Celtics Drub Dubs, Earn High Praise From Kerr, Curry

BOSTON – Steve Kerr spoke in awe of the Boston Celtics prior to taking them on Sunday afternoon, claiming it to be the “best version” of this team that he has seen.

Kind words, which served as foreshadowing for what was about to come for his Golden State Warriors.

Roughly two hours later, the C’s wrapped up their largest first-half scoring margin in franchise history, pummeling Golden State, 82-38, during the opening 24 minutes en route to a 140-88 win. It marked their third 50-point win of the season – the most by any team in a single season in NBA history.

It was an offensive drubbing and a defensive masterpiece all in one. The team shot 55.2 percent from the field and 51.0 percent from deep, while holding Golden state to 39.1 percent from the field and 17.1 percent from long range.

Jaylen Brown (29 points) and Jayson Tatum (27 points) together outscored the Warriors’ starting five, 56-33, while both playing fewer than 26 minutes.

Before the game, Kerr noted how this looks more like a championship-caliber team than any other Celtics group he’s faced in the past. Sunday's performance served as a solid indication as to why.

“They’ve been on the brink for six, seven years,” said the nine-time NBA champ (five as a player, four as a coach). “A great organization, always been really well-coached, continuity, they have everything that it takes. I think in this league, it always requires some luck to win a championship. Sometimes things break your way, sometimes they don’t, but the idea is to give yourself a chance as many times in a row as you can, and they’ve done a great job of that. I think it’s just a matter of time before they break through, and this is I think the best version that we’ve seen of this team.”

The C’s made their run midway through the first quarter as they broke free from a 21-21 tie to close out the frame on a 23-1 run. They then outscored Golden State, 38-16, in the second quarter, making it a 61-17 run to close out the half.

During that half, the Celtics limited Stephen Curry to four points on 0-for-9 shooting from deep, tying the NBA individual record for most 3-point attempts in a half without a make. He would not play in the second half.

“They’re the best team in the league right now, and they played like it,” Curry said. “They played their ass off and that was hard to watch from the other side.”

From this side, it’s been a pleasure to watch. The Celtics are riding the NBA’s winningest streak of the season with 11 straight victories. During that stretch, Boston has outscored its opponents by 243 points, or 22.1 points per game.

Blowing out teams in such a manner has been thrilling, but Brown says they have to stay humble and grounded amid their success so that they can keep growing.

“It feels great, but at the same time it’s always within humility,” Brown said. “At any given point that can be us and we don’t take the game for granted. We didn’t come out and mess around and that’s just how we show our respect to the game. We handle business and take care of it but we don’t do it arrogantly. We do it with humility. And it’s a lot of respect for the Golden State Warriors, but we feel like it’s our time now.”

Just as Kerr alluded to before the game.