Notebook: Warriors 101, Celtics 83



Posted Dec 30, 2012 2:04 AM

By Geoff Lepper, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Stephen Curry had 22 points and nine assists and the Golden State Warriors improved to a league-best 13-2 against Eastern Conference opposition with a 101-83 win against the Boston Celtics on Saturday.

David Lee collected 20 points on 10-for-15 shooting from the floor, helping the Warriors shoot 52.1 percent as a club. Golden State went 12-for-19 on 3-pointers for a season-best 63.2 percent.

The Warriors (21-10) tied a franchise record -- set in 1961 -- with their 12th win in the month of December, despite playing for a second consecutive night.

Boston could not make do without All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, who did not suit up because of a bruised right hip and thigh. With Leandro Barbosa (personal reasons) and Avery Bradley (shoulder surgeries) unavailable, the Celtics had only two healthy guards -- Courtney Lee and Jason Terry -- in uniform. Courtney Lee scored a season high 18 points, but the Celtics were limited to 36.0 percent from the floor.

The Celtics (14-15) fell under .500 for the first time since Nov. 9.

QUOTABLE: "It's not as though we've had 25 home games or played non-playoff teams throughout. . . . A lot of the things that Warriors teams in the past have not done -- winning on the road, being able to play with the best teams in the league -- we've already proven those things wrong."
-- David Lee

THE STAT: Without Rondo's league-best 11.7 assists per game, the Celtics' offense was often a stagnant, static display, and that helped the Warriors -- who came into Saturday ranked next-to-last in the league at 3.77 blocks per game -- send away a season-high 10 Boston shots. Rookie Festus Ezeli notched a career-high five in just 21 minutes.

TURNING POINT: This one was all but sealed when Rondo was ruled out before the Celtics' morning shootaround. Kevin Garnett led the visitors with four assists, and Boston had only one assist -- from big man Brandon Bass -- during a 20-4 run bridging the first and second quarters that put the Warriors in command early.

GOOD MOVE: Lacking Rondo's wingspan to combat Curry, Boston tried to take away the Warriors' point guard with aggressive traps off of Golden State's pick-and-roll action from the opening tip. It didn't work, as he finished the first half with eight of the Warriors' 13 assists and Golden State took a 57-40 lead to the locker room.

QUOTABLE II: "Your job as a point guard and a playmaker is to take the double team and trust that somebody else on the floor will make a play. He made great reads. It's a compliment to Steph. When you trap a great point guard, what you're saying is, 'We believe that you can hurt us.'"
-- Warriors coach Mark Jackson

BAD MOVE: Curry and the Warriors got a little too careless with the ball in the third quarter. The point guard had three of Golden State's nine turnovers in that period, which Boston turned into 17 points. That allowed the visitors to cut their deficit to single digits entering the fourth quarter.

HOT: The Celtics' third-quarter rally was merely a cue for Jarrett Jack to enter the scene for another supporting role as the Warriors' crunch-time facilitator. Jack went 5-for-7 in the fourth period to account for 12 points and three assists. Golden State outscored Boston 25-16 to close the game out.

NOT: With the Celtics short on firepower, they needed a big game from Paul Pierce. What they got instead was first half in which the young Warriors wing players made him look every minute of his 35 years old. Pierce missed his first eight shots from the field, didn't score until the 2:57 mark of the second quarter and finished the half with five points, four rebounds and three fouls.

QUOTABLE III: "We gotta figure out who we want to be. Do we want to be a defense-first team? If we're not going to be a defensive team, we gotta be a better offensive team. It's gotta be something. We still gotta find our way."
-- Paul Pierce

ROOKIE WATCH: Warriors forward Harrison Barnes stole some playing time from Klay Thompson with his strong performance, going 5-for-6 (3-for-4 from deep) to deliver 15 points and eight rebounds.

NOTABLE: Boston coach Doc Rivers said Rondo originally suffered his injury Thursday in Boston's drubbing at the hands of the Clippers, and that the three-time All-Star might be available Sunday against Sacramento, although no firm timetable for a return was released. . . . Barbosa missed his fourth consecutive game due to a personal matter, but he is expected to rejoin the team Sunday and be available against the Kings. . . . Garnett was held to single-digit scoring (six points) for just the third time this season.

UP NEXT: For the Celtics, Sunday @ Sacramento, Wednesday vs. Memphis, Friday vs. Indiana. For the Warriors, Wednesday vs. L.A. Clippers, Saturday @ L.A. Clippers, Wednesday vs. Memphis.