OAKLAND, Calif. — Worn out after a long road trip on the East Coast, the Golden State Warriors were looking forward to getting some rest back home no matter what happened Friday night.
Stephen Curry made sure they’ll rest even easier.
Curry hit a go-ahead jumper with 2.1 seconds left, lifting the Warriors over the skidding Boston Celtics 99-97 in Golden State’s first game back home.
“We needed this one for a lot of different reasons,” Curry said. “We wanted to have a good feeling going into this little minibreak we have, and then also everybody knows it’s tough to find your rhythm and bring that full 100 percent energy after a long road trip like that. We gutted it out.”
Curry came off a pick-and-roll with David Lee before hitting the high-arching shot over center Kris Humphries to bring the announced sellout crowd of 19,596 roaring to its feet. Gerald Wallace missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer on a broken inbounds play after a timeout, sending Boston to its seventh straight loss.
“Steph did what he does best – made a play and made a big-time shot,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “That’s what big-time players do.”
Two nights after its 10-game winning streak ended at Brooklyn, Golden State gave its home fans a memory to savor.
Andre Iguodala had 22 points, seven assists and five rebounds, and Curry finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists for a Warriors team that badly needs some rest.
“We were probably playing more against ourselves than anybody,” said center Andrew Bogut, who grabbed 13 rebounds.
Golden State was 6-1 on its extended road trip and doesn’t play again until Wednesday night at home against Denver.
The Warriors entered the night having played an NBA-high 23 road games compared to 15 home games, meaning the more favorable portion of the schedule is ahead. Golden State began a stretch of 11 of 15 at Oracle Arena before the All-Star break, though things didn’t start off easy at home.
The Warriors appeared to put the game away with a 19-3 run at the end of the third and start of the fourth quarter to go ahead by 13 points.
But Boston kept on coming, getting a pair of big shots – and a big block – by Humphries down the stretch. The Celtics cut the Warriors’ lead to 89-88 on Jordan Crawford’s 3-pointer, and after Golden State started to pull away again, Jeff Green hit a 3 to bring Boston to 94-93 with 2:13 remaining.
Iguodala answered with a fadeaway while getting fouled by Green, though he missed the free throw. Crawford came back with a pull-up shot, then Draymond Green missed a jumper for the Warriors.
Iguodala stole the ball from Jared Sullinger on the ensuing possession, and after Curry missed a difficult jumper, Lee tapped out a rebound to give Golden State another possession. Harrison Barnes was fouled following a timeout and made one of two free throws to put the Warriors ahead 97-95 with 19.6 seconds left.
Green made the tying jumper with 11.6 seconds to play for Boston, getting a friendly bounce off the rim. Curry then came back with another big shot in a young career already full of them, kissing his fingers following the swish that gave Golden State the victory.
“D-Lee set a great screen and I found a nice little bit of daylight to knock it down,” Curry said.
“Good player. Not a good feeling,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.
Jeff Green finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Sullinger had 21 points and 11 rebounds for Boston, which has lost 10 of 11. Boston also is 0-4 on its five-game road trip, which ends Saturday night at Portland.
“Lost seven straight and guys are still fighting out there,” Sullinger said. “Guys are still trying to make plays. Guys are still together. It’s not like we’re pulling apart.”
NOTES: Celtics PG Rajon Rondo, who is rehabbing his surgically repaired right knee, told reporters at the team’s morning shootaround that he hopes to make his season debut before the All-Star break. … Draymond Green received nine stitches after getting elbowed in the mouth. He returned in the third quarter. … Jackson said Jermaine O’Neal is closer to coming back than fellow backup center Festus Ezeli, though he declined to offer specifics. O’Neal had arthroscopic surgery on a torn ligament in his right wrist Dec. 13, while Ezeli has not played this season while he recovers from right knee surgery.