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Celtics slow down Curry, Warriors

The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- Stephen Curry sat slumped against the back of his stall in the visitors' locker room at TD Garden after Friday night's game.

It was one of the few times all night there was no Boston Celtic around him.

Returning from their longest road trip of the season, the aggressive Celtics put the shackles on Curry, who was coming of a 54-point game and 92 points in the last two games, and also got 26 points and eight rebounds from Paul Pierce in a 94-86 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

Right from the start, Curry was hounded by Avery Bradley (full-court), Courtney Lee and whoever else was anywhere near him. After going 32 for 48 from the floor, 18 for 23 from 3-point range in the last two games, Curry scored 25 points but was just 6 for 22 from the floor, 3 for 11 from behind the 3-point line. He did go 10 for 10 from the foul line.

"That's his reputation. That's what he does, That's how he helps his team," Curry said of Bradley, who played only 21 minutes because of foul trouble connected to his hounding defense. "He's a great defender and you have to give him credit for what he's able to do out there. I knew that coming in. I was prepared for it."

Prepared? Perhaps. Successful? No.

Things got so bad for Curry that he air-balled (long) a 3-pointer from the left corner while wide open in the fourth quarter.

"I knew right away as soon as I let it go, I took my time and everything," he said. "It was just a weird feeling to be that open and seeing it go that far off. I hope that won't happen again.

"Obviously my shot wasn't falling and I was kind of out of rhythm all night."

The whole Golden State offense was out of rhythm as the visitors shot 34 percent from the field and went just 5 for 23 from 3-point range.

It was all a result of the Celtics playing defense, against Curry and everyone else.

"I told our guys, 'If Steph has 54 and we win, I'm taking that tonight. We have to guard everyone else, that's the key,' " said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "And other than (Harrison) Barnes, who got loose in the first half, I thought we did better in the second, we accomplished that."

The win was the eighth straight at home for Boston, which improved to 11-3 since Rajon Rondo was lost for the season to a knee injury. The Warriors lost their third straight on a five-game road trip that started with a win and have dropped nine of their last 12 games overall.

Jeff Green added 18 points for the Celtics. Barnes scored 16 and Klay Thompson had 15 for Golden State, which got 19 points and 10 rebounds from David Lee, who returned from a one-game league suspension for being involved in a fight.

The Celtics used a 9-0 run to go up by nine with 3:39 left in the first quarter and ballooned the lead to 13 later in the quarter. The Warriors knocked the deficit down to one with 3:33 left in the half.

Golden State pulled in front in the third quarter but never by more than two points and the game was tied 60-60 when the Celtics had another 9-0 run -- this one over a 1:50 span. Green hit two jumpers in the run.

Earlier in the quarter, Green hit the floor hard during a charge and he stayed down for several minutes. But he was fine.

"He came back in and played great," Rivers said of Green, who was 8 for 13 from the floor, grabbed five rebounds and blocked three shots.

Notes: The Warriors, 15-19 on the road, have a heavy home schedule down the stretch. ... The teams combined to go 8 for 38 from 3-point range. ... The Celtics had a different roster than they had for their previous home game prior to the five-game trip. Swingman Terrence Williams, whose 10-day contract was ending, signed for the rest of the season, with a non-guaranteed year also reportedly part of the deal, while frontcourt men D.J. White (signed during the trip) and Shavlik Randolph were both in a Celtics uniform for the first time and guard Jordan Crawford, acquired from the Wizards, also made his home debut, hitting two baskets in the fourth quarter. Williams, White and Randolph all came back from China, Williams debuting on the road trip. Asked about throwing the frontcourt players right in there, coach Doc Rivers said, "I would rather put Kevin (Garnett) and Brandon Bass and Jeff Green out there." ... Williams said he found out he'd agreed to a new deal on Twitter. ... The Celtics opened roster spots by shipping Jason Collins and the injured Leandro Barbosa to Washington and sending rookie Fab Melo back to the D-League. ... Both teams' next games are at Philadelphia, the Warriors there Saturday and the Celtics Tuesday. ... Rivers was nominated as the Eastern Conference coach of the month for January but lost out to Miami's Erik Spoelstra. ... The injury prone Andrew Bogut missed his fifth straight game for Golden State with back spasms.
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