The Celtics held the defending champions to 29 percent shooting (5-of-17) in the fourth quarter on Saturday night and just one 3-point field goal. That’s no small feat against one of the most prolific offensive teams of our generation, but it was not enough to get past Golden State as the hosts dropped a hard-fought 115-111 contest in front of a capacity TD Garden crowd.
Boston has been at their best in the fourth quarter all season long (net rating +9.0), but it’s safe to say they felt they let one slip away amid a sloppy final 12 minutes on a night they kept Steph Curry from scoring a basket in that period.
“I mean, they had poise but they also got pretty lucky too,” Kyrie Irving said of the tight affair.
Most of the attention in the loss will fall on the final minute, in which the Celtics missed three shots and also had a missed box out on Draymond Green that cost them one final crucial chance to tie or win the game in the closing ten seconds.
“Marcus went in to get in front of the shooter,” Brad Stevens explained. “He slipped. Slips happen. I felt bad for him. He felt bad. That’s part of it. That’s just unfortunate.”
Yet, the Celtics shot themselves in the foot on countless occasions over 48 minutes with plays that were very uncharacteristic of a team that hopes to be a contender in a few months. Let's take a look at how a very winnable game slipped away and just how good the Celtics should feel about themselves moving forward.