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Kevin Garnett scored 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, including a tiebreaking jumper with 5.1 seconds left that led the Boston Celtics to a 105-103 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.
Brandon Bass added a season-high 22 points, Paul Pierce and Mickael Pietrus each chipped in 15 and Rajon Rondo dished out 14 assists for the Celtics, who have won their last two trips to Oakland after losing their previous six.
Rookie Klay Thompson led the Warriors with a season-high 26 points, David Lee added 22 and Nate Robinson had 20 points and 11 assists. But it wasn't enough as Golden State had its three-game winning streak snapped.
Bass made two free throws and a dunk to put the Celtics up 103-97 with 1:58 to play, but the short-handed Warriors wouldn't go down easily. Two free throws by Lee and a basket by Robinson after Bass' turnover cut the deficit to two points.
Then after Piece missed a jumper with 38 seconds left, Robinson used a nifty hesitation move to get down the lane for a tying layup with 30 seconds to play.
But Garnett answered with a long jumper and Robinson missed a 3-point attempt in the closing seconds to help the Celtics improve to 2-1 on their eight-game road trip.
Thompson's 3-pointer early in the third quarter gave the Warriors a 66-58 lead and established his career high with 21 points. But Golden State went cold late in the quarter, scoring three points on 1-for-8 shooting with three turnovers in the final 5:30 in the quarter and trailed 81-77 going into the fourth after Greg Stiemsma's putback dunk with 2.7 seconds remaining.
Garnett's three-point play early in the fourth helped Boston extend the lead to 89-81, but the Warriors fought back to tie it at 95 on Brandon Rush's free throw with 4:21 to play.
The Warriors were short-handed a day after dealing leading scorer Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown to Milwaukee for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson. Bogut and Jackson aren't scheduled to join the team until Thursday. Bogut is out with a broken left ankle and might not play again this season.
Point guard Stephen Curry is also out with a nagging sprained right ankle and will be held out until it is 100 percent healed. Curry, who turned 24 Wednesday, will see doctors Thursday.
The Warriors have made their big move before Thursday's trade deadline. The question remains whether Boston will also be active. Coach Doc Rivers said before the game he would like to add another big man, but didn't want to break up the Celtics' core.
"At the end of the day, I like our team," Rivers said. "Obviously, we need a big, but let's not do anything that hurts the team this year or in the future."
Golden State managed to beat Sacramento 115-89 on Tuesday night in their most lopsided win of the season despite missing so many key players. The Warriors got off to another strong start against the Celtics.
They shot 56 percent in the first half and got 46 points from the trip of Thompson (17), Dorell Wright (15) and Lee (14) to take a 60-55 lead at the half on Lee's putback with 4.6 seconds left.
Notes: Celtics F Chris Wilcox will undergo surgery for an enlarged aorta March 29 and will miss the rest of the season, dealing another blow to Boston's frontcourt depth. ... Lee needed six stitches above his right eye in the first half, but was able to finish the game. ... Warriors C Andris Biedrins missed two free throws in the second quarter and is 1 for 9 from the line this season.
This program aired on March 15, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.
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