The Boston Celtics are back! Yes I said it, sue me. I had said before this game that the Celtics were starting to return to form, but they had still yet to beat a quality opponent. Tonight they did exactly that in taking down a very good Spurs team, who had won five in a row, by the score of 90-83. The Celtics move to 15-4 and are now 3-0 on their four game road trip and wrap it up tomorrow night in Oklahoma City against the Thunder.
For the Celtics returning home may not be a good thing. So far this season the Celtics are 8-1 on the road, and 7-3 at home. Tonight the Celtics, for the most part, kept the Spurs crowd out of it until late in the fourth when the Spurs cut the lead to only four. At no point during the game tonight did the Spurs really show they were ready to send Boston packing with a loss in their back pockets.
The Celtics came out of the gate firing on all cylinders tonight, they jumped out to a early 25-15 first quarter lead, and never looked back. The Spurs did use a small run in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to four but never could get over the hump to overtake the C’s. As a team the Spurs missed on multiple attempts to really turn the tables in this game. As a team the Spurs shot 42% (37-88) from the field, 12.5% (2-16) from behind the arc, and 41% (7-17) from the charity stripe.
The question is did the Spurs kill themselves, or did the Celtics return to playing dominant defense? In my opinion it was a mixture of both worlds. The Celtics are doing a much better job recently of not allowing open shots from the perimenter, and they again showed that tonight. However, there were a couple times during the game that the Celtics defense collapsed and left the Spurs open for easy shots. Luckily, the Spurs missed most of these shots and the end result was good.
Kevin Garnett led the way for the Celtics tonight with 20 points on 9 for 15 shooting. Every game we are continuing to see more improvement from KG. His lateral movement is getting better, and his jumper is spot on. As far as getting back to the old KG, I would say Garnett is around 85% of the way there. We all agreed we wanted a healthy and productive KG for playoff time, and right now it’s all thumbs up.
Ray Allen also had another solid game tonight scoring 15 points on the night. After going 5-6 from the three point line against Charlotte, Ray again cooled down going 0-4 toinight. Luckily Ray has made his game more versatile this year and is finding different ways to score. It is a new look Ray Allen, and when he gets his three point shooting touch back, WATCH OUT!!!
Tomorrow night we try to sweep the road trip against the young, and very much improved, Oklahoma City Thunder. Check in tomorrow for our game preview, and make sure to stop by our live chat during the game. “The Jungle” was rocking tonight, so don’t be the one left out, come talk Celtics with us at 6pm EST.
Photos by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images