for this game

Davis ends Celtics' five-game winning streak

Dec 21, 2006 - 6:09 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- Baron Davis opened the door for the Golden State Warriors in the first half. He closed it on the Boston Celtics down the stretch.

Davis ignited a first-half run and converted several clutch shots down the stretch en route to 31 points, as the Warriors posted a 96-95 victory over the Celtics, who had their season-high five-game winning streak snapped.

Mickeal Pietrus scored 16 points for Golden State, which improved to 1-3 on its six-game road trip.

"It meant a lot to win the basketball game," Davis said. "That's the most important thing at this point. It was a must. We were talking earlier today about stopping losing streaks and giving ourselves chances and playing with confidence and that's what we did tonight."

Davis, who had 25 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in Monday's 105-97 loss to New Jersey, ignited the offense once again. He scored 14 points, shot 5-of-6 from the floor and dished out six assists as the Warriors forged a 58-46 at the half.

Trailing, 44-42, with just under six minutes left in the half, Davis ignited a 16-4 run that ended the half with nine points, two assists and a steal. He converted a three-point play, hit two free throws, scored on a drive and capped the run with a jumper.

Paul Pierce scored 18 points in the first half and Tony Allen contributed 13 to keep the Celtics in the game. Pierce scored seven more in the third and Ryan Gomes added six as Boston cut the deficit to 76-71 after three periods.

The Celtics kept the pressure on in the fourth, but Davis seemed to have the answer each time. His runner with 8:25 left provided an 83-77 margin, and he converted a three-point play on a fast-break layup with 4 1/2 minutes left after Boston had moved within three.

But Davis' biggest shot of the night came with 66 seconds left, when he hit a fallaway jumper from the left corner for a 96-93 lead.

"I just wanted to get a shot where I could get some space," Davis said. "They had been doing a good job of crowding the lane and stopping me penetrating, getting all the way to the bucket.

"I knew it was going to be hard for me to get to the rim and finish at the rim so late in the game. My next move was to go to that, which is a move that is very comfortable for me."

Davis finished the night 11-of-16 with eight assists.

"Davis just carried us again," Golden state coach Don Nelson said. "I didn't give him much rest but we have a day off tomorrow. He just again wouldn't let us lose tonight. The guy was a horse, a warrior.

"I don't know, the force was with us tonight or something. I don't have any idea how we won that game. We struggled getting anything done in the fourth quarter. But we'll take it. We sure needed one."

Al Jefferson followed a miss by Pierce with 48 seconds left and, after a miss by Jason Richardson, Boston had the ball back with 18 seconds left. Pierce received a pass at the free-throw line, but tried to attack a triple-team instead of pass and was tied up for a jump ball with less than one second remaining.

"I'll take what we got (on that last possession). I just didn't like the execution on it," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "We wanted the middle pick-and-roll with Paul. We got the switch that we wanted. We got him the ball right where we wanted. The floor was spaced pretty well. Then they trapped. I would do that all day. We got our best player on the nail (the free-throw line) in a one-on-one situation at first. Then they just came."

Pierce finished with 27 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

"I wanted to make sure we got the last shot," Pierce said. "As the clock was winding down, they came with the double team. They did a good job of smothering the ball and I couldn't get the pass off or a shot.

"We wanted to get the last shot. We make it, we go home. If we miss, game over. Unfortunately, we didn't get the shot off and sometimes that's the breaks of the game. They did a good job defensively on me at the end."

Boston played without swingman Wally Szczerbiak, who sat out with a sprained right ankle.

"Tough loss. I think it was a bad lesson for us," Rivers said. "I told (our guys) before the game that you just can't show up and play basketball. You have to come mentally prepared. Just because you show up doesn't mean you're going to win the game."

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