OAKLAND, Calif. Stephen Curry had 22 points and nine assists, David Lee scored 20 points, and the Golden State Warriors whipped the short-handed Boston Celtics 101-83 on Saturday night to close a memorable month.
First-round pick Harrison Barnes added 15 points and eight rebounds to help the Warriors build a 20-point lead in the second quarter and cruise most of the way. Golden State (21-10) finished December with a 12-4 record and has at least 20 wins before New Year’s Day for the first time since 1980.
Courtney Lee had 18 points and five rebounds starting in place Rajon Rondo, who was a late scratch for Boston because of a bruised right thigh and hip.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Rondo will be a game-time decision at the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night.
The Celtics (14-15) have lost six of eight to fall below .500 for the first time in almost two months. Combined with Thursday night’s 106-77 loss at the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston has been outscored by 47 points the last two games.
After beating the Philadelphia 76ers at home Friday night, the Warriors continued to pound Eastern Conference competition. Golden State outshot Boston 51 to 36 percent from the floor and improved to 13-2 against the East this season.
And this one wasn’t even close.
Curry shook off the double teams the Celtics threw his way on most pick-and-rolls and found David Lee and others for easy dunks. At one point, the Warriors scored 11 straight and later took a 19-9 lead that got Rivers ranting and raving at his players to pick up the intensity.
After the Celtics started to close the gap, Warriors coach Mark Jackson switched to the three-guard lineup of Curry, Klay Thompson and Jarrett Jack. The trio shredded Boston’s depleted backcourt, with Curry and Thompson each connecting from beyond the arc to cap a 21-7 run that gave Golden State a 50-30 lead late in the second quarter.
The Celtics simply had no flow offensively and no pressure defensively without Rondo, the three-time All-Star point guard who had started the first 24 games this season. Rivers said Rondo was hurt at the Clippers but doesn’t think the injury is anything serious.
Paul Pierce’s 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter highlighted a brief burst that brought Boston to 78-70. The highlights for the
Celtics ended there, with the Warriors’ swarming Boston defensively to build a 24-point lead
Pierce finished with 13 points on 4-for-20 shooting. Jason Terry scored 13 points on 6-for-19 shooting. Both were taken out with 4:19 remaining and the game well out of reach.
NOTES: SG Leandro Barbosa is expected to rejoin the Celtics at Sacramento after missing four straight games for personal reasons. … Boston fell to 5-10 on the road. … Raiders WR Jacoby Ford was among those in attendance.