The combination of possibly being the best team in the NBA, having a scoring machine like Stephen Curry and playing a terrible team like the Boston Celtics make it less than surprising to see the Golden State Warriors pull off yet another huge comeback.
How big? The Warriors fell 26 points behind in the second quarter (56-30), their second biggest successful comeback effort in the last 15 years, trailing only the 27 points deficit they managed to erase last season against the Toronto Raptors. They’ve also managed to come back from 22 points behind against the Dallas Mavericks this season.
This was a fun challenge for us. If we lost, it wouldn’t have been the end of the world. But we were down and we came back. I was happy that we showed good poise. It seemed like it was sluggish there in the first quarter. We had to be mentally tough to make it an interesting game and close out the half. Obviously, we didn’t want to fall behind by 26.
The more interesting quote from after the game came from Brad Stevens, the Celtics’ head coach, giving a glimpse of the mindset some teams are in when facing the Warriors and their 3-point shooting ability: Twenty-whatever we were up in the first half felt like three to me, and 16 at halftime feels like two against those guys. They just come back so fast.
Stephen Curry scored 37 points with five 3-pointers. Klay Thompson was just 9-of-23 from the field and finished with 20 points, but it came at the right time. Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green combined to hit five 3-pointers and score 31 points as Green played an impressive 44 minutes, while Andrew Bogut, not having one of his best days lasted for just 19 minutes, being more of a hindrance on his team than a positive influence.
Just to be clear: This isn’t the kind of basketball that will win a championship for the Warriors. They scored just 10 fast break points and they struggle when Bogut doesn’t anchor the defense in a way that generates a lot of easy points. But it’s nice to have an insurance card like Curry and usually Thompson around. Big deficits become nothing at all when these two catch fire, and that happens quite often.
And as for the Celtics? This was a rare occasion of the TD Garden feeling like a playoff venue. It’s not quite clear if the Celtics will make the playoffs, but it says something, and not a very good thing, if such a weak team (with all due respect to Tyler Zeller and Isaiah Thomas) that they’re still so close to getting a playoff spot in the mostly terrible Eastern conference.