Programming note: The Warriors’ victory in 2015 against the Boston Celtics will be rebroadcast on Saturday April 4 at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area.
With Klay Thompson sidelined by a sprained right ankle and Harrison Barnes with a sprained left ankle, the Warriors limped off to Boston with a perfect but light record on labor and heavy on tiredness.
That was enough to give the Celtics, who had won four of their previous five games, reason for optimism the morning of the match.
“We’re just playing good basketball right now,” Celtics forward Jae Crowder told reporters after the shoot. “I am delighted to continue for us and our team. Like Brad [Stevens] says today, we’re just going to focus on ourselves. It is like playing hard and protecting our home. “
With the Celtics motivated to defend their field against the defending champions and tarnish their 23-0 mark, the Warriors – playing under interim coach Luke Walton – knew they should pride themselves on this and pick.
What they couldn’t have known at the start of that December night was that these rival forces would produce perhaps the most fascinating night of their 73-9 season.
A match convincing enough to be broadcast by NBC Sports Bay Area on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.
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The Warriors were proud of their perfection and determined to protect it. However, they were wading into the depths of betrayal, playing the last two games of a seven-day trip and 14 days on consecutive nights. The NBA rarely inflicts such cruelty on its teams.
They prevailed. It didn’t take one, but two overtime – with 16 ties and 22 lead changes – but they left Boston with a 124-119 victory and their 24-0 record still intact.
“There was nothing pretty about this game all the time,” Stephen Curry told reporters at TD Garden. “We had stops and everyone contributed … It’s a huge win for us. “
Curry played 47 minutes and peaked at 38 points, with 11 rebounds and eight assists. He had eight turnovers and shot 9 of 27 on the field, including 6 of 13 beyond the arc.
His teammates were splendid. Draymond Green had 24 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, five steals and five blocks in 50 minutes. Andre Iguodala had 13 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two interceptions in 44 minutes. Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli centers produced 14 points, 21 rebounds and four blocks in 51 minutes. Shaun Livingston found a crucial block late in the game.
Still, it was a 58-minute marathon, with the Warriors defeating the Celtics for a rebound advantage of 67-51 and a 10-7 advantage in interceptions.
“Now I can admit that I’m tired,” said Curry.
Victory was an important moment for these warriors.
“We will certainly cherish this because it does not happen often,” said Bogut. “The record, the story, the team – it doesn’t happen often so we will cherish it.
” Who knows? Next year, you could be on another team and no one is talking about you. “
Bogut was indeed part of another team the following season, part of the roster redesign following the acquisition of the coveted free agent Kevin Durant in July 2016
But the big man was right. Savor those moments that take you to the highest places where no team has ever been. Enjoy the ride because it will not last.
The Warriors had accumulated victories one after the other for more than five weeks. The schedule had to have a physical impact and the gain meant increasing mental pressure. Beating the Celtics brought the Warriors nine wins after the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers’ 33-game NBA streak.
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It took a Curry triple to give the Warriors a late lead with 46 seconds left in regulation time, followed by a crucial 3-ball from Iguodala in the first OT and a critical bucket of Livingston in the second OT. Neither team was able to withdraw.
The Warriors continued until they found a way to beat a very good team in adverse conditions. None of their 72 other victories has surpassed this one for their sheer persistence.