The San Antonio Spurs rode balanced scoring and solid defense to a 103-88 domination of the visiting Boston Celtics Saturday night in San Antonio.
Tony Parker scored 22 points and dished out 8 dimes to lead San Antonio. Shooting guard Gary Neal threw down 20 and Center Tiago Splitter had 16 and pulled down half as many rebounds for the Spurs, now 19-6 on the season. The Spurs put up 25 three point shots, hitting on 12 with Neal connecting on three.
Tim Duncan had an abysmal scoring night, going just 2 of 13 for 5 points, but did manage to rip down 13 boards – and his defense was telling, as he blocked 2 shots and suffered no personal foul calls.
Paul Pierce poured in 18 points for the Celtics, who saw their record fall to 12-11 with the second road loss in as many nights. They fell to the Rockets in Houston last night and lost their 4th straight on the road overall.
Jason Terry matched Pierce’s 18 points off the bench and Courtney Lee chimed in with 11 points in his second consecutive start. Terry launched nine 3 point attempts, connecting on four of them to go along with 4 dimes.
Rajon Rondo has an off night and never really was a factor, taking just 7 shots and scoring only 5 points. He did log 9 assists, but also turned the ball over 7 times. Kevin Garnett started very slowly but warmed up late in the game for 13 points and 6 rebounds.
The Celtics seemed to be in catch up mode all game, but managed to stay close until San Antonio used consecutive three point bombs from Neal and Danny Green, who finished with 12 points on the night, to fuel the front end of an 11-0 run to turn an even game into a 66-55 Spurs lead late in the third.
The Celtics never recovered from their lapse and faded down the stretch for the 15 point difference in the final score.
Both teams posted identical rebounding totals, the first time in 5 games that the Celtics were not dominated on the boards. There was a disparity in fouls called, however, as the Spurs were called for just 12 compared to Boston’s 20, raising the ire of the Celtics on several occasions.
Boston now has a couple of days off to lick their wounds before taking on the Bulls in Chicago on Tuesday.