Warriors grind out win against Celtics in homecoming
Friday night's hero, Stephen Curry, scored 19 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out four assists. (USATSI)
OAKLAND – The Warriors staggered and wobbled and almost tripped but somehow held on for a 99-97 win over the Celtics at Oracle Arena on Friday night.
Point guard Stephen Curry nailed an 18-foot jumper with 2.1 seconds left to finally smother a plucky Boston team.
Andre Iguodala led the way for the Warriors with 22 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals. Curry added 19 points, Klay Thompson 17 and David Lee 16. Marreese Speights came off the bench to score 13 points.
The Warriors built a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter, but Boston fought back to get as close as 1 (96-95) in the final minute before Harrison Barnes made 1 of 2 free throws. Celtics forward Jeff Green tied it with 11.6 seconds to play before Curry drained the game winner.
The victory was the Warriors' 11th in their last 12 games and lifted their record to 25-14.
Green (22 points, 11 rebounds) and Kris Humphies (16, 14 and three blocks) led the charge for Boston, which lost its seventh straight and fell to 13-24.
The Game Ball for this night went to Iguodala, who must at least let Curry touch it. Andre made his first five shots and finished 9 of 14, adding seven assists and five rebounds.
And it's not coincidental that the Warriors rallied when Iguodala entered the game in the third quarter.
After Boston took a 66-63 lead on a Kris Humphries jumper with 3:47 left in the third quarter, the Warriors went on a 19-3 run to take an 82-69 lead on an Iguodala steal and dunk with 10:32 left to play.
Though the Celtics rallied in the fourth quarter and eventually tied the game, they never again took a lead.
Bogut's streak of 26 consecutive games in which he shot 50 percent or better was snapped. He made only two of his six shots.
Forward Draymond Green was hit in the mouth, took nine stitches and returned in the second half. Centers Jermaine O'Neal (right wrist surgery) and Festus Ezeli (right knee surgery) are out indefinitely. Asked which big man is closer to returning, coach Mark Jackson said O'Neal, ``and it's not really close.''
Rookie guard Nemanja Nedovic was recalled from D-League Santa Cruz and was in uniform.
The Warriors don't play again until next Wednesday, when they play host to the Nuggets at Oracle Arena. It will be Denver's first trip to Oakland since losing to the Warriors in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs last spring. The Nuggets fired veteran coach George Karl after that series and replaced him with Brian Shaw, an Oakland native and product of Bishop O'Dowd High School.