at a four-point play. The Warriors live. The Celtics have to regroup big time if they want to capitalize on their best chance so far for a win on this road trip.

End of third quarter, Warriors 72-67: Here come the Warriors — and here come the whistles.

After both teams attempted nine free throws combined in the first half, they went for 14 in the third quarter alone. And no, not all of them were taken by Marreese Speights. The reserve big man, whose work ethic has never matched his talent, got to the line three times and converted five of six foul shots to tally a quarter-best nine points. In fact, he scored Golden State’s last nine points in the quarter.

The Warriors still aren’t shooting a great percentage from three at just 33 percent, but Steph Curry hit two big ones in the third to wake up the Oracle Arena crowd. Dubs fans are hard to shut up once they’re engaged, so the Celtics may have allowed a sleeping giant to awaken.

Third quarter, 2:56, Celtics 66-65: Jeff Green must have gotten some of that excellent Bay Area sushi, because he’s on a roll.

Green is having a nice game with 17 points and six rebounds, getting aggressive and staying aggressive. It’s led to some shaky moments and bad possessions, but when Green is aggressive, those bad plays are worth the trade-off for the really great ones. It’s when Green is passive, and only has bad possessions and so-so possessions, that it becomes a problem for Boston.

Third quarter, 9:50, Celtics 56-52: Brandon Bass and Jeff Green are taking the Warriors into the post to begin the second half. Brad Stevens must feel the Celtics have an advantage down there, because every possession for the Celtics this half has run through one of the blocks.

Bass got the first two shots of the third quarter, hitting a layup with lots of contact and then missing a fallaway jumper. Green then took Andre Iguodala, one of the best defenders in the league, into the paint for a short fadeaway jumper.

The Warriors were upset that an apparent double-dribble on Green was not called, but they should really be upset at their inability to protect the hoop. The Celtics are now winning the battle of points in the paint 32-24 and the Celtics are doing a decent job of limiting them from deep, too. The Dubs are just 5-for-14 from long range.

Halftime, Celtics 49-47: Who knew that it would take almost a quarter and a half for the Warriors to get their first three, and that Andre Iguodala would deliver the first two?

Iggy drained a good look from the corner to break the ice, then dropped another from a nearby spot to keep it rolling. Since then, Klay Thompson’s added two more triples to help the Warriors answer the Celtics’ run to end the first half.

Iguodala and David Lee lead the Dubs with 12 points each, but neither of them holds a candle to Jared Sullinger. Sully has 16 points, all coming in the second quarter, and is tied with Andrew Bogut for a game-high eight rebounds.

If the Celtics have anybody to thank for their halftime lead, though, it’s Kris Humphries. Hump preserved the edge with an amazing defensive possession, coming up with a block and made multiple rotations that won’t show up in the box score. That came after he anticipated a pass, knocked the ball to Jordan Crawford and finished with a layup on the break.

Second quarter, 5:52, Celtics 34-33: Sully finally takes a seat for a deserved rest. The dude did a lot in just 11 minutes with 11 points and eight rebounds.

Jerryd Bayless should also be careful, or else he’ll find himself with a lot more playing time. The newest Celtic is just 1-for-4 from the field, but he’s done some encouraging things as a primary ballhandler. He took the ball to the hole for a layup and hit Sully and Avery Bradley on cuts for should-be layups.

Unfortunately for Bayless, Sully missed the layup — although he got his own miss and converted the putback — and a foul off the ball wiped out Bradley’s potential bucket. But the Celtics could use contributions like that with their backcourt starters struggling.

Second quarter, 8:13, Celtics 32-28: A productive Jared Sullinger makes the Celtics a totally different team. Sully has really struggled lately, but he’s on and active tonight. He’s got 11 points and six boards in just over nine minutes of floor time, getting aggressive and giving Golden State’s undersized second front line of Marreese Speights and Draymond Green trouble in the post.

Sully’s 3-pointer from the top of the key gave the Celtics their first lead of the game, 28-26, but that’s about all the damage they’ve done from outside. They’re now ahead of the Warriors in points in the paint 22-20.

End of first quarter, Warriors 24-21: Is it encouraging or slightly scary for the Celtics that they’ve held the Warriors without a 3-pointer or free throw, yet still trail.

The Warriors are one of the most dangerous long-range shooting teams in the league, but they took just four shots beyond the arc and didn’t hit a single one in the first quarter. They also didn’t take a single trip to the charity stripe. Instead, they used their ball movement to generate easy buckets at the hoop. Golden State has 18 points in the paint already.

David Lee and Jeff Green are off the hot starts with 10 points and 11 points, respectively, to lead both their teams into double figures in the scoring column. As hot as Green’s been for Boston, Avery Bradley and Jordan Crawford have been the opposite. Boston’s starting backcourt, which has made a habit of slow starts lately, is 0-for-6 combined from the field.

First quarter, 2:47, Warriors 18-14: Thanks to Jeff Green, the Celtics have regrouped a bit. Green’s hit four of his five shots, going hard to the hoop and hitting some tough layups in traffic. David Lee and the Dubs are staying a step ahead, though, helping the Celtics out by committing a couple turnovers to avoid running away too much, too early.

First quarter, 9:10, Warriors 10-2: It didn’t take long for this thing to get pretty scary for the Celts.

The ball is flying around the court — in a good way for the Warriors, in a bad way for the Celtics. The Warriors are moving the ball and getting great looks, almost all right at the rim, and have three assists on their five buckets.

The Celtics have committed two turnovers already and missed three of the four shots they were able to take without turning the ball over. Jeff Green went hard to the hole for a layup but got whistled for a charge. The Warriors are capable of running some opponents out of their building. The Celtics just need to make sure it doesn’t happen before the end of the first quarter.

9:25 p.m.: A report Friday said Rajon Rondo intends to make his season debut next Friday against the Lakers. If that’s the case, it’s news to Brad Stevens.

The Celtics coach told reporters prior to the game at Golden State that he and Rondo had not discussed a comeback date for the All-Star point guard. Rondo told reporters he would be back before the All-Star break Feb. 14-17, but gave no hard and fast date.

The Celtics are keeping things the same as Wednesday, when Stevens found their effort encouraging in a loss to the Clippers. Jared Sullinger, who has struggled, will come off the bench again with Kris Humphries manning the middle.

The projected starters appear below.

Kris Humphries
Brandon Bass
Jeff Green
Avery Bradley
Jordan Crawford

Andrew Bogut
David Lee
Andre Iguodala
Klay Thompson
Stephen Curry

8 a.m. ET: Contrary to all the evidence available over the last few weeks, the Golden State Warriors are capable of losing.

The Warriors (24-14) were reminded of that when they suffered a surprising loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday to snap a 10-game winning streak. Since Andre Iguodala returned to the lineup, the Warriors have won 11 of 13 games and once again resemble the dark horse championship contender they looked like in the preseason.

As good as the Warriors have been, the Celtics (13-23) have been the opposite. The Celtics dropped their sixth straight game with a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday and are now in danger of a winless Western Conference road trip. They’re already 0-for-3 with only two more chances for a victory.

Lots of eyes will be on Jared Sullinger, whose flagrant foul in Wednesday’s defeat was upheld by the league on Thursday. That means Sullinger, who is gaining a reputation for fouls that strain the boundaries of “basketball plays,” is just one flagrant foul away from a one-game suspension. If he gets a flagrant-two — the more serious in the two-tiered flagrant system — he’d get a two-game suspension, not to mention the automatic ejection that comes with the call.

Join us for updates and analysis during the game, which tips off at 10:30 p.m. ET.

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