Celtics-Warriors takeaways: C’s show resiliency in OT victory originally appeared on NBC SportsBoston
The Golden State Warriors have been the Boston Celtics’ kryptonite, but the C’s refused to back down against the defending champions Thursday night at TD Garden.
After trailing by as many as 11 points in the second half, the Celtics showed their resiliency to force overtime and escaped with a 121-118 win for their eighth consecutive victory. As for the Warriors, their road woes continue as they’re now 5-18 away from Chase Center this season.
It was an inefficient shooting night for Jayson Tatum (9-for-27 FG), yet the C’s star still finished with a game-high 34 points and a career-high 19 rebounds. Jaylen Brown was rusty in his return from injury but he came through with big buckets late and finished with 16 points.
Stephen Curry dropped 29 points in the losing effort for Golden State. Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole added 24 points a piece.
The Celtics will look to extend their win streak to nine games when they visit the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night. Here are our takeaways from the C’s thrilling victory, which brings them to 34-12 on the season.
The Jays show their poise
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were off their game for much of regulation. They were a combined 15-for-45 from the floor, but they made their shots when they mattered most.
Tatum, whose infamous woes vs. Golden State have haunted him dating back to Game 1 of the 2022 Finals, came through with a handful of clutch shots between the fourth quarter and overtime.
You know a player is special when they finish with 34 points and 19 rebounds and it’s considered an off night.
Tatum is the fifth player in Celtics history to record at least 34 points and 19 rebounds in a single game. He also played a season-high 48 minutes in the gritty performance.
As for Brown, he couldn’t buy a bucket during regulation in his return from a right adductor injury. He was 3-for-14 from the field and 0-for-3 from long range before drilling the game-tying 3-pointer to force OT.
He continued to propel the C’s to victory during the overtime period and finished with 16 points on 6-of-18 shooting.
Boston’s size advantage was the main reason it was able to keep it close vs. Golden State. The Celtics’ big men had a field day against the Warriors’ smaller lineup.
Al Horford set the tone early with 10 points and five rebounds in the first quarter. To put that into perspective, the 36-year-old entered Thursday’s action averaging 9.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
Horford didn’t look 36 in this one. He showed what two days of rest can do with this chase-down block on Jordan Poole.
He kept that pace throughout the night, including the fourth quarter when he came through with a huge 3.
Horford was the Celtics’ second-highest scorer with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting. He also brought down 10 boards.
Robert Williams arguably was the MVP of the hard-fought win as he dominated the glass with seven offensive rebounds (11 total). The Warriors had seven offensive boards as a group.
Williams also tallied 14 points. The Celtics had 22 second-chance points to the Warriors’ 14, as well as 52 points in the paint to Golden State’s 30. They outrebounded the Warriors, 63-47.
A shooting struggle
Tatum and Brown weren’t the only inefficient shooters for the Celtics on Thursday. They squeaked out the OT victory despite shooting 39.8% as a team, their lowest field goal percentage since their Dec. 21 loss to the Indiana Pacers. They were 13-for-41 (31.7%) from beyond the arc.
The Warriors’ numbers don’t look a whole lot better as they were 35.3% from 3, but that number was in the 40s before they cooled off late in the fourth quarter and in OT.
The Jays and the rest of the C’s will need to get their groove back when they head to Toronto for a Saturday night showdown. They’ll also hope this is the last time they’ll see Golden State in 2023, as even with the impressive win it’s clear the Warriors know how to keep Boston’s stars from taking over.