Celtics Beat Warriors in 119-114 Thriller Despite Stephen Curry's 47 Points

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 18, 2021

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) drives past Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, April 17, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

A dramatic duel between Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry ended with the C's winning 119-114 on Saturday at TD Garden.

Tatum scored 44 points on 16-of-25 shooting (5-of-9 from three-point range), and Curry posted 30-plus points for the 10th straight game after scoring 47 on 15-of-27 shooting (11-of-19 from three-point range). The Warriors floor general also hit 10 or more three-pointers for the third time in four games.

The two teams found themselves tied at 111 after a Kevon Looney putback layup, but the Celtics took a 113-111 lead with 48.8 seconds remaining following a Tatum finger roll.

Boston Celtics @celtics


After Dubs forward Draymond Green missed a layup on the other end, C's point guard Kemba Walker drilled a three from the top of the key to provide Boston with a five-point edge.

ESPN @espn

KEMBA COLD 🥶 https://t.co/3tnBJYBndZ

Undeterred, Curry drilled a deep corner three to cut the Boston lead to two. Forced to foul, Golden State put Tatum on the line, and the fourth-year pro nailed both shots for the four-point advantage.

Curry then tried to hit a quick three-pointer from inside half court in response, but the shot was no good. A Walker free throw and a missed three from Warriors guard Jordan Poole ended the thriller.

The 31-26 Celtics moved into fourth place in the Eastern Conference despite missing All-Star guard Jaylen Brown (non-COVID illness).

The 28-29 Warriors, who had won four straight entering the evening, fell below .500 but still sit ninth in the Western Conference.


Notable Performances

Warriors PG Stephen Curry: 47 points, 7 rebounds

Warriors G Kent Bazemore: 16 points, 4 rebounds

Warriors F Draymond Green: 5 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds

Celtics F Jayson Tatum: 44 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals

Celtics G Kemba Walker: 26 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals

Celtics G Marcus Smart: 16 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals


Tatum Guides C's To 6th Straight Win

The Celtics entered this season with high expectations after reaching the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals, but they struggled through their first 51 games, going just 25-26.

Boston has never been in danger of missing postseason play entirely, but the Celtics looked like anything but a title contender in an Eastern Conference dominated by the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks this year.

The Celtics have finally woken up, though, thanks largely to Tatum, who has now averaged 31 points per game during Boston's current six-game win streak.

Tatum had to put the Celtics offense on his back with Walker by his side given Brown's absence. Facing the scorching-hot Curry and the Warriors was no easy task, and the Celtics fell behind early and often.

But Tatum kept Boston in this game and came through when this team needed him the most. He even did something he had only done once before in his career (which just so happened to be on April 9):

Celtics Stats @celtics_stats

Jayson Tatum tonight recorded the second 40-point, 10-rebound game of his NBA career, both of which have occurred over the last nine days (April 9 vs. MIN)

Outside of his late-game heroics, Tatum delivered enough to keep Boston in the game, including nailing this buzzer-beating baseline jumper:

Boston Celtics @celtics

Too good not to be tonight's @JetBlue Play of the Game. https://t.co/Fh7TClBNvr

He also rewarded Marcus Smart's excellent defense by finishing off a dunk on the fast break in the third:

Boston Celtics @celtics


Tatum scored in every which way, absorbing contact to finish off numerous buckets:

Boston Celtics @celtics

IN THERE!!!! https://t.co/4xSF95WWbg

Boston Celtics @celtics

tough in the paint https://t.co/abqkFd8Pii

Boston Celtics @celtics

got the bucket + went to the line https://t.co/hY93JyU0oD

In the end, Tatum did what he needed to do to keep the Celtics rolling as the regular season nears its end. It remains to be seen if Boston can compete with this year's Eastern Conference heavyweights, but the arrow is pointing up in Boston thanks in part to Tatum, who is dominating the league right now.


Curry Plays the Part of Showstopper Once Again

It's difficult to describe how incredible Curry has played of late as he tries to will the Warriors into the playoffs. He's simply been sensational, to the point where painting a picture through highlights and mind-bending stats may be best to showcase how great he has been recently, capped by Saturday's effort.

This image from Rob Perez of FanDuel is a good start:

Rob Perez @WorldWideWob

“5 this season” https://t.co/cLJbtblw2i

Curry has notably shot over 50 percent from three-point range each time he's notched 10 or more three-pointers this season.

Per ESPN Stats & Info, Curry joined a list that includes only Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Stephen Curry is the 3rd player age 33 or older in NBA history to record four 40-point games in calendar month joining Michael Jordan (4 in Jan. 1998) and Kobe Bryant (4 in Jan. 2012). https://t.co/a6XNZUpxwu

He also joined a now-two-man group with himself and Wilt Chamberlain:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Stephen Curry is the 2nd player in Warriors history with 10 straight 30-point games, joining Wilt Chamberlain. https://t.co/RFQoHgzgr0

For good measure, he and Bryant stand alone on another list as well:

Warriors PR @WarriorsPR

Per @EliasSports, Stephen Curry's 10-game 30-point streak ties Kobe Bryant for the most consecutive 30-point games by a player 33 years or older.

Curry is now averaging 39.1 points per game in his last 10 contests. He's scored 40 or more points four times during that stretch, including a season-high 53.

The point guard also dazzled along the way, dominating in all four quarters:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

STEPH CURRY IS RIDICULOUS 🤯 (via @warriors) https://t.co/LxiGuHltJu

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Sheesh, Steph. (via @NBA) https://t.co/jxAAuGRU8u

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

STEPH. IS. ON. Back-to-back threes (via @warriors) https://t.co/x1k4OGfjjA

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

STEPH CAN’T BE STOPPED 💧 (via @warriors) https://t.co/CqasQqEIif

Curry and the Warriors may have lost, but the point guard continued to be one of the greatest entertainers in sports as he put on a show in Boston.


What's Next?

Both teams will play on Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Boston will host the Chicago Bulls. Golden State will continue its four-game Eastern Conference road trip with a matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers in Wells Fargo Center.