Sunday, November 1, 2015

Spurs 95 - Celtics 87: Spurs outrun C's in matinee

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The San Antonio Spurs had an answer for everything. 

For every made basket, every steal, every run that the Celtics made -- the Spurs had a response when it was their turn and knocked off the Celtics, 95-87, at TD Garden on Sunday. 

Spurs newcomer LaMarcus Aldridge had a double-double; 24 points, 14 rebounds. Kawhi Leonard scored 19 points and Manu Ginobili chipped in 13 points, eight rebounds off the bench.  

Avery Bradley's 18 points led the Celtics. Marcus Smart scored 17 to go with his four steals and Isaiah Thomas added 15 points, five assists off the bench.

Sullinger's three pointer with under five minutes to go closed the gap to four; the closest the Celtics came all night to tying the game since the opening minutes of the game. Sullinger's made three was quickly followed by a Aldridge jump shot. 

Next possession, Sullinger tried to make it two in-a-row but came up short. Sullinger's missed shot was followed by another shot by from Aldridge -- only his converted, making it two in-a-row. And that pretty much summed up the game. For every good thing the Celtics did, the Spurs did the same and then some.

In the first half, the Spurs kept their distance by making trips to the free throw line. San Antonio got to the line 14 times and only converted eight of them off of 11 personal fouls committed by the Celtics. The Celtics attempted only three free throws, as the Spurs went into halftime with a 44-31 lead. 

A very streaky Celtics offense put together its best quarter in the fourth (33 points) but could only cut the Spurs' advantage to four points in the final minutes. Thomas couldn't find his offense in the first half but started heating up in the second. Following a 20-second timeout, Stevens turned to Thomas for a three-pointer with 1:10 on the clock but he missed. Isaiah then came up with a steal on the other end but the C's couldn't convert a basket.
"It was one of those days," said Isaiah Thomas. "We fought hard, we gave it all we had and I think that is a good sign for this team. We just couldn't make shots; as a group we couldn't hit shots, we missed a lot of open 3s and then when we did get back into it, the Spurs made shots like Kawhi Leonard did off the backboard and that takes a lot out of you. You got to tip your hat to them; they made plays and they capitalized on our mistakes."
Celtics will head to Indiana on Wednesday night to face the Pacers. 

Game Notes: 

The Spurs shot 43.4 percent from the floor to the Celtics' 35.7. Spurs also finished 18-for-25 from the free throw line, the C's improved in the second half but still couldn't get to the line nearly as much as San Antonio (11-for-14).

The Spurs' trio: Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker won their 541st game, setting an NBA record for the most by a threesome. The three beat out Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish (540). 

Josue Pavon
Twitter: @Joe_Sway10

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