Parker leads Spurs past Celtics for eighth straight win
SAN ANTONIO – Tony Parker scored 19 points and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Boston Celtics, 104-93, last night, winning their eighth straight overall and remaining undefeated at home.
Kawhi Leonard had 16 points and Tim Duncan rebounded from a poor outing in San Antonio’s previous home game to score 13 points. Boris Diaw had 12 points, Tiago Splitter added 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Danny Green had 11 points for the Spurs (10-1).
Avery Bradley, Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger each had 19 points for Boston (4-9), which has lost five straight.
There were 10 lead changes and 14 ties in the first half, as neither team was able to sustain any momentum.
San Antonio was able to pull away midway through the third quarter behind strong individual efforts by Leonard, Parker and Manu Ginobili.
Leonard keyed the resurgence, scoring 10 of 12 points, including a 3-pointer that put San Antonio ahead 61-52.
Parker made two dazzling layups, first presenting the ball with his right hand to draw a defender out of the lane and spinning back for a layup between defenders and then spinning away from a defender in the lane for a layup on the right side of the basket.
Ginobili literally wrapped a pass around a defender, tossing behind a charging Brandon Bass to find Diaw cutting to the basket for a layup. Ginobili finished with five points and six assists.
After scoring only two points in the Spurs’ previous home game against Washington, Duncan made the game’s first two baskets as the team targeted him early. He finished 3-for-13, but was 7-for-8 on free throws while also grabbing nine rebounds.
∎ San Antonio is tied with Indiana for the league’s best record, but its victories have come against teams with a combined winning percentage of .408 entering yesterday’s games. Only two the Spurs’ wins have come against teams above .500. Their only loss was against Portland, which is 10-2 after defeating Milwaukee.
∎ Boston’s Keith Bogans was not with the team due to an undisclosed illness.
∎ San Antonio Coach Gregg Popovich was issued a technical foul with four minutes left in the game after haranguing referee David Guthrie continually for a lack of calls. Popovich smiled, appearing amused by the technical.
∎ The Big Three of Duncan, Parker and Ginobili have played 629 games together, which is the most amongst active teammates and fifth all-time. The trio surpassed Derek Harper, Brad Davis and Rolando Blackman of the Dallas Mavericks last night and trail the leading trio of Robert Parrish, Kevin McHale and Larry Bird by 100 games played together.