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Game Preview: Warriors vs. Celtics

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20 straight wins.

This number represents the combined win streak of the league’s two hottest teams; the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics (13-2, 13 straight wins), play host to the Warriors (11-3, 7 straight wins) Thursday night at the TD Garden. This will arguably be the toughest test for both teams thus far, as one of the league’s two longest current win streaks will come to an end.

Despite losing Gordon Hayward just minutes into the season and falling to 0-2, Brad Stevens’ Celtics have found a way to win, and build a very strong, early resume. Much of their success has to do with their impressive, league-leading 94.5 OPP PPG. Nobody in the Eastern conference comes close to that, with the next best being Detroit, currently allowing 101.1 PPG.

Kyrie Irving continues to build his case for MVP with a team-high 20.6 points, 5.2 assists and 1.9 steals over 31 minutes per contest. Taking care of the ball has been key as well, as Irving currently posts just 1.9 turnovers per contest.

Boston was able to keep the win streak alive against Charlotte and Toronto, in which Kyrie missed with a facial fracture. He returned to action two days ago in Brooklyn, posting 25 points (8-20 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 7-8 FT) and five assists in 29 minutes with a protective face mask. The mask doesn’t appear to be hindering him too much, so expect Kyrie to show out against the defending champs.

While Kyrie will be in the spotlight, we cannot forget about Boston’s role players, who have been a huge part in the Celtics’ win streak. Al Horford (15.3 PPG), Jaylen Brown (14.7 PPG) and Jayson Tatum (14 PPG) have all been significant contributors especially during Kyrie’s two game absence. Ex-Piston Marcus Morris (13.7 PPG) has fit in quite nicely after missing the first nine games of the season.

The Warriors hope to snag their eighth straight win tonight and will be pleased to have Stephen Curry back in the starting lineup after missing Monday’s game against Orlando with a thigh contusion.

Kevin Durant (54% FG, 44% 3Pt) and Klay Thompson (51% FG, 48% 3Pt) will look to continue their hot shooting starts as the league’s best offense (119.6 PPG) clashes with the league’s best defense.

The game tips off tonight at 8 PM ET on TNT, followed by Rockets/Suns.

 

 

 

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About Eric Peterson

Content/Social Media Manager at The Lead and Bucks Lead division. Currently studying Sport Management at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Twitter: @eric_peterson20

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