THE Boston Celtics proved their mettle in clawing back from 17 points down to stun the Golden State Warriors, 92-88, on Thursday at the TD Garden.
Irving scored 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to cap a searing comeback in a tightly contested endgame to stretch their win streak to 14, ending the Warriors seven game run in the process.
The Warriors came out firing to start the game, leading by as much as 17 in the second quarter before the Celtics finished the first half with a 15-3 spurt to trail only by five at the break, 47-42.
But Golden State again started out strong after halftime with a 9-1 blitz and pushed the lead back up to 17 with four minutes left in another scorching third quarter run. But Boston stormed back with a 19-0 surge to tie the game after three quarters, and turned the match into a see-saw battle until the final buzzer.
Irving got a three-point play to put Celtics on top 86-85 with 2:36 to go, but Klay Thompson sank a triple with 1:21 left in the fourth to get the Warriors back on the driver’s seat, 88-86. A pair of free throws by Irving tied the game at 88.
Draymond Green missed an open triple on the next play, before Irving drew a foul on Kevin Durant and hit two more crucial free throws to give the Celitcs the upper hand, 90-88, with 14 seconds remaining.
After Durant came up empty in their next possession, Golden State was forced to foul Jayson Tatum who sank both free throws and seal the win.
Jaylen Brown had 22 points to lead the Celtics (14-2), while Al Horford chipped in 18. Marcus Morris scored 12.
Durant led all scorers with 24 points, and Thompson added 13 for the Warriors (11-4). Steph Curry had an off-night, shooting 3-of-14 to finish with just nine points.