When the going gets tough, lean on Old Reliable. That’s the saying the defending Western Conference champions live by.
Tony Parker and Tim Duncan double as Old Reliable for the San Antonio Spurs. Those two players came together Wednesday night to put this Celtics-Spurs tilt in San Antonio’s corner.
The two teams headed into halftime knotted up at 48-48 and went back and forth over the first six minutes of the third period. San Antonio led 63-60 with 6:01 remaining in the third after Avery Bradley nailed one of his many smooth jumpers on the night.
Then Parker and Duncan put their collective foot down.
Duncan was at the free-throw line just 14 seconds after Bradley’s jumper. The former league MVP hit both of his freebies to begin San Antonio’s run.
Parker then took over by scoring the game’s next six points. The first two came off of an eight-foot jumper, while the next two arrived via free throws. Parker got to the bucket for a layup with 3:55 remaining in the quarter to cap his personal 6-0 run and San Antonio’s 8-0 run overall.
That quick spurt, which took just one minute and 52 seconds to complete, gave the Spurs an 11-point lead that they would never relinquish. San Antonio pulled ahead by as many as 19 points early in the fourth before the C’s made a minor run to cut the score down to 104-93 at the final buzzer.
Key Box Score Line
The Celtics fell to the Spurs Wednesday night in San Antonio, but that didn’t remove the bright spots from Boston's game. The brightest spot of them all was Jared Sullinger.
Sullinger had his name called as a starter Wednesday night for the first time this season. He responded to that call with an unbelievable effort that consisted of 19 points and 17 rebounds. Those 19 points tied for the game high, and those 17 boards were by far the game high. The next-best rebound total was from San Antonio’s Tiago Splitter, as he pulled in 10 boards.
Stevens realized quickly how well Sullinger was playing and that’s why he left him on the floor for 31-plus minutes, which is the second-most of the young forward’s season. Sullinger finished the contest as the only Celtics player with a positive plus/minus rating (plus-five).
Box Score Nuggets
- Four players tied for the game high in scoring with 19 points apiece. Three of those players (Jared Sullinger, Avery Bradley and Jeff Green) were Celtics.
- The Celtics outrebounded the Spurs 44-41.
- San Antonio outscored the Celtics 25-4 when it came to points off turnovers.
- Green hit both of his 3-point attempts.
- Sullinger grabbed a game-high and career-high 17 rebounds.
- Neither team outscored the other by more than three points in the first, second or fourth quarters.
- San Antonio scored 48 points in the paint.
- Kawhi Leonard's five steals were one more than the entire Celtics team grabbed.
- Tony Parker led the Spurs with 19 points.
- None of Boston's players dished out more than four assists.
- Manu Ginobili's six assists led the game.
- Kelly Olynyk (eight points) was the only starter in the game not to score in double-figures. He did, however, grab eight boards and dish out three assists.
- Seven Celtics tied for the team high in turnovers with two apiece.
- Boris Diaw nearly committed half of San Antonio's 12 turnovers with five of his own.
Quote of the Night
I was thinking, Tim Duncan is almost Jared (Sullinger) and Kelly (Olynyk) combined (in age). Brad Stevens on the Celtics' youth