San Antonio Spurs Move Ball Around Well, Defeat Boston Celtics
By Jay Desai
The San Antonio Spurs continued their winning ways on Friday night, defeating the Boston Celtics at home 101-89 for their ninth victory in their last 11 games.
The Spurs started strong, jumping out to a 13-point lead on the heels of strong defense and high-octane offense. That early deficit proved to be too much for the Celtics were unable to recover and unable to grab a lead throughout the entire game.
Now that the game is over, let’s take a look at our studs and duds of the game, along with key statistics.
Studs of the Game
San Antonio Spurs
Tiago Splitter gets the San Antonio Spurs stud of the game award with his great effort displayed in the win. Splitter helped set the tone early and kept up that effort throughout the entire game on the way to a San Antonio victory. The Brazilian big man was only on the floor for 25 minutes but made the most of his time, contributing 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting along with six rebounds. Kawhi Leonard might have had the better performance with 22 points and seven rebounds, but, when a role player steps up tremendously, you have to reward him.
Evan Turner claims the Celtics stud of the game award with his 17 point, four assist effort. That type of game does not necessarily jump off the page but none of the Boston players really played well in this one. Turner finished 7-of-11 from the field but also committed four turnovers. Consider him the best of the worst in this scenario.
Duds of the Game
San Antonio Spurs
There were three San Antonio players that finished 2-of-10 from the field. The worst of that pack was Marco Belinelli. The Italian guard just could not seem to do anything positive for his team, sputtering to five points. Belinelli also committed three fouls and two giveaways in nearly 24 minutes for the Spurs. Luckily for him, his teammates were able to pick up the slack and pick up the victory.
Kelly Olynyk receives Boston dud of the game with his awful performance against San Antonio. Olynyk was on the court for 16 minutes but did more hurting than helping in this one, failing to register a single point. It was not because of a lack of shots either. Olynyk finished the game 0-of-6. A few points from him would not have probably reversed this outcome, however, it might have helped make this loss look a lot better.
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39.8: That’s the field goal percentage that the Spurs limited the Celtics to. San Antonio clamped down on shooters early to build a large lead and never looked back. That kind of defense is what is going to be needed during these final weeks.
5: That’s the number of three-pointers San Antonio hit in the game. The Spurs rely on their three-point shooting a decent amount, ranking in the top half of the league in attempts. San Antonio attempted 23 three’s against the Celtics which means they shot about 22%. That number must increase against better competition for the Spurs to be able to win games.
26: That’s the number of bench points the Spurs received. This is another area San Antonio must improve in going forward. Yes the team will eventually get back Manu Ginobili but points off the bench cannot solely be Ginobili’s responsibility. Other Spurs players must step up and take the increased workload.