For the second straight year, the Boston Celtics came into Oracle Arena and beat the Warriors. On Wednesday night, the Celtics were terrific for much of the fourth quarter and took advantage of a strange Golden State lineup to earn a 99-86 win.
The Celtics handed the Warriors their first loss at Oracle last season on April 1. The Warriors started the 2015-2016 season by winning their first 36 games in Oakland.
The Warriors led 79-78 with seven-plus minutes left but that’s when everything fell apart and fell apart in a big way. The Celtics outscored the Warriors 15-0 to take a 93-79 lead and that was pretty much that. The Warriors committed eight of their 18 turnovers in the fourth quarter.
On the floor for a good chunk of that run was: Stephen Curry, Ian Clark, Patrick McCaw, Andre Iguodala and James Michael McAdoo. That’s not the kind of lineup you’d expect in an important game (the Spurs are creeping) in the final six minutes. But coach Steve Kerr said it was about getting his players rest, particularly amid this tough stretch of eight games in eight different cities.
The Warriors went just 6-for-30 from 3-point range, and Curry once again struggled, going just 2-for-9 from beyond the arc. Over the past six games, Curry is 17-for-68 from beyond the arc — just 25 percent. For the season, Curry’s 3-point percentage has dropped to .397, which would be his worst shooting season, by far, in his career from beyond the arc.
Andre Iguodala continues to look like a different player in recent games. Once a reluctant shooter and finisher at the rim, Iguodala appears to be trying to get back to the player he was in his prime. Iguodala had nine points in 12 first-half minutes, and that came on the heels of his season-high 24 point game against Atlanta on Monday.
Before the game, Warriors forward Kevin Durant addressed the media for the first time since suffering an injury against the Washington Wizards on Feb. 28. Durant, who suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain and tibial bone bruise, will miss another three weeks before next being evaluated.
The hope is that Durant can return either late in the regular season or in time for the first round of the playoffs. But Durant was making no predictions.
“I’m not even trying to put a date on it,” Durant said. “I’m setting goals every single day. Straightening my leg out, that was a big goal of mine throughout this week. I was able to just accomplish that. Got some range of motion as I bent my leg. So that was a key for me. Just trying to set these small goals day by day.”
If Durant’s update was supposed to make Warriors’ fans optimistic about his return, it didn’t quite do that. Instead, it’s likely nobody really feels encouraged or discouraged by what Durant said. We’ll know more in three weeks.