Spurs Continue Dominance Over Celtics
San Antonio 101, Boston 89
SAN ANTONIO, Dec. 9 (Ticker) -- The Boston Celtics still have no answer for Tim Duncan and the mighty San Antonio Spurs.
Duncan scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Spurs to their season-high sixth straight win, a 101-89 triumph over the Celtics.
"It was a good win," Duncan said. "There were some ups and downs throughout the game, but we were still able to get the win and continue this streak against them, which is great and hopefully we continue winning. It is nice to start the weekend out with a quality win."
The victory also marked San Antonio's 16th straight home win vs. Boston, which received solid games from Paul Pierce and Ricky Davis but just could not contend with the Spurs' depth and overall skill level.
"They are two of most prolific scorers in the league," San Antonio swingman Michael Finley said. "We didn't let them get into a comfortable rhythm."
Duncan, who improved to 16-0 vs. Boston in his career, made 7-of-11 shots from the field and 6-of-8 from the foul line, adding five blocks, three assists and two steals.
A two-time MVP, Duncan received plenty of help from his outstanding supporting cast. Fellow All-Star Manu Ginobili scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half and Finley added 11 in 19 minutes off the bench.
Ginobili, who made 6-of-10 shots and added a team-high four steals, believes the Spurs (16-3) have yet to reach their peak, a scary thought for the rest of the league.
"It was good win for us, but we have to learn how to play with consistency for 48 minutes," Ginobili said. "There are some games that we have that, but it is something that we need improve on, because we know we can get better."
The Celtics never led but sliced the deficit to 10 on several occasions in the fourth quarter. However, the Spurs always had an answer.
"It was a good win. We played pretty good defense throughout the game," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "A lot of people participated, which is good, especially when you have back-to-back. We had a good game."
Pierce scored six straight points, capped by a jumper with 3:41 remaining that made it 95-85. But as usual, Duncan had a response on the other end.
Following a missed 3-pointer by Brent Barry, Duncan realized he would be unable to corral the rebound, so he intentionally smacked the loose ball under the basket to Finley for an uncontested layup.
"They're a well-oiled machine," Pierce said. "They've been together for a long time and they understand what it takes to win. They're great at executing and they are definitely a team we can learn from. They made sure they got good shots, and stops when they needed them. They withstand runs, they don't get rattled and that's why they are the defending champs."
Pierce scored 24 points on 7-of-17 shooting to lead the Celtics. Davis and Mark Blount added 19 apiece for Boston, which had scored at least 100 points in four of its last five games.
"All I did was my thing tonight," Blount said. "I just tried to get it done, that's it. All I know is that they have been together for a long time and they know how to get things done."