Warriors’ home winning streak ends at 54 in loss to Celtics
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Everybody expected Stephen Curry to make the 3 from way out with the clock winding down, just as he always does.
Instead, this time Curry missed a long 3-pointer to tie it with 5.3 seconds left and the Golden State Warriors suffered their first home defeat in more than 14 months, losing 109-106 to the Boston Celtics on Friday night to snap an NBA-record 54-game winning streak in the regular season at Oracle Arena.
“Every one of them I think is going down. But it didn’t,” Curry said. “All things considered, it was a pretty good look at it. ... We’ve gotten away with some games that we probably shouldn’t have won with some shots like that. And tonight it wasn’t our night.”
That unbeaten run in Oakland included 36 straight home wins to start this season. Golden State hadn’t lost at home since a 113-111 overtime defeat to the Bulls on Jan. 27, 2015.
Now, the Warriors (68-8) must win five of their final six games to break the 1995-96 Bulls’ record of 72 wins.
Isaiah Thomas made a driving layup with 8.3 seconds left on the way to 22 points for Boston. He scored 18 of his points in the third quarter, when Curry got hot from 3-point land, making all six of his attempts.
Shaun Livingston hit two free throws with 46.9 seconds left to get Golden State within two at 105-103, then Draymond Green wrestled the ball away from Amir Johnson moments later for his sixth steal and Golden State called timeout. But Green lost the ball with 23.9 seconds left.
“I kind of started observing the floor before I really grabbed the ball and saw the exact situation that we wanted and left the ball behind,” Green said. “I guess you need those lessons sometimes, but it never feels good.”
Evan Turner made a pair of free throws with 18.1 seconds to go before Harrison Barnes’ baseline 3 on a dish from Curry.
But Curry’s final look from long range fell short on a night he had been spectacular from beyond the arc. Barnes grabbed the offensive rebound and missed on a long desperation heave with 0.2 seconds left.
Curry went coast to coast and behind his back for a layup to make it 103-101 with 1:29 to go. Boston answered once more, this time on Turner’s jumper.
Curry shimmied and swiveled his hips, celebrating as 3-pointers kept finding the net — he made eight of them to score 29 points — and for a change that wasn’t enough for the sloppy defending champs, who couldn’t overcome 22 turnovers that led to 27 points for the Celtics.
Green tried to rally the Warriors on his own. In order, he had a three-point play, a 3-pointer and a putback with 3:58 left that pulled the Warriors within three at 99-96.
Trailing 82-79 going into the fourth marked just the Warriors’ sixth deficit after three quarters at home this season.
Marcus Smart’s 3-pointer with 8:41 left put the Celtics up 93-83, and Smart took an elbow to the chin from Barnes in the backcourt with 7:20 left. Every play like that mattered for the Celtics to accomplish what no other team had done in so long.
And Boston did it in the second game of a back-to-back no less following Thursday’s 116-109 loss at Portland.
While coach Steve Kerr called the execution “really bad,” he also praised his players.
“Everybody’s bummed,” he said. “I congratulated them. Are you kidding me? They just won 54 home games in a row. What our guys accomplished is incredible. I don’t know if people understand the intensity it takes and the work that it takes to put together a streak like that.”
Golden State won the first meeting Dec. 11 124-119 in two overtimes in a game featuring 22 lead changes and 16 ties as the Warriors improved to 24-0. They lost at Milwaukee the next night for the first defeat after a record-setting start.
It was a 3-point shootout during one sequence late in the third when Leandro Barbosa hit for the Warriors, then Jared Sullinger, and Curry — who the next time down was fouled from way beyond the arc and made all three free throws. That pulled the Warriors within 73-72 at the 2:19 mark of the third.
Curry hit a 30-foot 3 from the top with 1:52 remaining in the third only to see Kelly Olynyk answer — except Curry’s onslaught from way out never subsided.
“When Curry got going in the third quarter, I thought the biggest moment of the game was us scoring consecutively when he scored,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said.
Curry shot 9 for 19, 8 for 14 on 3s, and passed for six assists. Kerr nearly rested him for Wednesday night’s overtime win at Utah but Curry declared himself good to go.
“He’s in his prime,” Kerr said of the 28-year-old reigning MVP. “He’s not injured.”
Curry hit two 3-pointers in the first 62 seconds of the third and six in all during the quarter.
X-Rays on Warriors center Andrew Bogut’s injured ribs were negative. He was scheduled to be re-evaluated.
At shootaround Friday morning, Kerr told Green he wasn’t playing against the Celtics.
Ha! That joke went nowhere.
“It didn’t get much of a laugh and Draymond glared at me, so it didn’t go over well,” Kerr said. “I told him I was going to give him the night off because he needed a rest. He just glared at me. I said, ‘April Fool’s,’ and nobody laughed, and I said, ‘All right, it’s time to start practice.’”
Green hit two 3-pointers to start the game.
Celtics: Aside from Thomas, only Omri Casspi has had a bigger scoring quarter against Golden State this season — 21 in the second on Dec. 28. ... Boston snapped a five-game skid to Golden State. ... The Celtics improved to 4-1 in the second game of a back-to-back when both were road games. Boston has one back-to-back remaining.
Warriors: Golden State was 20 for 43 on 3s. ... Curry passed Glen Rice (1,559) for 20th on the NBA’s all-time 3s list. ... Kerr was Western Conference Coach of the Month for March after a 15-2 month by the Warriors — the second-year coach’s third such honor. He also won in January 2015 and March last year. ... Golden State’s five straight wins against Boston had matched the franchise record in 1946-47, when the Warriors were based in Philadelphia.
Celtics: At Lakers on Sunday.
Warriors: Host Portland on Sunday.