The Boston Celtics hadn’t beaten the San Antonio Spurs since Jayson Tatum was 13 years old.
But these aren’t your daddy’s Spurs.
Playing their fourth game in five nights, and missing star Kawhi Leonard, as well as veterans Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, the Spurs lacked the firepower to stay with the Celtics on Monday night at TD Garden, losing to Boston for the first time since March 31, 2011.
Boston’s stars shined, as Kyrie Irving (24 points, six assists), Jaylen Brown (18 points) and Al Horford (14 points, 13 rebounds) dominated the second half in a 108-94 win over the shorthanded Spurs.
The Celtics improved to 5-2 with the win, while the Spurs fell to 4-3.
Here’s how it all went down:
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Al Horford
C: Aron Baynes
JUST HAVE TO SEE IT GO THROUGH THE HOLE
Brown had been struggling over his past two games, but the second-year star got off to a hot start Monday night against the Spurs. He knocked down his first shot, a pull-up baseline jumper, and then punished San Antonio in transition.
Brown poured in nine points during the first quarter, as he and Irving, who also had nine, led the C’s to a 30-26 lead after one. Aldridge paced the Spurs with nine points in the stanza.
The Spurs opened the second quarter on an 11-1 run, as Boston’s bench started the game 1-for-11 from the field. But Irving and Horford re-entered the game and Boston closed the quarter on a 23-12 run to take a 54-49 lead into the break.
Irving led all scorers with 16 points, while Brown chipped in with 11 and Horford added eight. Irving was brilliant on both ends of the floor during the first half, as he flustered Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray and dazzled with his court vision.
Aldridge led the Spurs with 11 points in the half, while Rudy Gay added nine.
Boston came out on fire to begin the third quarter, as they dominated the Spurs on the glass and in the paint. The Celtics opened the quarter on an 18-10 run thanks to the stellar play of Irving and Brown.
San Antonio continued to battle, though, as the Spurs trimmed the deficit to six with two minutes to go in the third. But a mini-run by the C’s, capped by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Marcus Smart gave Boston a 13-point lead heading into the fourth.
Boston put the game out of reach early in the fourth quarter. After the Spurs trimmed the lead to nine, Tatum buried a 3-point jumper to stretch it back to double digits.
Then Terry Rozier went off. The young guard drilled a trey of his own, and followed that with a long-range 2-pointer and a fastbreak layup to cap a personal 7-0 run to stretch the lead to 19.
San Antonio wouldn’t get closer than 13, as Gregg Popovich called off the dogs halfway through the fourth.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
*Insert eyes emoji*
The Celtics will take the court again Wednesday when they face the Sacramento Kings. Tip-off from TD Garden is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images