Kings fall to Celtics 104-93 in first game after Black Lives Matter protests

Photo credit: @SacramentoKings

By: Ana Kieu

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Boston Celtics came into Sacramento on Sunday. The last time the Sacramento Kings played here at Golden 1 Center, it was locked down due to protests.

On Sunday, however, the doors opened without any incidents as fans funneled in to see the Kings take on the Celtics.

These two teams could not be having different seasons. The Kings came into Sunday’s matchup at 24-49. Meanwhile, the Celtics are in second place in the Eastern Conference and have a record of 49-23. Sunday’s matchup was set for tip-off at 3:00 pm PST.

The Celtics won the tipoff and they were underway at 3:10 pm. The first four minutes were not very crisp basketball. Both the Kings and the Celtics tried to keep a handle on the ball. Willie Cauley-Stein was fouled with 6:29 to play in the first quarter and gave the Kings a 10-9 lead.

With 3:23 to go in the quarter, De’Aaron Fox slammed a dunk home with absolute authority. That followed by a three ball from Skal Labissiere put the Kings up 21-17. Both teams ended the first quarter with the Kings leading 27-24.

In the second quarter, the Celtics and Kings duked it out on the court. Not to mention that Duke and Kansas were also going at it during March Madness. Nearly at the halfway point in the second, the Kings had a 38-33 lead. Cauley-Stein and Bogdan Bogdanovic teamed up for a flashy alley-oop to give the Kings a 50-43 lead with 2:58 to go in the first half. The Kings added 10 more points before the end of the half to make it a 60-52 lead going into halftime.

The third quarter was when the Celtics retook the lead. Before they had even reached the halfway point in the third, the Celtics stormed back to snatch the lead. They continued to put up points, and at the 2:46 mark, the Celtics had a 74-68 lead. Buddy Hield was fouled with 1:01 to play in the third, and pulled the Kings within two, 78-76. At the conclusion of the third, the Celtics led 80-78.

In the fourth quarter, both teams would struggle to score with only 6:45 to play the game as the Celtics were on top 88-84 Celtics. Mason got a layup to fall to pull the Kings within two, 88-86. Though, the Celtics started to pull away, making the game a 97-86 match with 3:47 to play. The Celtics extended that lead to make it 104-91 with one minute to play.

At that point, the Kings conceded the game and the final was 104-93 Celtics over the Kings.

What’s Next?
The Kings stay home to host the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday at 7:00 pm PST.

The Celtics continue their road trip and head to Phoenix to face the Suns on Monday at 7:00 pm PST.


Curry scores 49, Warriors win a thriller over Celtics 109-105

Photo credit: @warriors

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND, Calif. — The game was billed as a preview of a possible NBA Finals series between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics.

The Warriors lost to the Celtics by four points last November and Golden State knew that they would be in a dogfight against Boston Saturday evening. The Celtics came into Oracle Arena with a lot of confidence as they beat the Warriors in Oakland the past two seasons. Celtics coach Brad Stevens had his team playing great defense, and they are ranked No. 1 in that department in the NBA. The Warriors, however, are not too shabby in that department. They also knew how to play defense, showing their abilities it in the second and third quarters of the game. It was touch and go all night long, but the Warriors came up with the clutch plays when needed, and they beat the Celtics 109-105.

The Celtics–behind a strong offensive performance by Kyrie Irving–outscored the Warriors 37-27 in the first 12 minutes of play. Irving scored 14 points in just nine minutes of action. He was 5-for-5 from the floor, and he knocked down two 3-point shots. The Warriors tied the game at 10, but the Celtics went on an 8-0 run and kept the Warriors at bay.  Former Cal standout, Jaylen Brown, scored 14 in the quarter. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 13.

The Warriors played defense in the second period as they held the Celtics to just 17 points. The Warriors tallied 23 and cut the deficit to four as they trailed 54-50 at the end of the first half. Curry led the Warriors with 16, and Kevin Durant scored 11. Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with 19.

The Warriors got it going in the third quarter as they have done so many times this year. They continued to play great defense, and the offense perked up as they outscored Boston 30-19 and finished the period leading 80-73.

The Celtics, the best team in the Eastern Conference, showed the Warriors and the fans in Oracle Arena why they are the best in the East. Irving made a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game (90-89). Curry made a bucket, but the Celtics took the lead (93-92). The game was tied at 95 with just 2:36 to play. Steph hit a three and followed with a layup with 1:08 left to put the Warriors up by five. The Celtics’ Terry Rozier hit a trey to make it 105-104 with 7.7 seconds left on the clock. The Celtics fouled Curry, and he hit two free throws. The Celtics could not convert, so they fouled Curry again, and he iced the game by making the two free throws. The Warriors won 109-105 over a very tough and determined Celtics team.

Game Notes and Stats: Curry was the star of the game. He scored 49 points, and the fans were chanting “MVP, MVP” many times throughout the game. He scored 13 points in the last 1:32 of the game.

Draymond Green had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Also, he blocked three shots.

Durant had 20.

Klay Thompson scored just seven points, but he played a fantastic game on defense. The Warriors shot 45.2% from the floor, and they were 10-for-27 from three-point range. They also had six steals and nine blocks on defense.

Boston was led by Kyrie Irving’s 37 points. Jaylen Brown recorded 20 and Marcus Morris–coming off the bench–scored 12.

With the win, the Warriors are now 40-10 for the season, and Boston drops to 35-15.

Up Next: The Warriors will take on the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City Tuesday night.

Warriors lose a close one to Boston Celtics 92-88

Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown (7) and Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry battle for a loose ball during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

by Jerry Feitelberg

BOSTON — The Boston Celtics won their 14th game in a row Thursday night s they came back from a 17-point deficit to beat the Warriors 92-88 and snapped the Warriors’ seven-game win streak.

The Celtics, who are number one in defense in the NBA, shut down the Warriors vaunted offense and held the Warriors to a season-low 88 points. Two-time MVP, Steph Curry, who missed the last game with a right thigh contusion was held to just nine points. Steph was three-for fourteen from the field and 2-for-9 from the 3-point range. His Splash Brother partner, Klay Thompson, was held to 13 points.

The Warriors looked sharp in the first quarter as they finished the period leading by 10 (28-18). They increased the lead to 17, but the Celtics were able to claw their way back and trailed by five at the end of the first half (47-42).

The Celtics outscored the Warriors 26-21 in the third quarter and won the game in the fourth quarter as they held the Warriors to just 20 points while scoring 24.

Game notes and stats — The Warriors shot 40.2% from the floor and held Boston to just 32.9%. Normally, these numbers would give the Warriors the win. The Celtics won the game as the Warriors were called for 24 fouls and had 38 free throw attempts. The Celtics recorded 33 points from the free throw line while Golden State made just 12 free throws. The 21-point disparity made up the difference and sent Boston to a victory.

Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 24 points, three assists, and three rebounds. Draymond Green tallied 11 (five assists, eight rebounds, and three blocked shots). The Golden State defense had nine steals and 10 blocks in the game.

Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving scored 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter. Most of them came from the charity stripe. The Celtics were led by Jalen Brown. Brown, who played college basketball at Berkeley, scored 22 points and had seven rebounds. Al Horford had a double-double with 18 points and 11 boards.

After the game, Curry had this to say about his performance: “It was just one of those nights…We had control of the game despite how bad we all were shooting. We just didn’t sustain ourselves defensively.”

Curry sat for a long stretch after picking up his fourth foul early in the third quarter.

“We kind of fell out of our rotation in the third quarter,” head coach Steve Kerr said. “They were just tougher and smarter than we were tonight.”

The Warriors are now 11-4 while Boston improves to 14-2.

The Warriors play the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday night. Game time is at 5 pm.

Kings Press Row Podcast NBA Week 3 : The Key Phrase is “Player Development”

Podcast host Charlie O. Mallonee

1-alt kings


  • Welcome to Week 3 of the NBA

  • The phrase that pays in 2017-18 is “Player Development”

  • The Kings need to score more points – seriously

  • The free throw line could be Sac’s best friend

  • What is coming up in NBA Week 4?

Kings get blown out by Celtics in 113-86 loss

Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving (11) shoots over Sacramento Kings’ George Hill (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

By: Ana Kieu

BOSTON — The Sacramento Kings lost their sixth straight game in a 113-86 blowout loss to the Boston Celtics at TD Garden Wednesday night.

Both teams had a goal in mind. The Kings hoped to snap a five-game losing skid while the Celtics wanted to extend its winning streak to six games. Turns out, Boston got exactly what they wished for—a win over a hapless Sacramento squad.

As usual, the starting lineups were released prior to the game. The Kings went with George Hill, Garrett Temple, Willie Cauley-Stein, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Zach Randolph, whereas the Celtics selected Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Aron Baynes, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford.

Kosta Koufos hit what would’ve been his first career three-pointer, but the referee didn’t recognize it to count as three points.

The Kings trailed the Celtics by just three points (27-24) in the first quarter. Randolph had nine points while Hill scored seven points.

The Kings were losing miserably as they trailed the Celtics 58-45 at the half, but that didn’t stop the Kings’ Twitter from cracking some jokes for the fans in the third quarter.

As you can see, the Kings were down by 29 after three quarters. The Celtics’ offense kept on getting better. Brown and Irving got 22 points apiece. Irving also collected five assists. Tatum and Terry Rozier had nine points apiece.

The Kings’ Twitter displayed sportsmanship at the end of the game even though the Garden got loud after the Celtics extended their record to 6-2 with a 113-86 win over the Kings.

Kings shooting guard Buddy Hield scored 16 points off the bench at the Garden.

De’Aaron Fox notched a strong performance against the Indiana Pacers Tuesday night. Fox recorded 18 points (12 in the fourth quarter), five assists, four rebounds and one steal. He also marked the third time in seven games where he’s scored 18 or more points.

“Just coming out with more energy,” Fox told the Sacramento Kings. “We talk about trying to do that in the first half and it’s harder to be done than said but it’s something that we’re going to have to do if we’re going to compete in these games.”

Up Next
The Kings (1-7) visit the Detroit Pistons (5-3) Saturday at 7 p.m. EST on NSCA and FSDT.

Kings lose a battle in Boston 97-92

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Sacramento Kings v Boston Celtics
Cousins and Horford battle under the basket Photo NBAE

The Kings and Celtics went to war on the basketball court on Friday night in Boston. The game featured 23 lead changes and 12 ties. As those stats would imply, both teams had the opportunity to win the game. In the end, Boston led by Al Horford was able to put the “W” in the books because of their tough play late in the fourth quarter.

The Celtics won their 11th game of the season as they downed the Kings 97-92. Sacramento now drops to 7-12 on the season and 1-2 on what is now a five-game road trip.

The Kings started slow and finished sluggish

Sacramento went with the “the big” starting lineup in this game – Koufos, Cousins, Gay, Afflalo and Collison. Boston began running away from this starting five immediately. By the 4:26 mark in the first quarter, the Celtics held a 13-point lead 24-11. Dave Joerger pulled all of his starters except Cousins and the second unit erased the deficit tying the game at 29-29 at the end of the first period.

That set up a real battle between the teams that played out in second, third and part of the fourth quarters.

With 7:54 to go in the game, Al Horford hit a hook shot that tied the game and the Celtics eventually went on a 10-0 run that created a major uphill battle for the Kings. Sacramento led by Cousins tried to fight their way back into the game and did cut the Celtics lead to three points with 39 seconds remaining in the game. The Kings were unable to score again in those final seconds and lost the game.

The Kings lost Cousins for medical treatment late in the 3rd and early in the 4th quarters

Late in the third quarter, Ty Lawson and DeMarcus Cousins were both going for a defensive rebound when Lawson’s left elbow hit Cousins above the left eye. The blow opened up a cut above Cousins’ left eye. He was taken to the locker room where they glued the cut shut and he returned to the game with under eight minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

Was that the turning point in the game? No, it was not. Read the next section and you will understand why it was not the key to the loss.

Missed shots in the paint – poor shot selection – turnovers all haunt the Kings

“We just shot ourselves in the foot. We turned the damned thing (the ball) over like I’ve never seen.We take bad shots sometimes and it just ticks me off. At bad times … stuff we know we have to get better at. We’re not a bunch of rookies. We can get better. We’ll keep plugging away and keep getting better, but we shot 47 shots in the paint and missed how many layups? Turnovers killed us. Shots come and go – we didn’t make shots,” said Kings head coach Dave Joerger after the game.

Sacramento outscored Boston 42-34 in the paint but went 21-for-47 in the high percentage shooting area. The Kings shot just 37.9-percent (33-for-87) for the game. It is almost impossible to win a game in the NBA and shoot under 40-percent. Sacramento turned the ball over 15 times and those TOVs created 21 points for Boston.

Cousins was the Kings scoring leader but it was not his best night – Barnes was big

  • DeMarcus Cousins was the game’s leading scorer with 28 points but he had to take 26 shots to tally those points. He was 2-for-7 from long range. Cousins had nine rebounds so he did not record a double-double
  • Matt Barnes did have a double-double for the Kings on Friday night. He scored 12 points, grabbed 16 rebounds (game-high) and added five assists. Barnes also provided some much needed energy on defense several times in the game
  • Rudy Gay and Darren Collison each scored 12 points for Sacramento. Gay had eight rebounds but went 1-for-7 from 3-point range. Collison had three assists
  • Omri Casspi played almost 27 minutes off the bench and scored seven points. Casspi brought some much needed energy late in the first quarter
  • Willie Cauley-Stein had some strong minutes of playing time in the first half and scored six points in the game
Sacramento Kings v Boston Celtics
Matt Barnes moves with the ball in Boston Photo NBAE

Al Horford was the star for Boston in the game

Horford had a complete game for the Celtics on Friday night against the Kings. The Boston center played 35-minutes scoring 26 points, recorded eight rebounds, dished out three assists, had two steals and six -yes you are reading correctly – six blocked shots. He shot 10-for-18 from the floor and 4-for-7 from beyond the 3-point line.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was even more impressed with Horford’s defense. Stevens talked about how his center is always at the ready on defense. Horford did make a key defensive play on Cousins in the final seconds of the game to deny the Kings big man a 3-point shot opportunity.

Other Celtic contributors

  • Former Kings player Isaiah Thomas put up 20 points and handed out seven assists on a night when he did not shoot his best. Thomas shot 6-for-21 from the floor and 0-for-5 from 3-point land
  • Jae Crowder added 16 points and Avery Bradley scored 15 for Boston
  • One of the big weaknesses for the Celtics is the lack of bench scoring. The Celtics reserves scored just 12 points in the contest. The Kings bench scored 33 points in the game
Sacramento Kings v Boston Celtics
Isaiah Thomas goes to the basket against his old team on Friday night Photo NBAE

Up next on the schedule

The Kings have the day off in New York City on Saturday and then will face the New York Knicks in “the Garden” on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. PST in game four of the five-game road trip.

The Celtics kick off a road trip on Saturday night in Philadelphia with the Sixers assuming the floor is dry enough for play. The NBA will make sure the floor is game-ready for the Celtics and Sixers … take that to the bank.

The Warriors win their sixth in a row, beat the Boston Celtics

by Jerry Feitelberg

Boston-The Golden State Warriors beat the Celtics Friday night by a score of 104-88. The Warriors, keeping in mind the tough time they had last year beating the Celtics in double overtime, won the game in the third quarter as the outscored the Celts 31-9 to put the game out of reach.

The first quarter was close. The biggest lead the Dubs owned was 25-16. The Celtics went on a 9-0 run to tie the game at 27. James Michael McAdoo made a two-point bucket at the end of the quarter to give the Dubs the lead 29-27. The Warriors, behind the stellar play of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, increased the lead to eight 55-48 at the half. The Warriors played solid defense holding the Celtics to just twenty-one points in the second quarter. Draymond Green, Zazu Pachulia, and Andre Iguodala all did their jobs. Pachulia rebounded, Green rebounded, made assists, blocked shots and Andre Iguodala was terrific off the bench.

The third quarter belonged to Golden State. The Warriors went on a 24-3 run to start the third quarter.Klay was hot, and Green made two three-point shots early in the quarter. The Warriors held theCeltics to just nine points. It was the fewest points allowed in any quarter this season. The quarter ended with the Dubs ahead by twenty-nine 86-57. The Dubs went to sleep in the final period of the game. The Celtics outscored the Warriors 30-13 at one point to close the gap to eleven 99-88 but Steph Curry hit a three then a layup to put the game out of reach.

Game Notes- Klay Thompson led the Dubs with 28 points. Kevin Durant had a double-double. He was second in scoring with 23 and he pulled dow 10 boards and had 7 assists. Steph Curry didn’t score a lot. He had sixteen but had seven assists. Draymond contributed 11 points, eight assists ,and eight rebounds. Zaza Pachulia had 12 rebounds.The Dubs had ten steals and seven blocked shots as the defense was superb. They shot 48.9% from the floor and had thirty-three assists in the contest. It was the sixth straight game the Dubs had 30 or more assists and the eighth time this seasonIsiah Thomas had 18 for Boston. Avery Bradley chipped in with 17 and rookie Jaylen Brown had 11 as did Terry Rozier.

After the game, Durant said this about his teammates”they help me out a lot”. He also remarked this about his performance Friday night” I just want to contribute the best way I can.” He commented that”the defense was great.” Klay Thompson also said,”we just played great defense.” CVoach Steve Kerr said:”when we went to the smaller lineup,[there was]lots of switching, getting our hands up”. Kerr observed that the “guys are getting more comfortable with each other.” There was one downside as Kerr had this to say about the team’s performance:”we still haven’t put four quarters together but we are playing longer stretches of good basketball.”

The Warriors face the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday night in Milwaukee. Last year, the Buck ended the Dubs twenty-four game winning streak the night after the Warriors beat the Celtics. The Warriors do not want to have history repeat. Game time ia at 5:30 PM.



Kings lose again; BOS 128 SAC 119

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Boston Celtics
Photo Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

by Charlie O. Mallonee

It was not a super Sunday for the Sacramento Kings. In fact, it was more like Groundhog Day. The Kings lost to the Boston Celtics 128-119 on Sunday. If that score sounds familiar, it was the same identical final score of the Kings loss in Brooklyn on Friday night.

The Kings have now allowed their last eight opponents to score 100 or more points against them. As it has been noted, the Kings score enough points to win. They cannot get enough stops not to lose.

It was another disastrous first quarter for the Kings versus Boston. Sacramento gave up 46 first quarter points to the Celtics. They trailed Boston 46-37 after the first period.

If giving up 46 first quarter points was not bad enough, Sacramento allowed Boston to score 74 first half points. The Celtics led the game 74-58 at the half.

The Kings have consistently been digging themselves into a hole early in games. The team starts slow and then tries to overcome the bad start in the second half. The problem with that approach is it takes so much energy to get back into the game that there is nothing left in the tank to finish the game. That is what happened again on Sunday.

The Kings played a much better game on offense and defense in the second half. They created turnovers and transition situations. Sacramento outscored the Celtics 61-54 in the second half but it was too little too late.

When asked what the team can do to start games faster, Kings head coach George Karl said the coaching staff is “pulling our hair out” trying to come up with a solution.

Karl also pointed out that there is very little practice time available during this time of the season. Karl said the Kings need to “simplify” things. In other words, the team needs to get back to the basics like playing defense.

Multiple sources reported that George Karl’s job was on the line after the humiliating loss in Brooklyn. If those reports are true, the loss in Boston on Sunday did not help Karl’s cause to keep his job.

If things were not bad enough, the Kings have to play second half of back-to-back road games against Cleveland on Monday night. It is a losing team’s worst nightmare to have to face LeBron James and the Cavs when trying to stop a losing streak.

In this reporter’s opinion, firing George Karl will only add instability to a very unstable basketball organization. That being said, I do not believe George Karl will be the Kings head coach when the campaign continues after the All-Star Break.


DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings scoring attack on Sunday. Cousins scored 31 points but had to take 25 shots to score those points. He pulled down seven rebounds and dished out six assists. Cousins also picked up another technical foul in the first quarter of the game.

Rajon Rondo recorded another double-double against his old team. Rondo scored 14 points and distributed 15 assists to go with six steals.

Marco Belinelli made another start versus the Celtics. He scored 16 points but it required 17 shots to score those points. Belinelli was just 2-for-8 from 3-point range.

Willie Cauley-Stein had a solid game scoring 15 points while shooting 7-for-9 from the floor in 23-minutes of playing time.

James Anderson started at forward for Rudy Gay who was sidelined with a sprained ankle.

Sacramento had a 49.5 field goal percentage for the game. The Kings posted 32 assists and turned the ball over just 14 times. They were out-rebounded by Boston 49-32.


Guard Avery Bradley led the Celtics scoring with 25 points. Bradley shot 6-for-7 from “downtown”.

Former Kings and first time All-Star Isaiah Thomas added 22 points of his own. Thomas also had nine assists.

Boston shot 56.0-percent from the floor (51-for-91) and 54.2-percent (13-for-24) from beyond the 3-point line. The Celtics went 13-for-15 (86.7-percent) from the free throw line.


Warriors overpower Celtics after erasing 26-point deficit in Boston

BOSTON — The Golden State Warriors continue to be the class of the NBA.

Stephen Curry poured in 37 points, while fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson added 20 points as the Warriors erased a 26-point lead to defeat the Boston Celtics 106-101 Sunday night in Beantown. With the win, Golden State continue hold the NBA’s best record at 46-11 and giving the Warriors their seventh win in their last nine games.

Harrison Barnes chipped in with 17 points and eight rebounds and Draymond Green scored 14 points (11 in the fourth quarter).

“This was a fun challenge for us,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “If we lost, it wouldn’t have been the end of the world. But we were down and we came back. I was happy that we showed good poise.”

“We didn’t want to be down 26,” Curry said after the Warriors played their fifth game on a six-game road trip, and the middle of a string of three games in four nights. “It seemed like it was sluggish there in the first quarter. We had to be mentally tough to make it an interesting game and close out the half.”

Golden State has won four straight versus Boston for the first time since the team moved west from Philadelphia in 1962, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 20 points off the bench, and Tyler Zeller finished with 17 points for the Celtics, who saw their three-game winning streak snapped.

Jae Crowder recorded 17 of Boston’s game-high 60 rebounds, compared to Golden State’s 55 total rebounds. Brandon Bass added 15 points and 12 rebounds for Boston.

Boston dominated Golden State 22-10 on fast break points, while Golden State shoot better from the floor than Boston, 42 percent (40-for-95) for Golden State, 36 percent (40-for-109) for Boston.

Golden State continued to shoot lights out on 3s, knocking down 12-of-34 (35 percent). Boston shot just 26 percent (8-for-31) from behind the arc.

Golden State wraps up it’s six-game road swing Monday night in Brooklyn.



Warriors Squeak Past Celtics Thanks to Thompson’s Encore

By Matthew T.F. Harrington

What would Klay Thompson do for an encore after dropping 37 points in a quarter Friday night? The All-star hopeful didn’t quite replicate the matching and drop 40 over 12 minutes, but he did produce a game-high 31 points to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 114-111 win over the Boston Celtics Sunday at Oracle Arena.

One game after setting the NBA points record in a quarter against the Sacramento Kings, Thompson hit 11 of 19 field goals (including three three-pointers) over 32 minutes to help the Dubs (36-6) extend their home winning streak to 19.
Thompson didn’t shoulder the burden alone. Fellow Splash Brother Stephen Curry picked up his 15th double-double, scoring 22 while dishing out 11 assists. Andrew Bogut joined curry for a double double-double, scoring 13 while pulling down a game-best 13 rebounds.

The Celtics (15-27) rode a near double-double from Jared Sullinger to remain in contention against the NBA’s best. The former Ohio State Buckeye worked the Warriors defense for 26 points but came a rebound shy of double-digit totals. Guard Evan Turner produced an efficient shooting night, hitting 7 of 12 attempted shots from the floor for 19 points.

After taking a 3-2 lead, the Warriors never trailed in the first quarter, but couldn’t extend the lead more than seven points, ultimately settling for a 30-23 first quarter edge. The second quarter was more of the same with the tenacious Celtics hanging around to trail 56-49 at the half.

The Warriors appeared to be putting their potential draft lottery-pick bound opponents away, staking out as much as a twelve-point lead after an Andre Iguodala layup put the Warriors ahead 86-74, closing out the quarter ahead 89-77. The Celtics made the Warriors sweat it out though, scoring 34 fourth-quarter points to the Warriors 25, pulling one possession away from a chance to tie.

With a victory nearly stolen, the Warriors now face a tough test in the visiting Chicago Bulls. If the Warriors want to make it 20-straight at home, they’ll have to top the Central Division’s best Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.