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Celtics fall to the defending champs, lose to the Warriors 115-111

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Boston stared a 5-headed beast in the face and almost came away with the win in an entertaining matchup.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics played well but couldn’t come away with the win against the Golden State Warriors, losing 115-111 in an insanely fun affair. Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with 32 points and 10 assists while the Warriors were paced by Kevin Durant’s game-high 33 points.

Kyrie Irving and Al Horford (22 points, 13 rebounds) lived up to the hype after sitting out Wednesday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. They came out firing in the first quarter, setting the aggressive tone early. In particular, when DeMarcus Cousins (15 points, 8 rebounds) and Stephen Curry shared the floor, the Irving-Horford pick-and-roll was the go-to option to put the slower Cousins into actions that freed up good offensive opportunities.

If only someone could have predicted this in the summe- oh, wait

Irving posted 11 points in just the first quarter. Finishing with 32 points, Irving did a great job of matching Curry shot for shot at key moments. Unlike last year when Irving posted 40 points against the Warriors, he didn’t have to do it all alone tonight. Jayson Tatum was beyond solid all night, but at the beginning of the third quarter, he put up a quick 11 points on perfect shooting to push the Celtics into a quick run. Tatum finished with 20 points.

Stephen Curry missed his first 4 shots and went scoreless in the first quarter. Against Boston’s bench, he got a few easy and wide-open looks. The best shooter in NBA history got a few easy and wide-open looks. As you can imagine, that didn’t go well, and Curry went on to go 5-6 from 3 for 17 points for the rest of the quarter. Curry finished the game with 24 points and 6 3-pointers.

Kevin Durant was the star that shone the brightest tonight. He started off hot in the first quarter and kept it going all night to lead all scorers with 33. Although Marcus Morris and Jayson Tatum did a good job defending him, there’s only so much you can do.

Boston turned the ball over a bit too often in the first quarter, but they made up for it in the second by getting Golden State to cough the ball up in the second quarter. In a matchup between two elite teams, the team stats were stunningly similar. Golden State had 53 rebounds to Boston’s 49. They posted 25 assists to Boston’s 23. It was a tight game in every way, shape and form.

The first half was incredibly entertaining. Both teams played well in spurts, leading to what was practically a stalemate at halftime. Jayson Tatum spurred the Celtics to a run to start the third, but a 10-miss drought late in the frame put Golden State back up on top.

Al Horford established discipline early in the fourth quarter to get the Celtics back up with momentum. With both teams hitting each other with haymakers back-to-back, the fourth quarter gave fans their money’s worth. Boston was on the cusp of victory after this spectacular play by Smart:

Ultimately, the Celtics fell short after allowing an offensive rebound with Draymond Green at the line. Curry made his freethrows to make it a two-possession game, and that was all she wrote.

The 30-19 Celtics take on the Brooklyn Nets next on Monday (for the third time this month) at 7:30PM EST.