Warriors crush Celtics, 101-83

Warriors crush Celtics, 101-83
December 30, 2012, 5:49 am
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OAKLAND, Calif.  Getting beat soundly by the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night was bad.

A change of venue and opponent didn't do the Boston Celtics much good as the Golden State Warriors delivered the C's a second straight loss, 101-83.

Boston (14-15) is now below-.500 for the first time since Nov. 9.

After falling behind by as many as 20 points, the Celtics mounted an unexpected rally at the end of the third quarter.

Capping off the run was a put-back basket by Jared Sullinger following a missed free throw by Brandon Bass.

Sullinger's basket cut Golden State's lead down to just 76-67 going into the fourth quarter which was as close as the C's had been since the early moments of the second quarter.

Boston continued to hold their own early in the fourth, but could never get any closer than eight points as the Warriors (21-10) gradually pushed their lead back to blowout status.

Adding to the degree of difficulty on Saturday and possibly going forward is the status of Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo who did not play against the Warriors due to what team officials deemed a right hip injury.

Even with Rondo, the C's would have been hard-pressed to win based on how red-hot the Warriors were in shooting the ball throughout most of the game.

Starting in place of Rondo was Courtney Lee, who continued to deliver some of his best scoring games of the season in a Rondo-less lineup.

He finished with a season-high 18 points along with five rebounds.

But this game was all Warriors who snapped a three-game losing streak to the Celtics in Oracle Arena.

And their success on Saturday was similar to how they have won all season, with contributions coming from many.

Early in the game it was rookie Harrison Barnes who scored seven of the Warrior's first 11 points. His seven points at that time equalled the offensive output of the entire Celtics team.

Making matters worst for the C's was that Paul Pierce was in the throes of a horrible start shooting the ball. He didn't make his first basket until the 2:57 mark of the third quarter after having missed his previous eight shot attempts.

Filling some of the scoring load with Rondo out and Pierce struggling, was Sullinger who had 10 of his 12 points in the first half.

Even with Sullinger off to a strong start, it wasn't enough to make up for the poor play defensively by the Celtics who trailed by as many as 20 points in the first half before Golden State wound up with a 57-40 lead at the half.  

The C's made a mini-run in the third which cut Golden State's lead to 13 points, it was soon back to 20 points with few signs of the Celtics doing enough at both ends of the floor to rally for the win.