Wow. What a game.
The Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors battled for no less than 48 full minutes of basketball Friday night at ORACLE Arena. The game came down to the final seconds, with the Warriors pulling out a 99-97 victory.
Both teams went to their clutch scorers in the final seconds and both teams got critical baskets. Unfortunately for Boston, the Warriors scored the most critical bucket of the night.
Jeff Green had just driven to the basket and put home a layup to tie the game up at 97-97 with 11.6 seconds remaining. Warriors head coach Mark Jackson called for a timeout to draw up a play for his go-to scorer.
Stephen Curry, who’s primed to play in his first NBA All-Star game next month, was the man for Golden State. He took the inbound pass near midcourt for the final possession of the game and quickly went to work.
Curry worked off of a screen and that’s when the Celtics made a critical mistake. Avery Bradley was unable to fight through the screen and as a result, Kris Humphries was forced to switch off onto Curry. That’s a mismatch, to say the least.
Humphries did his best to stay in front of Curry but he was in an uphill battle. Curry squared him up, pounded a couple of dribbles, then pulled up for a 23-foot jumper.
Nothing but net.
That basket put the Warriors on top 99-97 with 2.1 seconds remaining. Boston still had an opportunity to tie or win the game on the final possession following a timeout by Brad Stevens.
Stevens opted to go to Green yet again for a clutch basket. Green was to work off of the right wing as he caught the inbound pass, likely to drive to the basket for a possible game-tying bucket. However, as Green caught the inbound pass and simultaneously made his first step toward the basket, he lost control of the ball. Gerald Wallace, the inbounder, scooped up the loose ball and fired up a 3-pointer that missed long as time expired.
It was a frantic final minute of play, to say the least. Each team received a critical basket in the clutch to bring this game down to the wire. The problem is, Boston’s big basket was for a tie, while Golden State’s was for the win.
Key Box Score Line
Sometimes Kris Humphries takes over games.
Ask anyone in Boston’s locker room Friday night and they’ll tell you that they wouldn’t have even had a chance to win their game against the Warriors without the presence of Humphries. He was phenomenal while stringing together his best performance as a member of the Boston Celtics.
Humphries was one of three Celtics to finish with a double-double Friday night. He tallied 16 points and 14 rebounds in the game. Many of those points and rebounds were what kept Boston alive as they battled the hottest team in the NBA.
Boston’s starting center scored 10 of his 16 points during the fourth quarter while making three of his four field goal attempts and all four of his free throws. He scored one-third of the team’s points in the final frame. Humphries also hauled in five of his game-high 14 rebounds and logged a huge blocked shot in the fourth quarter.
No one would expect Humphries to strap his teammates on his back and carry them to a near victory in one of the most hostile environments in the NBA. Maybe they should. Humphries was electric Friday night during a performance that he’ll be hard-pressed to duplicate this season.
Box Score Nuggets
- Boston outscored Golden State in the paint (42-38) and in second-chance points (16-13).
- Three Celtics (Jared Sullinger, Kris Humphries and Jeff Green) logged double-doubles.
- Humphries led the game with 14 rebounds and three blocks. He also contributed 16 points.
- Sullinger scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as a reserve.
- Green tallied 24 points and notched 11 rebounds for the second consecutive game, tying his season high.
- Each team outscored the other in two quarters.
- Boston outrebounded Golden State 49-46.
- Four Warriors scored between 16 and 22 points.
- Andre Iguodala led the Warriors in points (22), assists (seven) and steals (three).
- Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined to shoot just 12-of-35 from the field.
- Green made a season-high 11 field goals.
- Jordan Crawford matched Iguodala for the game high in assists with seven.
- Five Celtics blocked at least one shot, while not a single Warriors player logged a block.
- Boston shot 14-of-16 from the free-throw line.
- Golden State led by as many as 13 points.
- Each team scored 14 points off of the other team's turnovers.
Quote of the Night
The morale is great, as you can see. We lost seven straight and guys are still fighting out there. Guys are still trying to make plays. Guys are together. It's not like we're pulling apart. That's the beauty of this team. Once we catch our run, we're going to make a long one. Jared Sullinger on his team's mental state