Live Blog: Celtics at Spurs


December 3, 2009

Live Blog: Celtics at SpursFinal, Celtics 90-83: For all the noise that the Spurs made and all the struggles the Celtics had on the offensive end down the stretch, San Antonio never made it a one-possession game.

The nearly wire-to-wire win gives Boston six straight victories, ups its mark on the road to 8-1 and puts the C's at 15-4 overall.

Kevin Garnett continued his remarkable stretch with 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists and no turnovers in 35 minutes.

Rajon Rondo had 12 points and 12 assists and Rasheed Wallace chipped in 13 points off the bench.

Some other notable numbers from this one:

– The Spurs held a 55-32 rebounding advantage, grabbing 20 on the offensive end.

– The teams combined to make 6-of-34 3-pointers and 21-of-36 free throws.

Paul Pierce scored just eight points for the second straight game. Richard Jefferson was limited to just six points for the Spurs, his third straight single-digit affair.

It has been a great road trip thus far for the Green, but they face a back-to-back scenario Friday night in Oklahoma City against a vastly improved and athletic Thunder squad. We will be following all of the action for you right here so check back before the game starts.

Fourth quarter, 18.0 seconds, Celtics 87-83: The Spurs are out of fouls to give so it will be free throws as long as the Celtics get the ball in OK.

Ray Allen and Paul Pierce will be options for Rajon Rondo, who should be passing the ball in.

Fourth quarter, 26.3 seconds, Celtics 87-83: A phenomenal defensive play by Rajon Rondo preserves the C's four-point advantage.

Fourth quarter, 2:00, Celtics 87-81: A big shot for Rajon Rondo ends a drought of nearly four minutes for the Celtics, who have now surrendered 19 offensive rebounds.

The previous high for a Boston opponent was 17, accomplished by Utah on Nov. 11.

Fourth quarter, 3:33, Celtics 85-79: It would be nice to see Paul Pierce get into the act down the stretch.

Pierce has been kept very quiet tonight, coming off a slow night at Charlotte. His tendency to get to the line could prove vital in holding off the Spurs.

Fourth quarter, 4:00, Celtics 85-79: The Spurs have 16 offensive rebounds to the Celtics' two. The TNT crew is making much of that, and for good reason, but also of note are the points in the paint.

DeJuan Blair is eating alive the C's underneath, where the C's outscore their opponents on a regular basis, often dramatically.

That has not been the case tonight.

Fourth quarter, 7:03, 81-75: Rookie DeJuan Blair is getting the better of Rasheed Wallace here in the fourth.

Wallace, with at least four inches in size on Blair, has taken and missed back-to-back 3-pointers – both with some time on the shot clock – and Blair just scored underneath to cap a 6-0 Spurs run before the timeout.

Blair has 12 points and seven rebounds.

Tony Parker got the surge going with back-to-back hoops. It might be time to get Rajon Rondo back in the game.

Fourth quarter, 8:58, 81-69: Marquis Daniels is such a sneaky player on the offensive end for the Celtics.

He does so many of the little things that you can forget about him and then he pops up for big baskets when you least expect it.

Daniels has six points after hitting a little jumper over a smaller defender, the kind of shot he likes to take.

Fourth quarter, 9:50, Celtics 79-67: Man, there have been more connected elbows in this game than any I've seen this year.

A notable one in the first half saw Kendrick Perkins clock Tim Duncan with an inadvertent elbow.

Two more just took place within seconds of each other as Ray Allen caught George Hill and Matt Bonner got Eddie House on the top of the head.

End of third quarter, Celtics 74-63: There were about three moments during that quarter in which it felt as if the Spurs might go on a big run, but the Celtics actually build on their halftime lead with a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Rasheed Wallace.

That is only the third 3-pointer in 15 attempts for Boston, but it was massive. The C's finish the third on an 8-3 run.

San Antonio will need to quickly get someone going from the outside – only Manu Ginobili has hit a 3-pointer – if it is forced to rally here in the fourth. The rest of the Spurs are 0-of-6 from long range and the starters have yet to even take one.

Third quarter, 1:40, Celtics 69-60: A few baskets in a row gets the Spurs to within six and the crowd on its feet, so what do the Celtics do?

An alley-oop to Kevin Garnett yields a three-point play and sees Garnett, knocked to the floor on the play, pounding his chest in a show of intensity.

Huge play.

Third quarter, 2:35, Celtics 66-54: Three times the Spurs have cut the lead to 10 in this quarter and each time the Celtics have answered with a score, this time on a cutting layup by Marquis Daniels.

There was one group that seemed to think that the Spurs' five-game winning streak was a sign they were, as usual, one of the top teams in the Western Conference.

Others pointed to the opponents during that streak, which incuded four losing teams, as a sign that it meant very little. The club's 4-6 start was still a vivid memory to this camp.

Perhaps the latter viewpoint has some validity to it, as San Antonio is being outplayed on its own court once it finally faces a formidable opponent.

Third quarter, 5:36, Celtics 60-47: Manu Ginobili simply loses the dribble out of bounds and the Spurs have now committed 13 turnovers, one over their average per game.

Third quarter, 8:36, Celtics 53-41: Some great defense on both ends of the floor sees multiple chances denied before Rajon Rondo makes a steal and goes in for an easy layup.

Rondo had a steal on the previous possession but Paul Pierce was bottled up on a drive to the hoop.

The Spurs, who had an unlikely six turnovers in the first quarter, have four already in the third.

Third quarter, 11:30, Celtics 49-39: Underway here in the second and Kevin Garnett instantly hits a jumper.

Although they lead by 10 it will be interesting to see how the Celtics attack going forward. They were outscored plenty in the paint and had just two 3-pointers against a team that allows the fewest in the NBA (11.1 per game).

So long as the defense stays solid it won't make a difference.

Halftime, Celtics 47-39: The C's put together a little 10-2 run near the end of the second quarter, but five points in the final few seconds gives the Spurs something to build on.

There is a somewhat backwards forecast of snow in the San Antonio area, while we enjoy temperatures near 70 degrees in Boston.

It appears as if the chill has set in early for the Spurs's shooters.

San Antonio is 18-of-44 (40.9 percent) from the floor, 1-of-8 from 3-point range and 2-of-9 from the line. Those numbers figures to improve a bit in the second half and an eight-point deficit could vanish quickly if they do.

We'll be back with the second-half action in a bit.

Second quarter, 2:58, Celtics 39-32: It may just be a matter of matchups but it's somewhat notable that Shelden Williams has not seen any action yet for the Celtics.

Williams is usually part of the foursome that comes off the bench late in the first or early in the second.

While Boston is in control it could use Williams' help on the boards, where San Antonio owns a 6-1 advantage on the offensive end.

Second quarter, 3:24, Celtics 37-32: He has always been known for it but Kevin Garnett's interior passing has been spot-on of late, with Kendrick Perkins the primary beneficiary.

The two just hooked up for another easy hoop and Perkins made the ensuing free throw to push the lead back to six.

The Spurs are now 2-of-9 from the line.

Second quarter, 4:54, Celtics 34-29: Hate to keep bringing it up but at some point we have to wonder if the poor foul shooting will hurt somebody.

The Spurs are now 1-of-7 from the line. They shoot 75 percent as a team.

Still, San Antonio put together a 12-5 run to get within three before Kevin Garnett scored for the C's

On a side note, I wonder if Brian Scalabrine and Matt Bonner ever hit the town after these meetings. A pair of 6-9 redheads on the prowl would be something to see.

Second quarter, 7:05, Celtics 32-27: It was an 8-2 run for the Spurs before Eddie House hits a silencing 3-pointer.

Second quarter, 8:49, Celtics 29-21: Apparently upset over his tip-in on the Celtics' side, DeJuan Blair scored four straight here early in the second before Ray Allen hits a jumper.

Blair is on Rasheed Wallace in an interesting matchup underneath. Wallace drew a pair of fouls on help defenders early in the second, but made just 2-of-4 free throws.

That makes if 5-of-13 from the line between the two teams.

End of first quarter, Celtics 25-15: A gift from Spurs rookie DeJaun Blair in the closing seconds gives the C's their first double-digit advantage.

Blair, in an effort to control a rebound on the defensive end, tips the ball in the Celtics' hoop.

Marquis Daniels gets credit for Boston, which shot 11-of-19 in the quarter.

And you can say this about Rasheed Wallace – he is never boring. In a span of about a minute of playing time he had a near steal, complained on a foul called on the play, then hit a turnaround over Tim Duncan and blocked a Duncan shot on the other end. It was a nice stretch for Wallace, part of a 7-1 run to close the quarter by the Celts.

First quarter, 2:36, Celtics 18-14: Adding to the slight dose of sloppiness is a combined 1-of-6 effort from the line for the two teams.

Boston has hit one of its three attempts while San Antonio is 0-of-3, including two misses from Tony Parker, an 81 percent shooter from the line.

Likely doesn't mean much but the Celtics have shown at times that their struggles from the line can last throughout a game.

First quarter, 3:39, Celtics 16-12: Richard Jefferson gets a hoop on the break to get San Antonio back within four but it has been a sloppy affair so far for the hosts.

The Spurs have six turnovers already, which comes as a bit of a surprise. They average only 12.8 turnovers per game, more than just three other teams in the league.

Interestingly enough, they force the fewest turnovers in the NBA at 11.1

First quarter, 7:19, Celtics 12-4: As impressive a 10-0 run as you will see, with the Celtics are dominating on both ends.

Boston has forced San Antonio into four straight turnovers and has made 5-of-6 shots in the burst.

The best play of the stretch may have come from Paul Pierce, who drew a charge on a driving Tony Parker. If he hadn't, Kendrick Perkins was lined up to mug Parker.

Perk was closing fast and just had that look in his eye. 

First quarter, 8:52, Celtics 8-4: Back-to-back three-point trips for the Celtics put them in front early.

Paul Pierce beats the shot clock with a 3-pointer and then Ray Allen goes the conventional rout for his three points, hitting a shot in the lane and getting fouled.

First quarter, 10:00, Spurs 2-2: Tim Duncan hits a fadeaway to start the scoring but misses on a putback moments later.

Rajon Rondo gets the Celtics into the scoring column on the other end.

8:15 p.m.: A reminder to any of those following along without the benefit of a TV or radio, this is a TNT game so the pre-game will take us to midnight or so.

Just kidding. Game action around the corner.

7:57 p.m.: We are moments from tip in this highly anticipated clash at AT&T Center and starting lineups are in, with great matchups all over the place.

The Celtics trot out the usual crew of Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins.

The Spurs, 8-2 at home, go with Tony Parker, Keith Bogans, Richard Jefferson, Tim Duncan and Antonio McDyess.

McDyess was just heard on TV calling Rasheed Wallace "the best teammate he's ever had" from their time together in Detroit. High praise from a 15-year vet who has bounced around quite a bit.

Wallace, of course, gives Boston a great sixth man opposite the super-sub from San Antonio, Manu Ginobili, who will likely get a few more minutes than he did the other night in his return from a groin injury.

11:04 a.m.: When the Celtics met the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday it paired two teams with four-game winning streaks. Boston won handily, 108-90.

The C's will hope for a similar result when they put their five-game winning streak on the line against the San Antonio Spurs, also winners of five straight.

Boston (14-4) improved to an NBA-best 7-1 on the road with the win in Charlotte. Ray Allen scored 27 points and Kendrick Perkins chipped in 21 points and 12 rebounds as the Celtics moved to 2-0 on their current 4-game road trip.

While defense has been its calling card, Boston is thriving on the offensive end of late. The Celtics shot 54.5 percent from the floor against the Bobcats, the third straight game over 50 percent.

Perkins has made 22 of his last 24 shots, while Kevin Garnett is 24-of-28 over his last three-plus games.

The Spurs (9-6) extended their winning streak with a 97-89 win over Philadelphia on Sunday. Tim Duncan scored 22 points while Manu Ginobili had eight in 17 minutes in his return from a strained left groin.

This was for a very long time a one-sided series in favor of San Antonio, but Boston has turned the tide. Since losing 18 straight to the Spurs, the C's are 4-1. They have also won three in a row at the AT&T Center after dropping 15 in a row in San Antonio.

There will be plenty to keep an eye on as these NBA heavyweights collide on national TV. Be sure to follow all the action right here. Tip is set for just after 8 p.m.

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