Doubling down on a victory over the Bucks, the San Antonio Spurs went into TD Garden and knocked down the Boston Celtics in dominant fashion.
In their first meeting this season, the San Antonio Spurs took a beating at home against the Boston Celtics. Entering tonight, Boston held the second seed in the Eastern Conference led by a dynamic tandem of young wings in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum as well as first-year Celtic Kemba Walker.
However, the Celtics met a very different version of the Spurs in the 129-114 road victory. Led in scoring and demeanor by wing DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio scored at least 30 points in each quarter with six players in double-figures.
DeRozan was superb in the halfcourt, scoring 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting and a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe. He initiated offense for the rest of the team with his drives, kicking out to the open man and allowing for some of the Spurs’ patented ball movement. He coralled six boards and dished out four dimes, although the assist number doesn’t quite do justice to the quality of his passes in this one.
He was followed by sophomore Lonnie Walker IV in the scoring column with 19 points, three rebounds and a steal in 19 minutes. The 21-year-old is an one-man-army on offense, taking the ball from one end of the court to the other in a flash and exploding at the rack with acrobatic layups. Now that he’s established within the team’s game plan, his teammates are becoming more accustomed to funneling the offense through him.
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Both Rudy Gay and LaMarcus Aldridge were quiet, posting a combined 17 points and 13 boards on 19 shots. Even with this being the case, their teammates stepped up around them to fill that gap.
The guard combination of Dejounte Murray (10 points, seven boards, four assists, two steals) and Derrick White (15 points on 83.3%, two blocks) continued to levy the Spurs’ halfcourt offense while providing essential effort on the defensive end. Though they don’t play much time together, and their individual styles are very different, these two players are exceptional at what they do and will be crucial to their team’s success both this season and over the next many years.
Known primarily for his scoring prowess, which materialized in the form of 15 points with four triples, sharpshooter Bryn Forbes played a tough game defensively against a much larger Boston team. He began the game against Brown, whose size and strength would make him a small forward on most other teams, and fought his tail off until the very end.
If the Spurs we’ve seen in the last two games are the team they intend to be for the rest of the year, San Antonio may have officially turned the corner.