Celtics swing, hammer Warriors

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March 5, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward (20) shoots the basketball against Golden State Warriors guard Damion Lee (1) during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. Reuters/Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGLES (Reuters) – Gordon Hayward scored 19 of his 30 points in the first half Tuesday night as the Boston Celtics stunned the Golden State Warriors with 73 points in the first 24 minutes en route to a 128-95 shellacking in Oakland, Calif.

Kyrie Irving recorded 19 points and 11 assists for the Celtics, who salvaged a season-series split with Golden State after the Warriors took a 115-111 win at Boston in January.

The Celtics were opening a four-game western swing after having lost five of their past six games.

The margin of victory was the Celtics’ second-biggest in a road game this season. They trounced the Chicago Bulls 133-77 in December.

Stephen Curry had 23 points for the Warriors, who suffered their fifth home loss of the season by 20 or more points.

Golden State played without Klay Thompson, who missed his second straight game.

The Celtics wasted no time taking charge, scoring the game’s first 11 points. Marcus Morris had two hoops in the flurry that lasted 3:16.

Boston led 32-24 after one quarter, then got 3-pointers from Jayson Tatum and Hayward in an eight-point burst to start the second period, creating a 40-24 lead.

They were up 25 by halftime, with the Celtics shooting 63 percent in the half and making eight of their 15 3-point attempts.

Irving had 13 of his 19 points and six of his 11 assists in the half.

The Warriors made only small advancements thereafter, getting as close as 17 in the third quarter, including one last time at 93-76 with 2:22 left in the period.

But the Celtics closed the quarter with a 12-0 run, with Hayward turning a steal into a dunk, burying a jumper and capping the spurt with a 3-pointer for a 105-76 advantage.

Hayward shot 4 of 6 on 3-point attempts on the night while equaling his second-most points.

Jaylen Brown added 18 points, Tatum 17 and Morris 10 for Boston.

Kevin Durant had 18 points and DeMarcus Cousins 10 to go with nine rebounds for the Warriors, who were coming off a 120-117 win at Philadelphia on Saturday to wrap up a four-game trip.

The Celtics outshot the Warriors 51 percent to 40 percent from the floor.

Elsewhere, James Harden scored 35 points as the visiting Houston Rockets came back to defeat the Toronto Raptors 107-95.

Gerald Green added 18 points for the Rockets, who won both meetings between the teams this season.

Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers added 13 points, while Clint Capela had nine points and 15 rebounds and Chris Paul had five points, 10 assists and six rebounds.

Kawhi Leonard led Toronto with 26, Pascal Siakam had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Serge Ibaka contributed 10 points and 15 rebounds.

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