It was raining in San Antonio during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game between the Celtics and Spurs, and we’re not talking about liquid drops. The Spurs were raining 3s throughout the final frame and nearly every one of those shots were daggers.
Tony Parker, Gary Neal and three of San Antonio’s reserves combined to shoot 5-of-7 from downtown over the final 12 minutes of the game. The first 3, made by Neal, took a five-point lead up to eight for the Spurs. The next 3, made by Parker, took San Antonio’s six-point lead up to nine. Those two shots halted any momentum the C's had at the time, while the final three 3s, made by the trio of reserves, put the game away.
Boston never quit and continued to fight throughout the fourth quarter of this game. San Antonio, however, hit all of the buckets it needed to prevent much momentum from making its way to the Celtics’ bench. Making key baskets are one thing, but making all of them from 3-point range is another. All five of those 3s were daggers that slowly killed Boston’s chances of winning this contest.
Key Box Score Line
Tony Parker certainly has Rajon Rondo’s number. San Antonio’s wily veteran point guard outperformed Boston’s All-Star floor general yet again Saturday night. Parker finished the contest with a game highs of 22 points and four steals to go along with three rebounds, eight assists and just one turnover.
Parker broke Boston’s defense down at will. He shot 8-of-14 from the field, but the shots he created for others may have been just as important as the ones he fired up himself. His ability to beat his defenders off of the dribble caused the Celtics’ defense to rotate, and those rotations were much too slow. Add all of this up, and you have a 15-point victory for the Spurs.
Box Score Nuggets
- Three of San Antonio's starters scored at least 16 points, led by Tony Parker's game-high 22.
- Both teams shot 36-of-81 from the field.
- San Antonio grabbed the win by making six more 3-pointers and nine more free throws than the Celtics did.
- Rajon Rondo committed a game-high seven turnovers to go with his game-high nine assists.
- San Antonio shot 12-of-25 from 3-point range.
- Tim Duncan led the game with 12 rebounds. No Celtics player grabbed more than seven.
- Jared Sullinger, who played just 11 minutes, led the C's with seven boards.
- Paul Pierce and Jason Terry each scored 18 points for Boston.
- Terry scored 17 of his 18 points in the first half.
- Four of San Antonio's starters finished with a double-digit plus/minus rating.
- The Spurs were whistled for just 12 total fouls in the entire game.
- The Celtics limited Tim Duncan to just five points on 2-of-13 shooting.
Quote of the Night
It's hard to win games on the road when a team goes to the line like that and we don't go to the line. It really is. Doc Rivers on Saturday night's free throw disparity