Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Celtics break six-game losing streak, BOS 115 GSW 93

There isn't much that Doc Rivers hasn't accomplished in his tenure as Celtics coach. He's lead the franchise to it's league-leading 17th NBA Championship, captured two conference titles as well as the best record in the NBA. Currently, his team sits atop the Eastern Conference, a contender for the title once again.

Garnett also had 2 blocked shots
and a steal in the Celtics victory
However, there's one feat that Rivers had yet to accomplish before tonight.

Led by double doubles from Kevin Garnett (24 points, 12 rebounds), Rajon Rondo (19 points, 15 assists) and Glen Davis (12 points, 10 rebounds), the Celtics got their first victory in Golden State's Oracle Arena since 2003. It's been six seasons of losses that even the Big Three era couldn't fix. Until tonight that is.

It was a game that was close throughout, until a 18-2 Celtic run in the fourth quarter had the men in green running away with the rare victory in Oakland, 115-93.

Delonte West made his return from a wrist injury with 2:40 to go in the first quarter. However, it was a largely forgettable performance. West missed all four shots that he took -- contributing only an assist and a rebound.

The Celtics beat Golden Sate up on the boards and the paint. Boston held a 52-35 advantage in rebounds and outscored the Warriors, 54-36 in the paint. Golden State shot 39.3-percent from the field, compared to Boston's 55.6.

KG, Rondo and Baby joined Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in double figures for the C's. Pierce scored 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting while Ray added 18 points with six rebounds, three assists and a steal.

The Warriors were led by Dorell Wright's 19 points. Stephon Curry chipped in 18. David Lee had 17 and Monta Ellis added 15.

The Celtics started the first quarter looking like the team with the second best record in the league. Behind 60-percent shooting, Boston built a lead as high as nine over the sub .500 Warriors. However, an 8-0 Golden State run over the final minute cut the C's lead to just one -- closing out the opening frame with a reminder to Boston thats thing are never easy in the Oracle. Especially when you're wearing green.

What had at first looked like it had the makings of a Boston blowout quickly devolved into a firefight. In the second frame, the visiting Celtics eventually found that their nine point lead from the first quarter had turned into a seven point advantage for the Warriors. However, Boston was able to chisel the Golden State lead down to one with 2:47 left to go in the half. A driving Rondo then laid in the go-ahead basket just 30 seconds later. However, three trips to the charity stripe by the Warriors over the final 1:46 and five straight points from David Lee kept the home team battling back. The two teams headed into half-time tied at 60.

Coming out of halftime, the Celtics started executing -- especially from beyond the arch. Boston drilled four three-pointers in the quarter, including a buzzer beating trey from Rondo with just one second left in the third frame. Boston built an eight point lead in the first five minutes of the game, which later ballooned to 10 heading into the final quarter following Rondo's aforementioned strike from behind the arch.

The Warriors tried to rally to start the fourth. A pull up jump shot from Curry spurred a 6-0 Golden State run that cut Boston's double digit lead down to just four. However, Boston had a run of their own to answer with. Over a six-minute period, the Celtics outscored the Warriors by 16 to give themselves a lead as high as 20 during the run. The lead extended to as much as 22, ending with a Boston victory, 115-93.

The Celtics improve to 41-14 and hold onto a half game lead over the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference. They continue their West Coast road trip with a trip to the Melo-less Nuggets, Thursday night at 10:30pm EST.

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