Sunday, November 30, 2014

Spurs 111 - Celtics 89: C's Lose Fourth Straight

Photo: Getty Images

The Boston Celtics came in the TD Garden losers of their last three (six overall at home), looking to snap the defending NBA champion's six-game winning streak. After 36 minutes of decent play between both teams, it was all San Antonio in the fourth quarter. In the end the Spurs became winners of seven straight after a 111-89 victory over the C's

Danny Green led all scorers with 18 points, while Boris Diaw added 15 points, and 38-year-old Tim Duncan finished with 14 points and eight rebounds in the win. It was the first game back for Spurs' coach Gregg Popovich, who returned after a two-game absence due to a medical procedure.

Jeff Green led the way for the Celtics(4-10) with 16 points, and Evan Turner chipped in with 12 points. Rajon Rondo finished with 10 assists and in his first start of the season; Tyler Zeller grabbed 10 rebounds in Boston's fourth consecutive lost.

"I thought that, over time, [the Spurs] probably broke us unlike other teams have broken us," Stevens said. "And again, credit them. I told the guys in the locker room, that's probably the best basketball team that I’ve seen in my adult lifetime, as far as how they’re coached, how they play, their understanding their roles. And you can hear them walking back in their locker room. There’s a reason they’re really good. I mean, they’ve built a bond and a trust that is very special."

Photo: Getty Images
Boston trailed 25-22 after the first 12 minutes, before going on a 14-2 run to start the second quarter. By intermission, the Celtics led 49-45 after back-to-back made jumpers by Brandon Bass in the final minute of the half. In the third, both teams went back and forth as neither led by anymore than five points, but with 2:44 remaining the Spurs went up 71-69 on a Matt Bonner layup for good. Going into the fourth San Antonio led 78-73, and they went on a 14-2 rally to push their lead 85-77 and Boston never got within single digits the rest of the way.

"The Spurs play the right way all the time," Stevens said. "They do it for 48 minutes. They do it for 82 games."

The Celtics were outscored by the 12-4 San Antonio Spurs 66-44 in the second half, while also committing 12 turnovers (15 for the game). Boston is now 1-7 in their last eight games and 1-7 in their last 9 Garden tilts.

It's back to the drawing board for Brad Stevens, as the C's will have a few days off before they travel to Atlanta to take on the Hawks on Tuesday night, beginning at 7:30.

Game Notes:

Boston only shot 41.4 percent from the field (6-of-18 from 3-point land) to the Spurs 48.2 percent (11-of-26 from the 3). Marcus Smart, who missed his ninth straight game, participated in a full-practice on Saturday, his first since removing himself from Tuesday's session. The rookie point guard was seen shooting around on Wednesday and Thursday, it is unknown when he will return to game-time action. The Celtics are 2-7 in his absence.

Joel Pavón

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