Sunday, December 11, 2022

Warriors 123, Celtics 107: NBA Champs humble C's in Finals rematch

The Celtics finally got to face the Golden State Warriors for the first time since their Game 6 loss in the NBA Finals six month ago, only to fall to them once again 123-107 at the Chase Center Saturday night.

Jaylen Brown finished with 31 points on 13-of-23 from the field, to go along with nine rebounds, while Jayson Tatum struggled from the floor -- going 6-of-21 (including 2-of-9 from 3-point territory) to score 18 points and grab seven rebounds in 40 minutes of action.
"We played this game like we had it circled for a long time instead of just playing our game," said Brown during his postgame presser.
Malcolm Brogdon had 16 points off the bench, as both Marcus Smart (five assists) and Blake Griffin (seven rebounds) each netted 13 points respectively for the Celtics -- who fell to 21-6 on the season.

Boston was without Robert Williams (knee), despite saying his was "day-to-day" Friday afternoon and Al Horford missed his second straight (125-98 win over the Suns), due to still being in league's Health and Safety Protocols.

Klay Thompson recorded a game-high 34 points on 14-of-26 shooting and Stephen Curry scored 32 points (6-of-11 from deep) and handed out seven assists. Jordan Poole added 20 points, starting in place of an injured Andrew Wiggins, and Jonathan Kuminga chipped on 14 points off the bench for the Warriors -- who improved to 14-13 and 12-2 at home.

The C's trailed 33-25 heading into the second quarter and despite outscoring Golden State 38-35 in the period, they were still behind 68-63 at the break.

The Warriors pushed their lead up to double-figures once again, taking a 95-83 advantage into the final frame.

Brown scored five straight unanswered points to pull the Celtics within eight (105-97) with 6:37 remaining, before the Warriors used a 13-4 run and Grant Williams was hit with an automatic ejection after punching the ball into stands out of frustration with 1:52 left to play.

In the end, Golden State outscored the C's 18-10 and were ahead by as many as 20, after Brown's mini-spurt had cut the deficit to single-digits midway through the fourth.
"They tested us," Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla said. "They forced us to work to make the right play."
The Celtics will look to wrap up their six-game road trip (3-1) on a high note when they face the Clippers (15-13) and Lakers (10-15) in Los Angeles on back-to-back nights beginning Monday from Arena.

Game Notes:

Boston hit 43.7% from the field, including 30% (12-of-40) from long-distance, while the Warriors were 51.1% and 33.3% (13-of-39) from 3-point range. The Celtics were out-rebounded 46-38 and outscored in the paint 46-38. The C's only had 17 assists on 38 made baskets to the home team's 26 dimes on 47 shots.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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