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Thompson carries Warriors past Celtics

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Updated 10 months ago on
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OAKLAND, Calif. — Klay Thompson scored more points in a single quarter Friday night than he recorded in an entire game Sunday.

In the end, not a single Golden State Warrior was complaining.

Thompson saved 11 of his game-high 31 points for the fourth quarter Sunday, leading the Warriors to a hard-earned, 114-111 victory over the Boston Celtics.

The win was the 19th in a row at home for the Warriors (36-6), but for a change, it did not come easy.

The three-point margin of victory ended Golden State’s NBA-record run of 11 straight wins at Oracle Arena by at least 13 points. They hadn’t won at home by fewer than 13 since Dec. 18 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who hung within 114-109.

The Warriors’ next 13 wins were by an average of 22.6 points.

“The NBA season is a grind,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr noted afterward. “The way we play, with a lot of emotion and a lot of energy, is difficult.”

Coming off a game in which he poured in 37 points in the third quarter alone, Thompson was much more balanced Sunday, scoring five, eight, seven and 11 points per period en route to his game-high total.

It’s the first time in his career he’s totaled 30 or more points in consecutive games. He totaled 52 in Friday’s historic effort against Sacramento.

Thompson made 11 of his 19 shots, including three 3-pointers. He buried a career-best 11 3-pointers Friday.

“Klay was brilliant again,” Kerr assured, “for about the 30th time in a row.”

Point guard Stephen Curry complemented Thompson with 22 points and 11 assists on an off shooting night (6-for-16) as Golden State ran its record against Eastern Conference competition to 14-0 with its 13th victory in its last 14 games overall.

Power forward Draymond Green had 14 points and center Andrew Bogut recorded a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double for the Warriors, who have a chance to complete an unbeaten five-game homestand Tuesday against Chicago.

“These guys kill people in transition,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of the Warriors. “We probably did as well as anybody that has played them.”

Power forward Jared Sullinger had 26 points and nine rebounds for the Celtics (15-27), who were coming off back-to-back, one-point road wins at Portland and Denver.

Boston fell to 2-2 on its current road trip, which continues Monday night at Utah.

Shooting guard Evan Turner had 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Celtics. Point guard Avery Bradley (15) and backup center Tyler Zeller (15) also scored in double figures.

“You almost have to be flawless to beat a team like that,” Sullinger insisted. “We are competing and we are getting better.”

The Celtics made 10 of their 28 3-point attempts, outscoring the Warriors 30-24 from beyond the arc. Bradley had three of Boston’s 10 treys.

After hanging within striking distance all night but still down 107-94 with 2:24 to go, the Celtics closed to 112-107 on Bradley’s third 3-pointer with 19.0 seconds left.

A Boston press forced a Warriors turnover with still 9.3 seconds to play, and when Sullinger followed in a Bradley miss with 3.6 seconds to go, all of a sudden it was just a three-point game.

But the Celtics were forced to foul, and Thompson capped his 31-point night with a pair of free throws with 3.3 seconds left to ice the victory.

“We stayed composed,” the Warriors’ Curry observed. “Obviously (we) had to hold on for dear life down the stretch, but that’s just another big win to protect home court.”

The Warriors caught a huge break in the final seconds of the first half that enabled them to take a seven-point advantage, 56-49, into the intermission.

The Celtics called a timeout under their own basket to diagram a play, down four, with 3.2 seconds left in the period. But Curry stole the inbounds pass and, on his way toward midcourt, drew a controversial foul on Celtics backup forward Gerald Wallace as he was attempting a 60-foot, buzzer-beating heave.

Curry made all three free throws, creating the seven-point margin at the half.

NOTES: The Warriors have had only two games this season decided by three or fewer points. They have won them both. … Only nine NBA teams have ever won 36 of their first 42 games. … The last team to win its first 14 games against Eastern Conference competition was the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. … An MRI on backup Celtics PF Kelly Olynyk’s right ankle showed no significant damage, but he nonetheless will be “out a couple of weeks, at least,” Boston coach Brad Stevens reported. Olynyk suffered the injury Thursday at Portland. … Stevens said he expects SG Andre Dawkins, signed to a 10-day contract Friday, to join the team either Wednesday in Minnesota or when the club returns home to face Houston on Friday. … The Celtics also were without one of their best defensive guards, PG Marcus Smart, who left the team over the weekend following a death in the family.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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