Highlights: Warriors finish road trip with win in Boston
Programming note: Warriors-Hawks coverage tips off Friday at 7 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (territory restrictions apply)
There would be no slow start, no backing off and no allowing an inferior team to gain even a rumor of confidence.
Which is not to say the Warriors are entirely beyond flat-line performances. We've been fooled before, and the occasional lethargic performance seems to be part of the growth process.
But there was zero evidence of listlessness as the Warriors advanced to a season-high 14 games over .500 with a 108-88 annihilation of the plummeting Celtics on Wednesday night at TD Garden.
The Warriors (38-14) owned this one from tip to buzzer, needing less than six minutes to build a double-digit lead, going up 21 at the half and leading Boston (20-41) by as much as 31 before both teams cleared their benches.
“The starters really wanted to come out and set the tone tonight and not give the Celtics team any life," said forward David Lee, who finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals.
One night after pulling out a stressful win at Indiana, needing a buzzer-beater to down the powerful Pacers, the Warriors knew they would help benefit from their reserves. And they responded.
"Fortunately we did not fall in love with what we did in Indy and we came in and we took care of business," coach Mark Jackson said.
Said guard Klay Thompson: "This win validates last night. We wanted to finish strong and we had a lot of reasons not to, as far as back-to-back and playing a hard- fought game last night. But we responded the best way we could. Especially on the defensive end."
The Warriors forced 22 Boston turnovers and held the Celtics to 39.5 percent shooting – 32.1 percent through the first three quarters.
The Warriors opened with such force that no starter played more than 28 minutes against a Celtics team that is 7-23 since the calendar turned to January. This was Boston's seventh loss in eight games.
"We did a great job against a team that, in all honesty, we are better than," Jackson said. "It was (the) type of game where you can overlook them, they compete, they are well coached but fortunately we came in here and took care of business, we took care of the basketball, we defended again at a high level and I thought our bench was very good once again.
"A big time win for us, and now it's about going home and taking care of business at home."
Well, yes, as the Warriors are only slightly better at Oracle Arena (18-10) than they are on the road (20-14). With 13 of their last 20 games in Oakland, it is indeed time to take care of business at home.
THE GOOD: The Warriors came out of the locker room with remarkable energy considering they'd won a very intense game the previous night in Indiana. Kudos.
The bench continues to come together as a unit, with Blake smoothly running the point and Crawford finding his groove as the shooting guard.
Lee delivered on multiple fronts: 18 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals.
THE BAD: Barnes had a tough night on offense, missing seven of eight shots and finished with three points in 25 minutes. His off-the-dribble game continues to founder, and the Warriors need him to do more than spot up beyond the arc.
THE TAKE: The Warriors arrived in Boston knowing they had to win to have a successful road trip. They attacked from the opening tip and stayed aggressive until the outcome was pretty much decided. They looked like a team on a mission, as it should be when the calendar turns to March.