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Paul Pierce scored 26 points on just 15 shots and hauled in eight rebounds to lead the Celtics past the Golden State Warriors on Friday night, 94-86.
A game removed from scoring 54 points at Madison Square Garden, Stephen Curry could not get it going against the Celtics defense and finished with 26 point on a unremarkable 6-for-22 shooting night. The aggressive Celtics back court duo of Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee smothered Curry all game long.
The Celtics as a team held the Warriors to just 34 percent shooting from the field, and 22 percent from beyond the arc. The Warriors lead the NBA in three point shooting percentage, shooting a clip under 40 percent on the season.
The Celtics bench, led by Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox, gave the Celtics a boost down the stretch. Green scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and added five rebounds and three blocks. Wilcox finished with 8 points and seven rebounds, and made all four of his field goal attempts.
The Celtics started the game strong, but let the Warriors have a strong second quarter thanks to the aggressive play of rookie Harrison Barnes. In the second half, the Celtics allowed the Warriors to score just 35 points.
Kevin Garnett grabbed 13 rebounds on Friday and passed the great Hakeem Olajuwon for 11th all-time on the list of the NBA’s best career rebounders. Garnett struggled otherwise with just 7 points on 2-for-10 shooting.
The Celtics get a few more days of rest/practice before they head to Philly on Tuesday to play the struggling 76ers.