The Boston Celtics fought hard, and played hard, but lost. The Celtics ran out to a very hot start. They played great defense and shot 61% from the field in the first quarter. However, the rest of the game played out much differently. The Celtics didn’t shoot very well for the remaining 3 quarters of play, and only got to the free throw line twice in the second half. The Spurs are an excellent team on the road. They had won their last 8 straight road games going in to this one, and made it 9 with a 6 point victory.
Attacking The Rim
The Celtics were up 24 to 10 at one point in the first quarter. They built that lead by attacking the rim, as they had 10 points in the paint at that point.
However, the last 3 quarters were very different. The Spurs tightened up their defense, and the points in the paint dried up.
It seemed even when the Celtics were able to attack the rim and draw contact, the refs swallowed their whistles.
Spurs Bench Bested Boston
The Celtics back-court duo of Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley had a stellar game offensively. The Celtics lost despite their performance, not because of it. Thomas finished with 24 points and 8 assists. Bradley finished with 19 points and 9 rebounds. Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker COMBINED for 10 points. That was the good news.
The bad news was that the Spurs bench absolutely went off.
Patty Mills had 19 points, including a dagger 3 pointer late in the 4th.
David Lee had 15 points, and 11 rebounds.
Bertans had 15 points on 6 of 8 shooting.
Despite the points the Celtics back-court scored, and the lack of production from the Spurs starting guards, the Spurs were able to get what they needed in other places.
Turnovers and Free Throws
Another silver lining in the loss was the amount of turnovers the Celtics forced. The Spurs committed 16 turnovers, while the Celtics only committed 10.
However, the Spurs generated a ton of points from the free throw line.
The Celtics only shot 9 free throws all game, and only 2 in the second half.
The Spurs shot 22 for 25 from the free throw line.
Many of the fouls called against the Celtics were legitimate calls, if not all of them. The Celtics may feel the officiating was one sides, and I wouldn’t blame them. They did not seem to be getting the same calls on their end. However, they still need to do a better job of defending without fouling.