SAN FRANCISCO // The Golden State Warriors rallied in the fourth quarter to hand the league-leading Boston Celtics a second defeat in as many days. Stephen Jackson scored a game-high 28 points and Marco Belinelli added 22 as the injury-plagued Warriors upset the Celtics 99-89 one day after Boston had a franchise-best 19-game winning streak snapped by the Los Angeles Lakers. Golden State, who trailed 72-64 after three quarters, began the fourth with a 23-6 run to take an 87-78 advantage with 3mins 12secs remaining.
"I just didn't think we could get control of it with our defence," the Boston forward Paul Pierce. "We allowed too much dribble penetration. That's just not the way we play defence. I thought we gambled a lot and it opened up their three-point game." The Warriors were without the guards Jamal Crawford, Monta Ellis, and Corey Maggette yet still managed to outlast the defending NBA champions, who were led by Pierce's team-high 21 points.
Rajon Rondo recorded 11 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the Celtics, who were hurt by 23 turnovers as they lost consecutive games for the first time this season. Golden State entered the contest last in the league in scoring defence but were able to contain Boston to just 17 fourth-quarter points. Boston's cause was further damaged when they lost starting centre Kendrick Perkins in the first quarter due to a shoulder injury.
"It kind of caught me off guard," Boston coach Doc Rivers said of the injury. "I knew he hurt it [Thursday] night and I knew he'd get treatment this afternoon, but I just assumed that he would play." *Reuters