4:53, 2nd: Consecutive hoops from Thompson and Brown (his second of the night) give the Celtics a three-point (43-40) lead.
7:14, 2nd: Deep Tatum three from up top is good for a 39-38 lead, though Oubre takes it back at the other end.
9:32, 2nd: Tatum drives, draws the foul and hits twice, cutting Warriors lead to eight. Celtics need more at the rim. They’re not finding good shots outside.
End of first, Warriors 35, Celtics 24: Celtics came in hoping to build on some recent defensive success. Instead, this, including 17 points and four 3-pointers in 12 minutes from Steph Curry.
:38.8, 1st: Celtics have already given up 16 points in the paint.
2:24, 1st: Tatum finally cooking. Makes his second shot with a tough drive through traffic. Golden State off to a 6-10 start from downtown, but only lead by five points.
4:15, 1st: Tatum and Brown a conbined 1-7 early. Tatum has missed the only shot he’s taken,
5:31, 1st: Wow, a Grant Williams three. Stevens is once again deep into his bench early.
7:03, 1st: Rough night defensively for Theis so far, this time with Kevon Looney spinning past him off the wing. Two Walker free throws cut the GS lead to 18-15.
8:39, 1st: One of those nights for Kelly Oubre so far. Seven points in his first three minutes, 3-3, including nasty dunk over Theis. Curry’s third three (3-3 from downtown) good for a 16-11 Golden State start. Shootout conditions. Not necessarily what the Celtics want if Curry is hot.
10:44, 1st: Nice start for Walker, who scores first five points for Celtics, including a three, after going 1-12 against Lakers Sunday.
Tip-off: With Marcus Smart out, Celtics go Tatum/Brown/Thompson/Walker/Theis. Back to double bigs.
The Celtics go up against one of the greatest shooters in league history tonight with a backcourt in flux.
With Kemba Walker coming off a 1-for-12 performance during Sunday’s loss to the Lakers, Marcus Smart out for at least two weeks with a Grade 1 sprain of his left calf, and Payton Pritchard still a day or two removed from his return from a sprained knee, the Celtics weren’t exactly in optimal condition for their first game against Steph Curry.
Brad Stevens said he may put Jayson Tatum more in the point guard’s role tonight — the more Tatum has the ball in his hands the better, anyway – but when it comes to guarding Curry, the task is as complicated as ever.
“It’s a lot like LeBron the other night from the standpoint of you can’t take away everything,” the Celtics coach said tonight. “You’ve got to do your best to make it as challenging as possible. You also have to do your best so that all of your attention on him doesn’t get easy baskets for everyone else. That’s always been our emphasis coming here. He’s gonna score some. He’s gonna hit a few threes that are on sports center tonight. That’s the way it goes.
“But if you start jumping out all over the place – if you start giving up dunks to everyone else, if you start getting cut all over the place, then everyone else is in a rhythm, and then that opens it up even more for him. So you have to do your best to stay disciplined, not overreact, tip your cap on a great shot and just guard him as well as you can the next time. As a fan of the NBA, I’ve missed watching Steph and Klay last year. They’re great for the game in every which way – as the opposing coach I don’t mind when Steph goes out of the game. He’s awfully good and he puts a lot of pressure on your defense.”