Skip to main content

Steрh Curry, Wаrriors burn the Celtіcs, ѕnap wіnnіng ѕtreak: 7 tаkeаwаys

Jayson Tatum of the Celtics is guarded by Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors in the first half at Chase Center on Tuesday. 

The Celtics started their west coast trip on Tuesday (or very early Wednesday, for everyone in Boston) with a 132-126 overtime loss to the Warriors.

Klay shares how win vs. Celtics reassures Warriors of team they can bemenu 

Klay shares how win vs. Celtics reassures Warriors of team they can be Klay Thompson speaks to the media after the Golden State Warriors’ 132-126 overtime win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night at Chase Center.        

1. After their most impressive stretch of the season, claiming five straight home wins under grueling circumstances and leaving Boston with excellent vibes, the Celtics blew one they should have won against an opponent they probably really wanted to beat.

The Celtics had a 17-point lead in the second half, and they had Steph Curry on the brink of fouling out with more than a quarter-and-a-half to go. They had myriad opportunities to score layups that, in retrospect, would have been the difference in the fourth quarter, and even more that could have cut into the deficit in overtime. They had numerous open 3-pointers that could have done the same. They had a Warriors team weakened by Draymond Green’s inability to control either his emotions or his flailing limbs on the ropes. They even had the last shot of regulation.


But the Warriors hung around, and letting the Warriors hang around invites Curry to go off. He obliged, and everyone watching knew exactly what was going to happen when he launched a moon-ball from behind the 3-point arc with 10 seconds remaining. Sure enough, it dropped through, and the Celtics generated nothing inspiring on the other end.

We certainly won’t be the first to note that the Celtics started the season 20-5 last year only to lose to the Warriors at exactly this time, and spiral out of their position at the top of the standings. This is an opportunity for Joe Mazzulla and this group to prove that all the talk about how this team is different is based in reality and not just another hot start. They are 20-6. That’s really good, as long as they keep building in a positive direction.

2. Curry’s foul trouble ended up being an odd monkey’s paw for the Celtics, who attacked him repeatedly to get him into foul trouble, but then seemed hyper-fixated on getting the star guard his sixth foul at all costs. The instinct makes sense — look no further than Curry’s late heroics to understand why they wanted him gone — but the offense broke down as a result and the Celtics looked much more like the inconsistent 2021-22 iteration of their team than the free-flowing group that just blew out the Magic and Cavaliers over the last four games.


3. With a few exceptions, the Celtics had a brutal night from 3-point range: A franchise-record 41 misses, and 17-for-58 shooting overall (29.3 percent). Sam Hauser had one of the performances he occasionally encounters when absolutely nothing will fall (0-for-6 despite a number of really high quality looks), Jayson Tatum was 2-for-9, Al Horford was 3-for-10, Jaylen Brown was 1-for-4 and Jrue Holiday was 1-for-5. Derrick White’s 7-for-18 shooting from distance helped the Celtics stay in the game, but he also missed three wide-open triples at crucial junctures in the fourth quarter and overtime that could have turned the tides.

Payton Pritchard was 3-for-5 from deep (4-for-6 overall) and was unambiguously pretty good in his 20 minutes running the point.

4. In a concerning moment for a tough player who is notoriously reluctant to sit out, Tatum turned his left ankle in the first quarter and immediately hobbled to the locker room. He returned to the bench after a brief stint and could be seen using bands to stretch his ankle out before returning the game, but he looked limited. Tatum shot 5-for-17 from the floor and missed several shots he normally makes at a very high clip.

The Celtics might take some heat for Tatum’s final shot of regulation, but he didn’t look as dominant as usual after the injury, which may have played a role. Whether or not Mazzulla should have taken a timeout to set something up for one of his healthy players is a worthwhile debate, but not taking a timeout sometimes pays dividends.

5. With Kristaps Porzingis out, presumably in a move by Mazzulla to buy a night for each of his bigs on staggered nights of a back-to-back, Al Horford was solid everywhere besides the 3-point line: 13 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, as well as a huge block/save against Curry in a big moment in the fourth quarter.

Luke Kornet remained out as well, meaning the Celtics’ back-up center minutes went to Neemias Queta. Not for the first time this season, Queta played well: 10 points and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes, including six offensive boards. There’s a lot to be said for a very big, very strong player who plays hard whenever he’s in the game.

6. Without much else to analyze (the Celtics struggled without Porzingis or a healthy Tatum but still could and perhaps should have won, Curry was Curry, you know the drill), we will just reiterate that the Celtics went unbelievably cold late, which cost them. The most blatant possession lasted from 1:21 to 0:53 in the fourth quarter and included no fewer than five than missed field-goal attempts in the box score, including two from White and one each from Brown, Tatum and Horford.

7. The Celtics will play the second end of a back-to-back on Wednesday when they take on the Kings.