Too many nights this season, the Celtics have appeared to carry a heavy burden.
On Saturday night, the C’s just unloaded their backpacks and had some fun.
While Steph Curry won the scoring battle against Jayson Tatum – by a 47-44 margin – the Celtics won the war in a thrilling 119-114 victory over the Golden State Warriors at TD Garden.
That’s six in a row for Boston – their longest winning streak of the season. Tatum was front and center throughout, finding ways to keep pace with Curry while the veteran tossed in three-pointer after three-pointer, even after turning his ankle in the fourth.
Using his two good ankles, Tatum bulled his way past Andrew Wiggins for a key bucket in the game’s closing minute.
The score followed a couple of “winning plays” by Marcus Smart, as the seventh year guard corralled an offensive rebound and knocked down a gigantic three to give Boston the lead.
A Kemba Walker step-back triple buried the Warriors with 24 seconds left. Walker’s 26 points were his highest total in the past 20 games.
Curry nailed 11 three-pointers – his third showing with double-digit threes in the past four games – tying Sacramento’s Buddy Hield for the most ever by a Celtics opponent.
The Celtics were down 16 points in the second quarter after Curry scored on a wild 22-foot hook shot (and-one) and drilled a three on the next possession. But Walker and Tatum galvanized a 10-0 Boston run to cut the halftime deficit to six.
Walker canned three consecutive triples to start the third quarter and the C’s surged to a seven-point advantage. They’d then go nearly five minutes without a basket, and the two teams were tied at the start of the fourth.
Boston was without Jaylen Brown, Robert Williams and Evan Fournier. Aside from their key long-term injuries (Klay Thompson and James Wiseman) Golden State missed Kelly Oubre and Eric Paschall. Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson left the game in the fourth after careening over the scorer’s table.
The win moves Boston to 31-26, in sole possession of fourth place in the Eastern Conference, 4.5 games behind Milwaukee for third.
The Green host the Bulls Monday night. Chicago got a win over Cleveland Saturday to stop a five-game skid. All-Star Zach LaVine is expected to miss the game due to health and safety protocol. Coverage starts at 7 p.m. on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Sean Sylver can be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Talk hoops with him on Twitter @TheSylverFox.