The Boston Celtics fended off a scrappy San Antonio Spurs squad to pull out a narrow 121-116 win at AT&T Center on Saturday.
The Celtics improved their NBA-best record to 28-12 while the Spurs dropped to 13-27.
Check out the full box score here.
ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
The Celtics clearly are one of the best teams in the NBA, but it doesn’t always look that. Boston has had its hand on the light switch recently, turning its play on and off whenever it feels like it.
It played out the same way against the Spurs as the Celtics controlled the first half before San Antonio pushed Boston until the final buzzer.
It really shouldn’t have been that way, though. The Spurs are one of the worst teams in the NBA and were without some key players, but the Celtics played down to their level in the second half.
While the panic button shouldn’t be pushed just yet, it is becoming an alarming trend that they can’t lock in against inferior opponents. In Boston’s defense, it is a long regular season and its sights are on reaching the NBA Finals again, but the Celtics have to first take care of what is in front of them.
STARS OF THE GAME
— Jayson Tatum picked on the Spurs defense as he knocked down five triples en route to a game-high 34 points, including hitting the go-ahead basket on a step-back, baseline jumper with 33.7 seconds left.
— Malcolm Brogdon was exceptional off the bench as he tallied 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting, including a 5-for-6 showing from beyond the arc. Brogdon also registered seven assists.
— Robert Williams gave the Celtics a much-needed lift in the energy department and impacted the game at both ends with 10 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals and four blocks. He had a highlight-reel play as well when he blocked Malaki Branham’s long-range attempt and finished at the other end.
Derrick White stuffed the stat sheet against his former team and that helped bettors when it came to the guard’s assist over/under. DraftKings Sportsbook set -135 odds of White eclipsing 2.5 assists, which he did easily by recording a team-high 11 helpers. A $100 wager on the prop bet would have netted a total of $174.07.
After a four-game road trip, the Celtics return to Boston on Monday to take on the Chicago Bulls. Tipoff from TD Garden is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.