Celtics Work Overtime, Twice, but the Warriors Go to 24-0


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Stephen Curry, who had 38 points and 11 rebounds, shooting over Boston’s Amir Johnson in Golden State’s two-overtime victory.

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Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

BOSTON — No team has pushed the Golden State Warriors this season the way the Boston Celtics did on Friday at TD Garden. The Celtics had a 5-point lead with two minutes left in regulation. They had chances to win the game at the end of regulation and the first overtime. They held leads in both overtimes.

Nonetheless, the Celtics joined the growing list of Golden State victims, falling, 124-119, after two extra periods.

The Warriors’ win improved their record to an implausible 24-0. It was the franchise’s 28th consecutive regular-season victory dating to last season. The gold standard is the 33-game winning streak of the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.

Golden State will go for its 29th straight victory Saturday in Milwaukee, where it will complete a seven-game trip.

“This type of thing doesn’t happen often,” Warriors center Andrew Bogut said. “You’ve got to embrace it.”

Stephen Curry led Golden State with 38 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists, although he shot only 9 of 27 from the field. He also had eight of the Warriors’ 18 turnovers as the Celtics, especially Avery Bradley, made it difficult for him all night.

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“He just has to do so much, and they were all over him,” the Warriors’ Draymond Green said of Curry. “That’s on us. We have to do a better job.”

Green had 24 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists. The Warriors, who entered the game leading the N.B.A. in field-goal percentage, shot a season-low 39.3 percent.

They made up for that with free throws, connecting on 31 of 39. Curry was 14 of 14. The Warriors also had a 67-51 rebounding advantage.

Before Friday, the only time this season that the Warriors had not won in regulation was Nov. 14, when they defeated the Nets in overtime at home. The starting guard Klay Thompson missed that game with a stiff back. He also missed Friday’s game as he dealt with a sprained right ankle. Harrison Barnes has not played since Nov. 27 with a sore left ankle.

Kelly Olynyk led the Celtics with a season-high 28 points. Bradley added 19, including 15 in the first quarter, but he fouled out in the first overtime. Isaiah Thomas scored 18 for Boston.

Thomas and Olynyk missed potential game-winners in regulation and the first overtime. Thomas’s shot at the end of the first overtime, a floater from the lane, came up short.

“If you got a chance to beat those guys on that look,” Celtics Coach Brad Stevens said, “I think you’d take it every time.”

But Stevens also said the defeat could not be construed as a good loss.

The Celtics rallied from an 11-point deficit in the third quarter and overtook the Warriors by opening the fourth quarter with an 11-1 run. The former Warrior David Lee and Olynyk accounted for all 11 points. The Celtics led, 101-96, on a fallaway by Olynyk with 2 minutes 7 seconds left, and Golden State’s Andre Iguodala later said he was starting to think the streak might be over.

“I didn’t know,” he said. “Five points down. Two minutes left.”

The Celtics led briefly in the second overtime after a 3-point play by Evan Turner, who had 7 of the team’s 9 points in that period.

But Iguodala, who had 13 points, and Shaun Livingston, who added 12, scored to give the Warriors the lead for good.

Three times, the Celtics cut their deficit to 1, the final time at 119-118 on a Jae Crowder layup.

But Curry and Iguodala sealed the win from the free-throw line.

The Warriors are putting themselves into the “best team ever” discussion, and their interim coach, Luke Walton, has an interesting perspective on the topic. When he was 5, he and his three brothers were regulars at Celtics practice sessions because their father, Bill, played for Boston during the 1985-86 season.

The children could be unruly, and Coach K. C. Jones changed the club rules the next year, barring children from practices.

That Celtics team went 67-15, including 40-1 at home, and is generally regarded as one of the best N.B.A. teams.

Luke Walton does not disagree. He sees similarities between the Boston team of 30 years ago and the team he is coaching.

“I just remember how well that team shared the ball, and they had so many different players, and they looked like they enjoyed playing together,” Walton said.

He added, “It reminds me a lot of the way our guys are today, where it was a free-flowing, ‘if you’re open, shoot it; if not, move it on,’ and it was a lot of fun to be able to watch that.”

He is now able to be a part of it as well.



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