Tonight started with the news that Cornbread Maxwell would be doing play by play for Mike Gorman, who was feeling under the weather. On behalf of the entire Celtic Nation, we hope it's nothing serious and our very best for a speedy recovery Mike.
Now, the first half was an interesting mix of speeds and styles. Both teams playing oddly similar games: uptempo when it was there, but not pressing the issue too much. It seemed a much more comfortable tempo of play than last night first half, although admittedly not as entertaining (although given the eventual results of last nights game, one would be hesitant to yearn for that kind of start again).
The passing was good and everyone got into it. Jir Welsch(24 pts) and Gary Payton(12, 11) were more active tonight early in the game. GP's resurgence likely due to last years confrontation with Speedy Claxton, who was once again matched up against him. GP went right at him, shooting more than usual and looking a little more like the GP many expected him to play like when he reported to Boston.
Side note: We once again visit the Marcus Banks maturity saga, when he fouled Derek Fisher on a 3 point attempt and sent the leagues best FT shooter (93.9 %) to the line for 3 freebies from the charity stripe.
At the end of the 1st, it was 28-24.
The second was more of the same type basketball. The C's however were more prone to fouling, putting GS at the line at the 8:06 point, whereas GS used the last of thier "fouls to give" with the .48 secs left in the half. The Warriors took full advantage of this at the foul line.
Raef(9, 10) and Blount(10,9) both had a nice half in the post, rebounding and altering/blocking shots. Blount had his short range (inside 15 ft) jumper going strong. However, he struggled with his ball handing and recieving passes once again. Even though he shot well, respectively, at the 3:10 mark, he pulled a "Rodman", getting 3 offensive rebounds in a row, due to the fact that he missed 3 layups in a row before scoring.
Boston turned the ball over more than the Warriors did, which at last count was a 9-1 margin.
All in all, not a bad half, with plenty of up side and plenty to work on. Let's just hope the second half doesn't hold what it did last night....
At the Half: 57-55 Golden State.
The Warriors came out blazing from all over and gave thoughts that the 2nd half nightmare that was last night would repeat itself. However, after a 10-2 run, Doc called a timeout and effectively settled the troops.
PP collected his 4th foul with 8:13 left in the 3rd and a few minutes later, Raef LaFrentz joined him. However, Doc's timeout seemed to work and the C's retook the lead 69-68 at the 7:23 mark.
Al Jefferson had a nice little run in short time. He also pulled a "Rodman", but only had 2 offensive boards in his futility before scoring.
At the end of 3, the score was 82-81 Golden State.
The fire alarm went off at around the 2 minute mark left in the 3rd and was still going off when the 4th started and continued for about 45 secs. Play never stopped....(as I scratch my head wondering where the concern for human life with with the GS arena security, that they didn't even pause the game to make sure all was OK?)
Just as GP made Speedy look bad in the first, Speedy repaid the favor to not only GP, but to Marcus (I am a supersonic jet) Banks. He took the opportunity to make both look slow and out of position on several possessions including a few key plays down the stretch.
The Celtics went on a 5+ minute stretch without a FG in the 4th. How did they stay in the game? Simple, the same discrepancy that kept GS in the game in the first half, benefitted the C's in the second: FT's. First half: GS- 17/22 BOS- 7/10 Second half: GS- 3/5 BOS- 14/19
Down the stretch, the C's shot themselves in the foot with 2 notably bad possessions within the last 2 minutes, one was Ricky Davis looking off an open shot and passing to Marcus Banks for a missed 3 pter and the other was PP dribbling up the court and taking a quick 3 with little time expired fromt he shot clock.
While PP had 12 points in the 4th (26 total), it wasn't enough as Jason Richardson tipped in a missed FT, by ironically Derek Fisher to put the Warriors ahead by 4 with 6 secs left.
Troy Murphy absolutely killed the C's with a 30 and 15 night, which other than a few outside shots, resembled a "Garbage Man" night, where he simply cleaned the boards very, very effectively.
The Celtics committed 21 turnovers to the Warriors 12 and that perhaps contributed to the loss.
Final Score: Warriors 110 - Celtics 106.
Player of the game: Jiri Welsch
Career night for Jiri, (who coincidentally started his career in GS and ironically saw little time due to a tear in the tendons in between his fingers.)
Jiri scored a Celtic and Career high 24 points. He also passed well and hustled all over the floor.