In the first game of a back-to-back set, the Warriors had little trouble dispatching a Celtics team missing two of its five starting members. With defensive stalwarts Al Horford and Jae Crowder watching in street clothes, Golden State tallied 104 points on nearly 49-percent shooting in a contest in which they led by as many as 30 points. Despite a late flurry of baskets by the Celtics in the final minutes of the fourth, the game was effectively decided mid-way through the third quarter, a frame that saw the Warriors outscore their opponents 31 to nine.
The Dubs have a short turnaround with a tip-off against the Milwaukee Bucks coming in less than 24 hours
Here are 10 thoughts on the game:
1. Playing for the first time against the team he spurned in free agency last summer, Kevin Durant notched 23 points on only 13 shot attempts to go with 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals and 1 block. It was as if he was deliberately trying to make Celtics fans regret all over again that they were thiiiiis close to signing the former MVP.
3. Klay Thompson, playing in front of his future home fans (if you are to believe internet buffoonery and Brian Scalabrine), finally looked like the Klay Thompson of old. He connected on catch-and-shoot threes, took the ball to the rim on show-and-gos, and swished just about every foul-line jumper during the competitive portion of the game. Klay finished with 28 points while shooting over 50% from behind the arc and the field.
4. Patrick McCaw’s defense is astounding for such a young player. He doesn’t get a stat here, but he shuffles his feet quickly to stay in front of a driving Terry Rozier, and just as Rozier is about to gain a step on him, McCaw’s perfectly timed swipe forces him to take a step back, and the play ends with the Celtics running out of time and having to force a shot. Subtle, but brilliant D.
5. James McAdoo got the first big man minutes off the bench and, while not a total disaster, little good can be said about those minus-8 eight minutes of burn. The Celtics continually feasted on him in the pick-and-roll and the third-year center was too slow to bump the ball handler and too poorly positioned to thwart a pass or shot attempt. Mac did have one nice dunk off a perfect pocket pass from KD.
6. The best joke about Jae Crowder not playing after calling KD’s decision not to sign with Boston a “slap in the face” was brought to you by the Warriorsworld Twitter feed (a must follow).
7. Jokes aside, the Celtics can’t guard KD with Avery Bradley and hope for a positive outcome. Durant had no trouble shooting over the top of the 6′ 2″ guard all night.
9. All the hand-wringing about the Warriors lack of rim protection and the squad was fifth in the league in blocks before the game. Without a reliable shot-blocking center, the Dubs swat fools by committee. They had seven more against Boston.
10. Steph was off the whole game and before a couple of late baskets in the final minutes was 5-of-18 from the field and 2-of-10 from three-point. The last time he shot so poorly was against the Lakers where he went 0-of-10 from distance. Of course, we all know what happened the next night. Dude set an NBA record for made-threes in a game. Watch about, Bucks.