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Will the real Celtics please stand up? Seriously, who are these guys and what have they done with the best team in the Eastern Conference? After having an 18-point lead in the first half, the Boston Celtics fell to the Golden State Warriors Monday night 103-99.
The up-tempo Warriors were just too much to handled for the Celtics, who have now lost back-to-back games for only the second time all season. Monta Ellis of Golden State, hit two key free-throws with 2.3 seconds left and scored a game-high 37 points to put his team on top. The win brought the Warriors to 9-21 on the year, while the Celtics fell to 23-7.
Ellis ended up shooting 15-for-26 from the field while dishing out four assists and three rebounds on the night. It was Ellis’ third straight 30-point game for the Warriors, who have now won back-to-back games for only the second time this season.
Also contributing for Golden State were Anthony Randolph 18 points (7-for-15 shooting) and nine rebounds, Corey Maggette 13 points (4-for-9 shooting) and Anthony Morrow with 13 points (5-for-7 shooting) and six rebounds off the bench.
A huge boost came for Golden State when CJ Watson stepped onto the court. He had six of his career-high seven steals in the second quarter in which the Warriors outscored the Celtics 35-23 to overcome the 18-point deficit. Watson also added 11 points (4-for-8 shooting) and seven assists on the night.
The Celtics were led by Rajon Rondo with 30 points (11-for-18 shooting) 15 assists and three steals. Rondo has continued to pick up where he left on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Clippers when he scored 20 points.
Also contributing were Ray Allen with 24 points (10-for-21 shooting, 1-for-7 from the 3-point line), three assists and five rebounds. Kevin Garnett added 16 points (7-for-14 shooting) and nine rebounds. Kendrick Perkins struggled in his second straight night as he was only able to score eight points (4-for-5 shooting) but did have 14 boards.
The Celtics’ bench struggled as they collectively brought in only 15 points, while the Warriors’ bench was able to score 35 points. Turnovers were another problem for the Celtics as they committed 25 and the Warriors scored 31 points off them. The Warriors only had 18 turnovers and off those the Celtics scored only 13 points.
“You just expect everything,” Coach Doc Rivers said. “With them, you don’t know what kind of crazy lineups they’re going to have out there.”
It was a tough loss and the Celtics knew that it was going to be a difficult game because the Warriors always play at such a high intensity.
“Obviously, last night (Sunday) was frustrating for us and to get in basically the same situation tonight (Monday) is not good,” Allen said. “We have to shore it up.”
The Celtics will now travel to Phoenix to take on the Suns on Wednesday night. The Suns are also coming off a loss to the Warriors and the Celtics will look to take revenge on Phoenix after they beat the Celtics at home earlier in the season.