The two hottest teams in the league do battle in Beantown in a marquee early season matchup on the hardwood. The Western Conference leading Golden State Warriors are on the road as they take on the league’s top team in the Boston Celtics Thursday night. Golden State has won seven straight after beating Orlando 110-100 at home Monday night. Boston ran its win streak to 13 games as they dispatched the Nets 109-102 on the road Tuesday night. The Celtics hold a 201-135 advantage in the all-time regular season series: the teams split two meetings last season with each team winning on the road.
Golden State Warriors Shoot for Eighth Straight Win
Golden State picked up a win over the Magic at home to run their win streak to seven even without Stephen Curry, who missed the game with a thigh contusion. The 10 point margin of victory was the smallest for the Warriors during their streak. After being tied at the half, Golden State outscored Orlando 32-19 in the third quarter to take command of the game. The Warriors shot 50 percent from the field despite going 8 of 23 from three point range while dominating the boards by a 50-35 margin. Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 21 points, seven rebounds and eight assists in the win.
The Warriors come into this one #1 in the league in scoring with 119.6 points per game. Golden State stands 12th in rebounding with 44.9 per contest. The Warriors are leading the league by dishing out 31.3 assists a night. Golden State is scuffling defensively as they are 22nd in scoring defense, allowing 107.7 points a night. Kevin Durant is the team’s second leading scorer this season, posting 24.8 points and 7.5 rebounds plus 5.2 assists per game. Stephen Curry leads the team with 25.2 points plus 6.7 assists while Klay Thompson contributes 20.6 points a night. Draymond Green is chipping in with 10.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.6 assists so far this year. Zaza Pachulia, Andre Iguodala, David West, Nick Young and Shaun Livingston are key complementary pieces for the Warriors’ rotation. The Warriors are first in the league, shooting 51.9 percent from the floor as a team. Golden State is 2nd with 13.4 triples a night while the team stands 1st by sinking 41.2 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc.
Boston Celtics Look for 14th Consecutive Victory
Boston reeled off their 13th win in a row as that 0-2 start has long been forgotten. The Celtics saw a nine point lead after the first quarter evaporate as the game was tied at the half. Boston reasserted control with a 28-19 advantage in the third quarter and held the Nets at bay the rest of the way. The Celtics shot 45.3 percent from the field and went 9 of 27 from beyond the arc in the contest. Boston had a 49-43 edge on the glass and took control of the game at the charity stripe as they hit 22 of 27 to Brooklyn’s 10 of 16 in the game. Kyrie Irving returned to the lineup wearing a mask to protect the facial fracture he sustained against Charlotte to lead the Celtics with 25 points.
The Celtics are 22nd in the league in scoring offense with 102.7 points per game. Boston is 4th in the league in rebounding with 47.6 boards per game and stand tied for 13th with 22 assists per contest. Boston is above average on the defensive end: they are 1st in scoring defense, allowing 94.5 points per game. Kyrie Irving leads the team with 20.6 points and 5.2 assists plus 1.86 steals per game in his first year with the team. Al Horford averages 15.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. Marcus Smart chips in 9.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists per contest. Jaylen Brown (14.7 points, 6.7 boards), rookie Jayson Tatum (14 points, 5.7 rebounds), Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris (13.7 points, 5.7 rebounds) and Aron Baynes are key pieces in the rotation. Boston will miss their big free agent signing, Gordon Hayward, who is likely done for the year after suffering a fracture dislocation of his ankle in the opener. The Celtics are tied for 27th in field goal percentage as they shoot 43.3 percent from the floor as a team. Boston is 8th in three pointers per game with 10.7 per night while the team is 17th in three point percentage as they hit 35.5 percent from beyond the arc.
- Warriors are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
- Warriors are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 vs. NBA Atlantic
- Celtics are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 home games
- Celtics are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record
- Celtics are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
This one should be a highly entertaining contest between the defending champions and a team that reached the conference finals last season. Boston is strangling opponents on the defensive end of the floor while the Warriors are a high octane offensive unit. Golden State is a highly skilled unit and they lead the league in shooting percentage, scoring and field goal percentage this season. Curry is expected to be back in the lineup after missing Monday’s game. Golden State has the weapons to win the game but this one is going to be a tight one: take the points and Boston at home here.
Pick: Boston Celtics +7
The clash of styles in this one will be interesting as which style of play will dictate the pace? Can Golden State push the tempo, wheel and deal and find the open man to get easy buckets? Will Boston’s defense continue to suffocate opposing teams? The Celtics have allowed just two teams to break the 100 point mark in this 13 game win streak and the Nets needed a pair of threes in the final 30 seconds to crack the century mark.
The under is 14-3 in the Warriors’ last 17 games against Atlantic Division opponents, 4-1 in their last 5 Thursday games, 4-1 in their last 5 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game and 4-1 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning straight up record. Boston has seen the under go 13-2-1 in their last 16 against the Pacific Division, 5-1 in their last six on one day of rest, 10-2 in their last 12 after scoring at least 100 points and 8-2 in their last 10 against teams with a winning record. With Boston’s defense crushing opposing teams’ hopes, this one stays under the total.