Warriors score 10th straight win, end Boston's home run

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (left) and Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving battle for a loose ball at the TD Garden.
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (left) and Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (right) battle for a loose ball at the TD Garden.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES • The TV cameras were out in full force for the first National Basketball Association (NBA) game between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics this season.

The nationally televised match-up had been billed as a meeting between an unstoppable force - Golden State were on a nine-game winning streak - and an immovable object - Boston had not lost their past 10 games at home.

And it certainly lived up to the hype, with no shortage of thrills and spills at the TD Garden as the game see-sawed back and forth, with neither team leading by more than nine points in the contest.

There were eight ties in the fourth quarter alone, before two free throws from Klay Thompson with 46.1 seconds left on the clock finally put the two-time defending NBA champions ahead for good.

Golden State held on to beat the hosts 115-111 on Saturday night to extend their run to 10 straight wins.

Their ninth road victory on the bounce - the longest in the league this season - also ended Boston's five-game win streak and Kevin Durant, who led all scorers with 33 points, praised his team for "staying poised".

He told reporters post-game: "They (The Celtics) started off that fourth quarter on a nice little run to cut the lead.

"My teammates had my back. But coming in here on the road to get a W (win) in Boston is pretty solid for us."

Despite Kyrie Irving's double-double - he had 32 points and 10 assists - Boston could not seize the opportunities to reclaim the upper hand in the dying moments, with Marcus Smart and Al Horford both missing beyond the arc after Thompson sank his baskets.

Horford and Irving had two and three turnovers in the final 12 minutes respectively and the former bemoaned their "careless plays".

He told the Boston Herald: "Give them credit, but I had a couple of turnovers, miscommunication. I have to be more solid with the ball."

The Celtics probably would have gotten away with some sloppy play against any other team, but not against the Warriors and definitely not in the form they are in.

Warning the rest of the contenders they have now "got an edge about us", Stephen Curry, who had 24 points, told ESPN: "Probably the best thing we're doing now is taking care of the ball.

"Playmakers are making the right decisions more times than not. Our defence has been better. People are settling into rotations with DeMarcus (Cousins, who added 15 points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes in his fourth game of the season).

"It hasn't been perfect, and we know we can still be better. We've talked about putting a run together for a while now, and we're right in the middle of a really good one.

"You want to create good vibes, especially with the All-Star break coming up, and continue to build momentum (in) the second half of the season."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 28, 2019, with the headline 'Warriors score 10th straight win, end Boston's home run'. Print Edition | Subscribe