THE Boston Celtics snapped a two-game skid in style after riding a scorching fourth quarter surge to put away the Golden State Warriors, 99-86, at the Oracle Arena on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time)
The Celtics and Warriors engaged in a tough back-and-forth battle in the first three quarters with six lead changes, six ties but Steph Curry gave Golden State a 74-72 lead into the fourth after beating the third period buzzer with a triple and some trash talk for rookie Jaylen Brown.
The fourth quarter remained a tight contest early on, with three lead changes in just the first four minutes of the period. But a 15-0 run, sparked by Jae Crowder’s back-to-back treys, gave the Celtics a 93-79 lead with 4:00 left.
After a 5-0 Warriors counter, Avery Bradley answered with a midrange jumper to push the lead back to double digits and Isaiah Thomas got a crucial steal before sinking a pair of free throws to put Boston up 97-84 with 1:36 to go. Bradley then slammed home a putback off a Thomas miss to take the fight out of the Warriors.
Thomas, the league leader in fourth quarter points (10.6), had seven of team-high 25 points in the final period including the booming triple in the Celtics (41-24) pivotal run. Kelly Olynyk added 17 markers off the bench. Bradley and Al Horford scored 12 and 10, respectively.
Klay Thompson and Curry led the way for the Warriors, who fell to 52-11 after seeing their two-game win streak snapped, with 25 and 23 points, respectively. But Curry ended up scoreless in the fourth, while Thompson only had a point. Draymond Green finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.
The Warriors only lead the streaking San Antonio Spurs by 1.5 games in the West standings after their loss.