Spurs Hold off Celtics
In one of their most atrocious second halves of the season, the San Antonio Spurs managed to escape the TD Garden with a narrow one point victory, extending their winning streak to nine, posing the statement, that no matter how you interpret the game, a win is a win regardless of the play.
With that said, the Spurs let a 17 point lead evaporate over the course of the second half, letting the Celtics to mount a slow and steady comeback to regain the lead the Spurs had held since early in the first quarter. In the first half, the Spurs managed to rack up 59 points on the Celtics’ defense, and allowing the Celtics to only round-up 48 at half, a considerable lead going into the second half.
When the Spurs stepped out on the court to begin the second half, their offensive momentum seemed to have evaporated in the locker room, scoring a season low of nine points in the third quarter, the lowest since January 5th against the Mavericks in the AT&T Center. The fourth quarter saw little improvement in the shooting as the Spurs made only 19 points, barely edging out Boston by one point in the final seconds of the game to escape with a victory thanks to a missed last-second fade-away jump shot by Paul Pierce.
The missed shots contributed to the woes of the Spurs and nearly caused their downfall as they missed five of the seven field goals in the final three minutes of play, and the free throw miss by Tim Duncan also added a nail to the would-be coffin of the Celtics, but it was only his second miss on the night where the Spurs as a whole shot 75% from the line, to the Celtics 46%. Boston out-shot the Spurs in every category except for the free throws, ultimately sealing the demise of the Celtics in the TD Garden.
In a post game interview, Tim Duncan spoke on the game saying “It was a great game, great game. We knew coming in here they’re a playoff caliber team and there always a tough challenge and it was a good game for us, a good challenge for us.”
So the Spurs found a decent match in the Celtics, but narrowly escaped with the victory as it came down to the wire, the only meeting between these two teams, and the next time these two teams meet could potentially be in the NBA Finals. a great preview of the series should both teams make it, and shows that it will be a very entertaining series.
The Spurs return home Friday night for two games, they will face Hornets of New Orleans first, the season finale between these two teams, the Spurs have kept the Hornets in check thus far and look to sweep the season series, then face off against the Utah Jazz, the third meeting between the two clubs, the Spurs have bested the Jazz in the previous two meetings, and have one more in Salt Lake City.
The Spurs are on the verge of breaking 40 wins, and could potentially break 50 wins, if they can finish out strong, but the focus is not the regular season, rather, the focus is now placed on the postseason,
The playoffs are creeping ever so steadily on the Spurs, and the nightmares of last seasons’ debacle still haunts many Spurs fans, but a new opportunity approaches, they are a new team, and the rest of the regular season is just preparation and fine tuning for the playoffs.
– Richard Perez