Thompson scores 34, Warriors beat Celtics in Finals rematch
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Six months later, the Splash Brothers were still feeling it from all over the court against the Celtics and delivered one of their team’s signature wins of the season so far.
Klay Thompson scored 34 points, Stephen Curry added 32 with six 3-pointers and Golden State beat Boston 123-107 on Saturday night in a rematch of this year’s NBA Finals won by the Warriors in six games.
“We gutted it out,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Steph and Klay obviously had it rolling so we were making shots.”
Jordan Poole had 20 points starting in place of injured Andrew Wiggins despite shooting 1 for 9 from long range.
Thompson scored 12 of his points in the opening quarter shooting 5 of 9 and had 24 by halftime. Curry shot 12 for 21 and had seven assists and six rebounds playing 37 minutes.
The Warriors were coming off a 124-123 loss at Utah on Wednesday night that Thompson called a “collapse.”
“It’s always nice to respond with a great performance and we did that tonight,” Thompson said.
Jaylen Brown had 31 points and nine rebounds, Jayson Tatum scored 18 points and Malcolm Brogdon added 16 off the bench for Boston, which had won eight of nine and three straight and faced Golden State’s stingy defense.
“They tested us,” Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla said. “They forced us to work to make the right play.”
Brown scored five straight midway through the fourth with his 3-pointer at the 6:37 mark pulling the Celtics to 105-97. Grant Williams was ejected with 1:52 left.
Poole found Draymond Green for a transition dunk the next time down for the Warriors.
Kevon Looney grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds as Golden State held a 53-39 advantage on the boards.
Tatum missed two free throws with 5:02 remaining then was called for goal-tending moments later on the other end and Curry connected from the top of the arc the next time down to make it 114-99.
“The crowd was excited. We were excited, just the feeling of going against the team the team that you just played in the finals, especially the way they’ve played this year, they’ve just been so good, so dominant,” Kerr said. “I thought we needed a game like that. We’ve been a little bit stuck in the mud.”
RUSSELL’S JERSEY RETIRED
The Warriors retired the No. 6 jersey of late Hall of Famer Bill Russell during a pregame ceremony before facing his former Celtics team. Russell wore the number in all 13 of his seasons with Boston from 1956-69.
Russell, who starred at the University of San Francisco, died July 31 at age 88.
“Just very proud of the legacy that Bill Russell left here in the Bay and across the NBA,” Kerr said.
Celtics: The Celtics were limited to 17 assists. … F-C Al Horford is in the NBA’s health and safety protocols and Mazzulla had no updates on Horford or C Robert Williams III (left knee surgery) other than to note Williams has had “no setbacks.” … Boston fell to 10-4 on the road after a 125-98 whipping of the Suns on Wednesday for the third time Phoenix has been held below 100 points. … The Celtics lost for the first time vs. the Western Conference after a 7-0 start — and are 3-1 on the road against the West. Boston had won eight of the previous 12 on the Warriors’ home floor.
Warriors: Poole reached 3,000 career points. … Wiggins missed his third straight game with tightness in his right thigh muscle. … The Warriors were just 8 of 23 from 3-point range in the first half and 13 for 39 overall. … Golden State committed three turnovers late in the second that helped Boston to a 7-0 spurt over the final 1:22 of the half that got the Celtics within 68-63 at the break.
Celtics: Visit the Clippers on Monday night to continue their second-longest road trip of the season that ends the next night against the Lakers.
Warriors: At Milwaukee on Tuesday night to begin a six-game road trip having lost the last two on the Bucks’ home court.
“It’s a huge challenge,” Kerr said.
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