Celtics Win 8th Straight at Home, Behind Pierce’s 26
BOSTON — Paul Pierce had 26 points, Jeff Green scored 14 of his 18 in the second half and the Boston Celtics overcame foul trouble and some erratic free throw shooting in a 94-86 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.
Golden State guard Stephen Curry, coming off a 54-point performance Wednesday in a loss at New York, was held to 25 on 6-of-22 shooting.
Kevin Garnett pulled down 13 rebounds as the Celtics improved to 3-3 since the All-Star break despite playing much of the second half without their starting backcourt. Point guard Avery Bradley went to the bench early in the third quarter with his fifth foul and Courtney Lee picked up his fourth late in the third.
But the Celtics managed to pull ahead slowly in the fourth, taking a 13-point lead that was too much for the road-weary Warriors to overcome.
Curry didn’t come close to the jaw-dropping shooting performance that led to his career high for scoring Wednesday night. He was 18 of 28 from the field against the Knicks, including 11 for 13 on 3-pointers, but struggled Friday from everywhere other than the foul line.
Curry went only 3 of 11 on 3s. He made all 10 of his foul shots, but only two came in the second half as the Celtics let him continue to miss shots rather than send him to the line again.
David Lee had 10 points and 19 rebounds in his return from a one-game suspension for the Warriors, who outrebounded the Celtics 54-44. Harrison Barnes scored 16 and Klay Thompson added 15 for Golden State, which fell to 1/3 on a five-game road trip that concludes Saturday in Philadelphia.
Golden State was able to keep it close most of the way by capitalizing on many Boston mistakes, including 9-of-16 free throw shooting in the first half.
Bradley picked up his third foul with 1:05 left in the second quarter, then two more in the first 3:59 of the third period. He fouled Curry for his fifth personal with 8:01 to go in the third and was quickly called back to the bench before Curry made both his free throws to put Golden State up 54-53.
Boston committed seven turnovers in the period, but finished it off on a 9-2 run and led 69-62 entering the final quarter. The Celtics scored nine straight before Carl Landry‘s putback ended a scoring drought that lasted nearly 4 minutes. The Warriors went without a point from Landry’s jumper that tied the score at 60 with 3:55 left in the third until Landry put back an offensive rebound with 3 seconds left.
Curry’s shooting woes continued in the fourth. He missed everything on a 3-point attempt, and the Celtics stretched the lead with six straight points. Boston fans had barely started taunting Curry with an “air-ball!” chant before Jordan Crawford hit a fadeaway jumper to put the Celtics up 75-66.
The Celtics have won eight straight at home. … The Warriors have lost eight of their last 10 in Boston. … Landry scored 11 points and five Golden State players finished in double figures. … Pierce and Green were the only Celtics players to score more than eight points. … Curry’s eight points from the foul line were just one fewer than the Celtics had altogether. … Pierce scored 18 in the first half, but the Celtics’ reserves combined for only eight points.