NBA Basketball

Celtics surge past Warriors in fourth quarter

(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- OAKLAND, Calif. -- The last time the Boston Celtics set foot in Oracle Arena, they snapped the Golden State Warriors' 54-game home winning streak.

Eleven months later, they were even more impressive in their return visit.

Jae Crowder hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions during a 15-0, fourth-quarter flurry that propelled the Celtics to a 99-86 victory over the Warriors on Wednesday night in a battle of two road-weary title contenders.

Isaiah Thomas scored 25 points, hitting four 3-pointers, as the Celtics snapped a two-game losing streak and avenged a 104-88 home loss to Golden State in November by holding the Warriors to a season-low point total.

"This is how we play with good purpose," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens, whose team improved to 17-1 this season when holding the opponent under 100 points. "We might have caught them on a good scheduling night, but I thought our guys played with good poise and purpose."

Boston (41-24) won for the second time in four games on its Western trek, allowing the Celtics to remain a game ahead of Washington (39-24) in the battle for the No. 2 playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

The Warriors (52-12) lost for the third time in five games and saw their lead over San Antonio (50-13) atop the West sliced to 1 1/2 games.

Golden State played without Kevin Durant (sprained left knee), who contributed 23 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and three steals to the earlier win at Boston, which equaled the Celtics' most lopsided loss of the season.

"We're in a tough spot in the schedule, obviously, and with KD's injury," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr, whose team made just a one-game stop in Oakland in between a five-game Eastern excursion and two more road battles later this week at Minnesota and San Antonio.

"Everybody goes through this at some point during the season," Kerr continued. "You just make your way through and let everybody else freak out and panic. You just keep your nose down and keep working, and things work out."

After 41 minutes that featured eight ties and eight lead changes, the Warriors led 79-78 on a Draymond Green dunk before the Celtics took charge.

Kelly Olynyk began the flurry with a dunk to give Boston a lead it never relinquished. Crowder then connected from deep twice in a row to extend the margin to 86-79.

Avery Bradley turned a steal in a dunk to make it a nine-point game, and Thomas capped the run with 2- and 3-point jumpers for a 93-79 advantage with 4:00 to go.

The Celtics went on to outscore the Warriors 27-12 in the fourth quarter.

"It's hard to win; it's hard to win against good teams; it's hard to win on the road," Stevens said. "The most encouraging thing for me is not the win, it's the poise that we played with. You have to play that way, especially in this environment against that team."

Olynyk finished with 17 points, Bradley 12 and Al Horford 10 for the Celtics, who wrap up a five-game trip Friday at Denver.

"They're definitely a different team (without Durant)," said Olynyk, who was on the court for 26 minutes, during which the Celtics outscored the Warriors by 29 points. "It's hard to replace a guy like that, but hopefully he's all right."

Crowder had a game-high 10 rebounds to go with nine points for Boston, which shot 10 of 29 from 3-point range and outscored the Warriors 30-18 from beyond the arc.

Klay Thompson scored 25 points and Stephen Curry 23 for the Warriors, who had four turnovers and two missed shots during Boston's runaway.

The Golden State backcourt duo combined to miss 13 of their 17 3-point attempts, as Golden State connected on just 6 of 30 (20 percent) from long distance.

"For whatever reason, we're in a little bit of a funk from three right now," Kerr said. "The travel, just all the miles in the air, probably doesn't help. But I'm not worried about that. We've got good shooters. You get through the schedule, recharge, and those shots start going in."

Green had a team-high eight rebounds to go with 13 points for the Warriors, who had won 10 straight at home and had been 8-0 against Atlantic Division teams this season.

NOTES: Warriors SF Kevin Durant addressed the media before the game for the first time since spraining his left knee on Feb. 28. He insisted the injury is not serious but would not put a timetable on his return. ... About an hour earlier, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, "It would be great if we could get him back the last week of the regular season or so, but we'll have to wait and see." ... Warriors SG Klay Thompson's first 3-pointer of the game was his 200th of the season, the fifth season in a row he reached the milestone. He and teammate PG Stephen Curry are the only two players in NBA history to record at least 200 threes in five straight seasons. ... The 86 points allowed were the second fewest yielded by the Celtics this season. They had a 90-83 win over the Dallas Mavericks in November. ... The Celtics were whistled for only 10 fouls in the game, resulting in just nine Golden State free throws.

Updated March 9, 2017

Sports Data API Powered by STATS © 2017 by STATS.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.