Billed as a marquee matchup, the Celtics/Spurs game did not disappoint. The Spurs were coming off a game the night before where the Knicks ran them off the court posting 128 points and causing Spurs coach Greg Popovich to start resting his players before the game was even over.
The game tonight looked to be going down the same path as the Spurs appeared sluggish and could not find a rhythm defensively to start the game. Popovich called a few early timeouts and brought New Hampshire’s own Matt Bonner off the bench early in the first quarter to provide a spark.
The Spurs showed how and why they have the best record in the NBA as they continued to fight to stay in the game until the very end. The C’s took advantage of the Spurs inability to defend the screens. Ray Allen ran effortlessly around the court making shot after shot leading all scorers with 31 points on 13-16 shooting from the floor.
Rajon Rondo was back to his old self posting a triple double and continuously disrupted the flow of the Spurs game. Whether it be a key steal or a rebound, Rondo made the play when called upon.
With just over a mintute remaing in the game the Celtics clung to a 103-96 lead. The Spurs rallied to pull within two and had a shot to tie the game at the buzzer after Ray Allen uncharacteristically missed two free throws late in the game. The Celtics held on to win 105-103.
Manu Ginobili led the way for the Spurs scoring 24 points, but his inability to cover Ray Allen proved costly.
A few things to note:
Big Baby’s 23 points were 1 short of his career high.
This is the first time the Spurs have lost back to back games this season.
Rondo’s 22 assists were 2 behind his career high of 24.
Marquis Daniels had a minus 13 point differential for the game.