Much of Tuesday’s game between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors was too close for comfort.
But with 6:48 left, Kemba Walker found Jayson Tatum on a go-ahead 3-pointer that swung the momentum and sent the Celtics on a 10-point run. Walker capped the stretch by hitting Jaylen Brown, who threw down a thunderous dunk to give Boston its first 10-point lead of the night.
Stephen Curry certainly got his, but that spark was enough for the Celtics to close things out against a pretty depleted Warriors team, 111-107.
Tatum led Boston with 27 points, nine rebounds and three assists while Walker added 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists in support. And in their best offensive games of the season, Tristan Thompson and Grant Williams each finished with 13 points, with the former also pulling down eight rebounds. Daniel Theis was solid with eight points and 11 rebounds.
After a slow start, Brown finished with an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double to go along with four assists.
Curry hit seven triples in a 38-point performance with 11 rebounds, eight assists and three steals. Not much you can do about that.
The double-big lineup made its return.
PG: Kemba Walker
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
C: Daniel Theis
PF: Tristan Thompson
CURRY MISSED THE CELTICS
The game started close, but the Warriors managed to create separation in the first quarter by taking advantage of the Celtics’ lack of solid perimeter defending off the bench.
Walker had a good opening quarter to bounce back from a poor shooting performance Saturday against the Lakers, going 3-for-4 from the field for nine points and an assist.
Brown had an uncharacteristically cold start, going 1-for-6 from the field. Tatum had six points and an assist in the first frame.
But Curry shot 6-for-10 from the field and 4-for-7 from 3 to finish the first with 17 first-quarter points, four rebounds and three assists.
The Warriors led the Celtics 35-24 after the first.
CLOSING THE GAP
The Celtics came out with a lot more energy in the second, and took advantage of Curry spending some time on the bench.
Led by a 10-3 run from Tatum and Jeff Teague, Boston cut the Warriors’ lead to just four points with 8:42 in the quarter to make it a 38-34 game and induce a Golden State timeout.
And assisted by Teague, Theis extended that run and took the lead with an 18-foot jumper. They were his first points of the game, but he was all over the box score in a solid overall performance with four boards, and a single block, steal and assist each.
The two teams flirted with the lead, and Brown started driving hard to the hoop to get himself going offensively.
Brown and Thompson finished the half each with seven points while adding four and two rebounds, respectively.
Tatum’s 14 points and five rebounds led the Celtics entering the break and Walker finished two frames with 12 points. Off the bench, Teague and Grant Williams put up five points.
Curry wasn’t as explosive in the second quarter but finished the half with 22 points, six rebounds and four assists. Oubre had 11 points for Golden State.
The Celtics outscored the Warriors 28-17, leading by as many as three points, in the second to tie it up at 52 apiece.
WARRIORS CLIMB BACK
Thompson got going to finish the quarter with 11 points and four boards, Theis and Tatum and Walker continued to carry much of the load as the Celtics got out to their largest lead of the game — a nine-point advantage.
Walker gave great effort on both sides of the floor all game and by the third quarter it was clear he was playing his best game since returning.
But Golden State hung around, unsurprisingly, by shooting well from deep and never allowing Boston to go out on any sizable runs.
Curry hit the 30-point mark with one minute left in the third to cut the Celtics’ lead to one point, but Grant Williams responded with a clutch 26-footer.
At the buzzer, Boston led 86-85.
RUN UP THE SCORE AND HOLD ON
After the first 1:30 ticked by without a basket, Tatum his a 29-footer to start things off in the final frame, but former Celtic Brad Wanamaker and Andrew Wiggins helped give the Warriors a one-point lead.
It went back and forth from there, but never by more than a few points thanks to a group effort by the Celtics.
Tatum took the lead back back with a deep 3-pointer and gave the Celtics a 96-94 lead and all the momentum. It started Boston’s 15-2 run, which was capped off by a nasty dunk from Brown to give Boston a 10-point lead.
That ultimately was enough, though Golden State didn’t go down easily. But ultimately the initial rush was enough to pull out an 111-107 win.
The road trip continues Wednesday as Boston heads to Sacramento to face the Kings at 10 p.m. ET.