Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics remain within striking distance

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics remain within striking distance

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Boston Celtics made more than their share of mistakes at both ends of the floor against Golden State.

And yet they go into the half trailing 50-46, well within striking distance of pulling off a second straight upset on the Warriors’ home floor.

Boston led 45-40 following a tough lay-up by Amir Johnson, but the Warriors picked up where they left off at the start of the game with solid defense transitioning into strong offense that propelled them to a 10-1 run to close out the half.

Golden State’s finish to the half was similar to how they began the game.

The Warriors quickly took control with a 7-2 run to start things off, a spurt capped off by a Klay Thompson jumper in the lane.

Boston fell behind by as many as eight points in the quarter before chipping away at Golden State’s lead which stood at 28-25 at the end of the first.

The Celtics didn’t take their first lead of the game until a Jaylen Brown lay-up with 7:13 to play put Boston ahead 38-36.

On Golden State’s ensuing possession, the Celtics forced a turnover and quickly converted that into a basket for Kelly Olynyk that made it a 40-36 game.

And just like that, Boston had a two-possession and a bit of momentum courtesy of their defense.

But the Warriors, even without Kevin Durant (knee), are still the odds-on favorite to win the West again.

And that has a lot to do with their undervalued depth that included big contributions in the first half from Andre Iguodala (9 points) and a productive five-minute stint by almost-a-Celtic JaVale McGee who had four points and three rebounds.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of tonight’s game between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors.



Isaiah Thomas

Always a marked man as soon as he steps in the building, Thomas had 11 points, all of which were scored in the first quarter.

Klay Thompson

Thompson did a really good job defensively while providing some balanced scoring to lead the Warriors. He had 13 first-half points, with seven coming in the first and six in the second.

Stephen Curry

It was an efficient first half of shooting the ball by Curry, which is not a good thing for the Celtics and their quest to pull off a second straight upset on the Warriors’ home floor. At the half, he had 12 points on 4-for-6 shooting.



Kelly Olynyk

He has struggled mightily shooting the ball since the All-Star break, so it was just a matter of time before he got it going offensively. Tonight seems to be Olynyk’s night, pacing the Celtics bench with nine points along with three rebounds and two assists.

Andre Iguodala

His energy and solid defense were major factors in Golden State weathering a strong surge by Boston in the second quarter. At the half, the former Finals MVP had nine points and three rebounds.  



Avery Bradley

He’s one of the better two-way players in the NBA, but you would not have known that by how he failed to get into a good flow in the first half. He had four points on 2-for-9 shooting in addition being part of a Celtics defense that allowed the Warriors starting backcourt to shoot a combined 10-for-18 from the field.

Report: Kyrie Irving to undergo knee exam Thursday


Report: Kyrie Irving to undergo knee exam Thursday

Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving will undergo a knee exam on Thursday, according to the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett.

Irving last played on March 11 against the Indiana Pacers. He logged 16 minutes before leaving due to a sore left knee.


The Celtics have since announced Irving will get a second opinion on the knee. Irving's knee has suffered no structural damage, according to ESPN.com. He may need to get screws removed from his knee, according to The Sports Hub's Tony Mazzarotti.

    Greg Monroe looks comfortable as bigger offensive focal point

    Greg Monroe looks comfortable as bigger offensive focal point

    BOSTON – Jayson Tatum dropped 23 points, snatched 11 rebounds and Boston’s injury-riddled roster squeaked out a 100-99 upset win over Oklahoma City.

    It was a good game for Tatum, but teammate Marcus Morris wasn’t moved one bit by Tatum’s historical performance.

    “Now it’s not. … I’m not even impressed no more,” Morris said. “It’s to the point where I know what he’s going to bring, I know what he’s capable of. So it’s more like, I expect that now just being around, watching him play day-in and day-out, practicing with him.”

    Teammates agree that the 20-year-old Tatum is growing up right before our eyes.

    “With Jaylen and Kyrie being out, he’s looking to be more aggressive,” said Boston’s Al Horford. “Everybody is going to talk about offense, but on the defensive end he didn’t have an easy matchup, going against Paul George. I felt like he did a great job.”

    Here are five other takeaways from Boston’s 100-99 comeback win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.


    Boston’s second unit is still getting the job done even as injuries rob it of its core group that includes Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier who are now both starters. The Celtics’ new-look second unit was still impactful in Boston’s 100-99 squeaker past the Oklahoma City Thunder. Against the Thunder, Boston’s bench outscored Oklahoma City 35-10.


    The big man continues to come up big for the Boston Celtics off the bench. Injuries have forced other key reserves into the starting lineup which has led to Monroe becoming an even bigger focal point offensively when he’s on the floor. Against the Thunder, he had 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting with six rebounds.


    You never really know what you’re going to get from the Boston Celtics when it comes to rebounding the basketball. Well, Tuesdaynight was the good rebounding Celtics whose ability to control the glass was a huge factor in the victory as Boston out-rebounded Oklahoma City 52-44.


    Remember how Marcus Smart would struggle to make shots, and still play major minutes and still make a meaningful impact? Well, Semi Ojeleye had that kind of game for the Celtics. The 6-foot-6 rookie missed all six of his field goal attempts, but showed some serious versatility against the Thunder with defensive stints on each of Oklahoma City’s Big Three of Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and Russell Westbrook.


    Marcus Morris made the game-winner and Jayson Tatum was as strong on the floor as we’ve ever seen him. But arguably the biggest X-factor in Boston’s win was the play of Larkin. His ability to control the flow of the game, getting his teammates in and out of sets was critical to the win, as was his offense. For the game, Larking had 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field.