Celtics lose second straight as Warriors pull off stunner
Monta Ellis scored 37 points and converted two free throws with 2.3
seconds left, and the Golden State Warriors rallied from an early
18-point deficit to hand the Boston Celtics just their second
two-game losing streak this season with a 103-99 victory Monday
Anthony Randolph added 18 points and nine rebounds and scored
six straight during an 8-2 run late in the third quarter to put the
Warriors ahead. C.J. Watson had six of his career-high seven steals
in the second quarter, matching the Warriors’ record for a quarter,
and also contributed 11 points and seven assists.
Rajon Rondo had 30 points and 15 assists to lead Boston,
which had its nine-game road winning streak snapped in a 92-90 loss
to the Clippers in Los Angeles on Sunday night. The Celtics
couldn’t convert on a final chance in the waning seconds. They
haven’t won in won in the Bay Area since Dec. 29, 2003.
Boston got the ball back with 43 seconds left after Eddie
House tied up Anthony Morrow but Ray Allen missed a quick
3-pointer. Allen finished with 24 points and five rebounds and had
18 points on his first 11 shots. Kevin Garnett added 16 points and
nine boards for Boston, which lost consecutive games for the first
time since Nov. 13-14.
Ellis shot 15 of 26 for the Warriors, who won back-to-back
games for just the second time this season. They ended a seven-game
losing streak with a 132-127 home win over Phoenix on Saturday.
Ellis scored five straight points late in the third quarter,
including a 3-pointer with 29.3 seconds left. Then Rondo knocked
down a 3 at the buzzer on the other end to keep Boston within four,
80-76, heading into the final period. House started the fourth with
a 3 then hit another long jumper the next time down.
Watson’s six steals in the third period equaled Baron Davis’
feat on Jan. 16, 2008, at Indiana. It’s the most by anybody in the
NBA in a quarter since Bonzi Wells playing for the Hornets on March
Boston’s skid here is its longest on the road against any
opponent. The Warriors have won 13 of the last 16 at home in the
Celtics coach Doc Rivers called Oracle Arena a tough place to
play and win — especially coaching against Don Nelson’s teams.
“You just expect everything,” Rivers said. “With them, you
don’t know what kind of crazy lineups they’re going to have out
Starting Golden State center Andris Biedrins returned after
missing a total of 25 games, giving the Warriors a more
conventional lineup with Randolph at power forward. Biedrins had
been sidelined since Nov. 8 with inflammation in his right groin
where it attaches to the abdomen.
He received a roaring ovation when announced before the game
but was ineffective, finishing with no points and four rebounds in
Boston played without injured star Paul Pierce for the third
straight game. He had fluid drained from his right knee last
Wednesday and was expected to miss two weeks. He could be ready
when the team returns home from its six-day, four-game to host
Toronto on Saturday.
The Celtics shot 62.5 percent (15 of 24) in the first quarter
but couldn’t hold a big lead.
Notes: Rondo made 7 of 9 free throws a night after
missing two with 1.5 seconds left. Rivers wants Rondo to face tough
free throw situations in crunch time so he becomes more mentally
tough at the line. “I just want him to stay aggressive,” Rivers
said. “He’s becoming a better free throw shooter. He’s going to
make a lot more than he misses, and he’s going to miss a few.
That’s just part of being a better basketball player. … He has to
get up and make them. He will.” … Rivers isn’t sure what kind of
rehab, if any, Pierce might need when he’s ready to return. …
Boston is 13-3 on the road, including 4-2 vs. the Western
Conference. … The Warriors improved to 3-11 in December. …
Actor Donnie Wahlberg, of former boy band New Kids on the Block,
attended the game to see his Celtics. … Oakland Raiders
quarterback JaMarcus Russell was booed when he made his exit late
in the game.