The Warriors-Celtics matchup was seen as a Finals preview when the NBA schedule was released last summer. But, after a decisive 128-95 win by Boston Tuesday night, it looks like the Celtics are the team with eyes on June.
The Celtics pounced on the champs early, jumping to an 11-0 lead in the opening minutes.
The loss marks the Warriors fifth in their last eight contests, leaving the champs in familiar territory as they begin their stretch run.
Here are the positives and negatives from the game:
That looked familiar.
As mentioned above, the Warriors again found themselves not mentally prepared for the moment. Following a 12-1 Golden State run to cut the Celtic lead to 13-12, Boston's advantage quickly grew to more than 20.
Tuesday marked the fourth straight game the Warriors have been down five or more points in the first quarter, continuing a trend that's been around all season.
The Warriors have more than enough talent to win each game they play in. Their problems lie within their ability to get up for games and show up with the appropriate amount of respect for their opponent.
There wasn't much of it.
The Celtics got every shot they wanted, highlighted by a 41-24 second-quarter run that blew the game open. Boston shot 51 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from 3-point range.
Boston forward Gordon Hayward, who has been struggling most of the season, scored a season-high 30 points in 28 minutes off the bench. What's more disheartening is the Celtics came into Oracle Arena in a slump, having lost five of their last six games. This was a game for the Warriors to make a statement and they chose not to.
Kevin Durant's shot
He couldn't find it.
On a night the Warriors couldn't find much offense, Durant struggled, scoring 18 points on 5-of-16 from the field.
Durant has been struggling from the field (by his standards) as of late. Over his last four games, he's shooting just 42 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from 3-point range.
Durant is a transcendent scorer who can heat up at any moment so there shouldn't be much worry going forward.
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Stephen Curry can shoot!
Could there more of that on the way?
After struggling from the field during Golden State's most recent four-game road trip, Curry found his shot, scoring 23 points on 8-of-16 from the field, including four 3-pointers.
Curry led the run to briefly get the Warriors back into the game in the first quarter before the wheels fell off. In a blowout loss with not much good to be found, a good shooting performance from Curry could be a welcome sign for the Warriors going forward.