By Jessica Camerato
BOSTON -- For as dominating as the Boston Celtics can be, they have a way of letting lesser teams get back into a game they looked to have under control.
Case in point: Fridays match up against the 27-33 Golden State Warriors.
They pulled off a 107-103 win, but it wasnt without having the keep the starters in for extended minutes down the stretch.
Between acquiring new pieces and players like Glen Davis suffering injuries, the starting five has been forced to establish a lead for the second unit, which is still trying to find its identity.
"We thought we had the game in hand, even when it was close, and you could still see it," Doc Rivers said. "We won the game, so you take the win. The only thing I told our team after the game was that when we have a lead, our starters have to come out and really play the same way, because they're putting a lot of pressure on that second group who, they don't know many plays. If you can give them a cushion, it would be nice."
The Celtics jumped out to a 32-27 first quarter lead, fending off 14 points from David Lee. With Glen Davis added to the long list of injured players for this game, every available Celtic with the exception of Sasha Pavlovic played in the quarter.
The Cs built their lead to 14 points in the second quarter, and led 63-54 at halftime. Jeff Green scored 13 points in 10 minutes off the bench, while Ray Allen led all players with 20 points at the half. Von Wafer suffered a right calf injury during the quarter and did not return.
The Warriors, though, didnt back down. Well, Monta Ellis didnt at least and the Celtics did little to stop him.
"I didn't like the way he got his 40," said Rivers. "A lot of it was at the basket, and a lot of it was back cuts. I mean, we don't ever give up back cuts and I had nine at one point in the middle of the fourth, so it was probably 13 or 14. So I didn't necessarily enjoy the back cut facet tonight."
Ellis scored 16 points in the third quarter to propel the Warriors to outscore the Celtics, 28-24, and cut the deficit to seven points.
The game that had potential to be a double-digit victory came down to the final minutes, as the Celtics combined their offensive efforts to fend off another 12 points by Ellis. His 41 points tied Kobe Bryant for most points scored against the Celtics this season.
Allen and Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 27 points apiece. Rajon Rondo added 16 assists. Lee posted a double-double with 26 points and 12 rebounds for the Warriors.
Celtics headliner of the night was Green, who finished with 15 points in 18 minutes.
"He's a gazelle," said Rivers. "I mean, the guy can absolutely fly."
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba