Ford Keys to the Game: Celtics 115, Warriors 93
Celtics 115, Warriors 93
The Golden State Warriors used their speed and youth to outrun Boston and score at an incredibly high rate in the first half, especially considering they were facing one of the top defenses in the league. The Warriors, who were playing on younger legs that were fully rested from the All-Star break, racked up 30 points in each of the first two quarters and the two teams headed into halftime knotted up at 60-60.
As we all learned in the second half, however, youth and athleticism will only get you so far.
The C’s came out in the second half and went to work on the young Warriors and completely shut down Golden State’s offense. Boston’s defense allowed just 33 total points in the second half while putting up 55 of its own.
The big run of the game began with 3:24 remaining in the third quarter when Paul Pierce slammed home a dunk off of a perfect pass from Kevin Garnett, who was posting up on the block. That bucket was followed up by a jumper from Rajon Rondo at the elbow, a fast break layup from Nate Robinson and a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Rondo. Overall, it was an 8-2 run to close the third quarter, and that gave Boston a 10-point advantage heading into the final period.
That run gave Boston a cushion that it never relinquished, but a 20-2 run in the fourth quarter is what blew this one open. The Celtics’ defense completely shut down Golden State’s offense, and that led to easy bucket after easy bucket for Boston.
The big run in the fourth certainly took the life out of the young Warriors, but it was that spurt in the third period that put the C’s ahead for good.
Key Box Score Line
Rajon Rondo may have missed the memo that you’re supposed to receive gifts on your birthday, not give them out.
On the night Rondo celebrated the 25th anniversary of his birth, he gave out plenty of gifts for his teammates to enjoy.
The first, and most important, gift Rondo was able to give the Celtics was a big win to begin the team’s second half of the season. Boston opened up its post-All-Star break with a victory over Golden State on the road, and the win wouldn’t have happened without Rondo’s stellar performance. The win gives Boston a great start to a four-game West Coast trip, which matches their season-long number for consecutive games on the road.
The second gift Rondo gave out wasn’t of singular form. This one came in a group of 15 - as in 15 dimes. He knifed up Golden State’s defense all night long and hit his teammates in rhythm for easy buckets throughout the contest. He dictated the pace of the game and helped the Celtics outrun the league’s top-running team.
Lastly, Boston’s point guard gave the gift of scoring, something he typically doesn’t do. He notched 10 points in the first 6:12 of the game and finished with 19 on the night. His shooting was superb, as he made nine of his 12 field goal attempts that included a hit from downtown to beat the shot clock on his only 3-point attempt of the night.
All in all, Rondo couldn’t have given the Celtics much more than he did tonight. It was another spectacular performance that has been added to his running list this season, but this one was surely a little more special. He turned a quarter-century tonight, and after giving out all of those gifts during his 35 minutes of playing time, he’s sure to get a little extra steak followed by a little extra cake at the dinner table with his teammates.
Box Score Nuggets
- Three Celtics (Glen Davis, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo) finished with double-doubles, while not a single Warrior was able to accomplish that feat.
- Garnett and Rondo each finished four figures away from a triple-double. Garnett tallied a game-high 24 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Rondo notched 19 points, six rebounds and 15 assists.
- Boston shot 55.5 percent from the floor while limiting the Warriors to 39.3 percent shooting.
- Davis came off the bench to record 12 points and 10 rebounds for Boston.
- Boston racked up nearly double the amount of assists that the Warriors did, tallying 35 to Golden State's 18.
- Dorrell Wright scored 19 points to lead Golden State.
- None of Golden State's players grabbed more than six rebounds, while three of Boston's did.
- Boston outrebounded Golden State 52-35.
- Paul Pierce scored 23 points on just 13 shot attempts.
- Golden State had four players grab at least two steals.
- The Warriors attempted 28 free throws to Boston's 11.
- Boston turned the ball over 18 times, while Golden State coughed the ball up only 11 times.
- All 10 of Davis' rebounds for Boston were defensive.
- Five Celtics finished with a plus/minus rating of at least plus-15.
- Pierce and Ray Allen each attempted five 3-pointers, making three and two, respectively.
- The Celtics scored a season-high 30 fast break points.
Quote of the Night
Doc Rivers on Rajon Rondo's night: "It was his birthday so, he knew it. (Rajon) Rondo, leadership-wise through out the game, was getting on guys for taking bad shots. I just thought he was a coach on the floor tonight. He was terrific."