Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 2/8

Game 1: Sunday, February 8th
Spurs105Final
Celtics99
Game 2: Friday, March 20th
Celtics80Final
Spurs77

Spurs 105

(34-15, 16-8 away)

Celtics 99

(42-11, 24-4 home)

    Coverage: ABC

    1:00 PM ET, February 8, 2009

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    SA 22 38 14 31105
    BOS 23 29 24 2399

    Top Performers

    SA: T. Duncan 23 Pts, 13 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Blk

    Bos: K. Garnett 26 Pts, 12 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    'Fresh' Spurs stay in groove as Celtics fall again

    Associated Press

    BOSTON -- The San Antonio Spurs rested up before playing the defending champions, and it paid off.

    "It's hard for the oldest team in the NBA to feel fresh," coach Gregg Popovich said Sunday after the Spurs scored 11 straight points in the final 45 seconds to turn a one-point deficit into a 105-99 victory over the Boston Celtics.

    Struggling Defense

    The Celtics have allowed opponents to score at least 100 points in three straight games and six of their last eight. It's just the second time over the last two seasons that Boston has allowed teams to score at least 100 points in three straight games.

    Celtics Defense This Season
    1st 45 games Last 8 games
    Opp PPG 91.1 99.1
    Opp FG pct 42.2 44.7

    "It was a beautiful win for us, against the NBA champions and on the road makes it even sweeter."

    Roger Mason pulled up and leaned into a 3-pointer with 20.4 seconds left to give San Antonio the lead, then hit a pair of free throws after Manu Ginobili hit four as the Spurs pulled away from the Celtics. Tim Duncan scored 23 points with 13 rebounds and Matt Bonner had 23 points -- the second-most in his career -- including 3-of-6 from 3-point range.

    The Spurs won for the ninth time in 11 games.

    Ginobili scored 19 points off the bench, playing more than 31 minutes after sitting out Tuesday's game against Denver with a bruised hip. Duncan, who had not missed a game since 2007, also sat out the Nuggets game, as did Michael Finley and Tony Parker while the Spurs try to pace themselves over an eight-game, three-week road trip.

    Fast Facts

    • The Spurs won for the ninth time in their last 11 games and improved to 2-1 on their eight-game road trip.

    • Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 23 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists. It is Duncan's eighth game this season with at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists which is the most in the NBA this season.

    • Gregg Popovich improved to 10-2 in Boston. It is the highest career-win percentage in road games against the Celtics for any head coach in NBA history.

    • The Spurs have won 32 straight games when scoring 100-plus points (18-0 this season).

    -- ESPN research

    "If I would have played in Denver, I wouldn't have been this fresh for sure," Ginobili said. "It was very important for us to get rest a couple of days."

    Kevin Garnett scored 26 points with 12 rebounds, Paul Pierce had 19 and eight and Rajon Rondo had 16 assists for Boston. It was the second loss in three games for the Celtics, who lost to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday in an NBA Finals rematch to snap a 12-game win streak.

    Boston embarks on a six-game road trip, interrupted by the All-Star break, before returning home at the end of the month.

    "We've got a tough task in front of us, going on the road for the next couple of weeks, and we've got to make up some ground," Pierce said. "We have our work cut out for us. This is a big road trip for us."

    Duncan converted a three-point play to give the Spurs a 90-87 lead before Ray Allen's basket cut it to one point and Garnett hit a pair of jumpers to give Boston a 93-90 lead with 1:36 to play. But Bonner hit a jumper from the foul line and Garnett missed, then Mason hit his 3 to make it 95-93.

    The Celtics were inbounding the ball when Ginobili stole the pass and drew a clear-path foul, giving him two shots and the Spurs the ball. San Antonio extended its lead to 101-93 before Eddie House and Garnett hit 3-pointers to help cut the deficit to three points.

    The Spurs scored the last five points of the first half to open a 60-52 lead, but the Celtics opened the second with 12 straight points to retake the lead.

    Game notes


    Boston is 24-4 at home, with all four losses coming against the Western Conference. ... The Celtics are in a stretch where they play three of the top four teams in the Western Conference in four games, starting with the conference-leading Lakers on Thursday and, after the Knicks on Friday, No. 2 San Antonio and No. 4 New Orleans on Wednesday. ... Finley had played 284 straight games before sitting out on Tuesday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    SA
    BOS
    Points 105 99
    FGM-FGA 39-80 (.488) 44-87 (.506)
    3PM-3PA 8-21 (.381) 3-11 (.273)
    FTM-FTA 19-21 (.905) 8-11 (.727)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-40 8-39
    Assists 21 28
    Turnovers 13 11
    Steals 6 7
    Blocks 3 3
    Fast Break Points 12 16
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 20 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 8 7

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Boston
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 23
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Kevin Garnett Garnett
    Points: 26
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1