Last night we had a regular-season showdown between the two prohibitive favorites to represent their respective conferences in the NBA finals. The Golden State Warriors were able to hold off the Boston Celtics in a closely contested game 115-111. It was the first meeting between the two teams this season.
Kevin Durant led all scorers with 33 points, Steph Curry finished with 24 points., Klay Thompson chipped in with 21 ponts., and in his fourth game back DeMarcus Cousins added 15 points. For the Celtics Kyrie Irving led five players in double figures with 32 points., Al Horford scored 22 points., and Jayson Tatum finished with 20 points.
A Few Takeaways
Takeaway One: Boston’s Supporting Cast
The Celtics supporting cast cannot get outplayed by the Warriors if they have any shot of defeating the Warriors in seven-game series. Brown, Haywood, and Rozier were a combined 4-17 from the field. They were also 2-7 from three-point range. The trio combined to score 14 points with Brown scoring 10 of the 14. The struggles of Gordon Haywood continue to plague the Celtics. Marcus Morris had an off night as well scoring 9 points on 3-12 shooting from the field. The Warriors definitely have the better starting five, but the Celtics overall depth in talent was the main reasons many people gave them a shot to dethrone the Warriors. If Livingston, Iguodala, and Looney are going to outscore Brown, Haywood, and Rozier the Celtics have no chance to beat the Warriors.
Takeaway Two: Al Horford's Strong Play
Al Horford had a strong game scoring 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. He was able to pull De Marcus Cousins from the basket with his outside shooting. The Celtics need Horford to play well and either win the matchup against Cousins or at least be even with him. Cousins had a soild game as he tries to make it back from the left achilles injury, but he battled foul trouble all game. Horford won the matchup last night, and was the only big man for the Celtics that played well.
Takeaway Three: Celtics Could Beat the Warriors
The Celtics role players did not play well and they only lost by 4 points. Rozier and Haywood each scored 2 potins and Marcus Morris who has at times flirted with a 50 40 90 season stuggled from the field last night. Their defense had some lapses last night that led to some dunks and layups. After last nights game if you are a Celtics fan you have to like your chances to beat the Warriors.
These two teams will matchup again in the Bay Area on March 3rd, and we will see if the Celtics can address some of these issues. Or will Head Coach Brad Stevens keep some of his adjustments close to the vest, and save them for a finals matchup. If your the Warriors you have hit your stride winning 10 straight games. Their focus going forward is to continue to work Cousins into the flow and help him get his game legs back. The first matchup did not disappoint, and I am pretty sure the second match will not either.