BOSTON — After they pulled out a dramatic, last-second win at the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night, the Golden State Warriors could have been excused for being a bit flat Wednesday night.
“I thought we did a great job against a team that, in all honesty, we are better than,” Golden State coach Mark Jackson said after his team cruised to a clinic-like 108-88 victory over the Boston Celtics to cap a 4-2 road trip.
“It was the type of game where you can overlook them, they compete, they are well coached but fortunately we came in here and took care of business. … A big-time win for us.”
Golden State forward David Lee scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, guard Klay Thompson also had 18 points, and guard Stephen Curry added 14 points. The Warriors, who led by as many as 31 points, removed their starters before the end of the third quarter, with Curry resting a sore leg that would have allowed him to play if needed.
“This win kind of validates last night and we wanted to finish (the trip) strong,” said Thompson, whose last-second shot beat the Pacers.
Guard Jordan Crawford, a former Celtic making his return, came off the bench to score 15 points.
Said Lee: “We were sitting at 2-2 after the Toronto loss, which is one we wanted back, and we had two games left, one against Indiana, one of the best home teams, and also against Boston, playing people really tough in this building — so we were lucky to get these two and I’m very happy for our team for putting together two great wins.”
Golden State (38-24) took a 12-2 lead and never looked back. The Celtics (20-41) lost for the sixth time in their past seven games.
“The starters really wanted to come out and set the tone tonight and not give this Celtics team any life,” said Lee. “They’re a team that if they can gain confidence early, can be a tough team. Guys like Jeff Green and (Brandon) Bass and those guys get going — and we were able to keep them from doing that.”
The victory ended Golden State’s five-game Boston losing streak and gave the Warriors their first season series win over the Celtics since 2006-07. It also raised the Warriors’ season road record to 20-14, including 14-4 in the past 18 games away from home.
This 4-2 trip came after an earlier 6-1 road trip. The Warriors went home after that one and struggled at home. “We have to take care of business at home,” said Jackson, whose talented team sits in sixth place in the deep Western Conference.
The Warriors, who went just 5-for-28 from 3-point range, led by 21 at the half after turning the ball over only twice. They wound up with 28 assists on 46 baskets and forced 22 Boston turnovers.
“The abbreviated version is they were really good and we weren’t, which is a bad combination when you’re playing a team of that talent level,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “I think they’re hitting their stride a little bit as I’ve watched them over the last couple of weeks.”
By the end of the third quarter, bored Celtics fans were chanting for former fan favorite Brian Scalabrine, now an assistant coach with the Warriors. The crowd was also chanting for a guy shown on the big screen who looked like the late Tupac Shakur.
Rookie forward Kelly Olynyk, returning from a two-game absence caused by a toe injury, came off the bench to lead the Celtics with 19 points. Five Celtics reached double figures, with guard Rajon Rondo chipping in 14 points, seven assists and five rebounds.
NOTES: G Jordan Crawford, sent from Boston to Golden State on Jan. 15, made his return. “It was home for a minute,” he said of Boston. “The first time I got to play a lot of minutes. I got to have ups, I had downs, and how you adjust to playing bad, how to get back. So it was a lot of positives.” As Crawford met the media, teammate Andrew Bogut walked by and quipped, “They didn’t want you.” … The Warriors return home to face the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night, while the Celtics continue their four-game homestand against Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Collins and the Brooklyn Nets the same night. … Also returning with the Warriors were ex-Celtics C Jermaine O’Neal and Brian Scalabrine, the latter now an assistant coach after playing and broadcasting in Boston. O’Neal has been playing very well off the bench. … Injured Celtics G Avery Bradley, who has missed 15 of the last 18 games with an ankle sprain, underwent another MRI exam Wednesday to monitor his progress.
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