NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, December 15th
(All times Eastern)
Boston Celtics (12-10) at San Antonio Spurs (18-6), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Mired in their longest losing streak of the season, the San
Antonio Spurs look to get back on track Saturday night versus the Boston
Celtics at the AT&T Center.
The Spurs dropped the last two installments of their four-game road trip,
dropping decisions to Utah and Portland. They had a five-game winning streak
stopped in a loss to the Jazz on Wednesday, then sustained a 98-90 setback the
following night against the Trail Blazers.
Blazers rookie Damian Lillard stole the show with 29 points, seven rebounds
and six assists, while Tony Parker tallied 21 points and five assists for San
Antonio, which is riding its longest losing streak since a two-game slide last
April 9-11. The last time the Spurs lost three in a row was during a six-game
losing streak from March 23-April 1, 2011.
"We just couldn't find any rhythm," said Spurs forward Tim Duncan, who
recorded 16 points and six rebounds. "Give credit to (the Blazers). They made
shots when they needed to and kept us at bay."
San Antonio committed 19 turnovers, which led to 17 Portland points. Manu
Ginobili and Tiago Splitter finished with 12 points apiece in defeat.
The Spurs have won three in a row in the Alamo City and own a 7-2 record as
the host this season. They are averaging 107.7 ppg during the current home
Boston lost what turned out to be an emotional game to the Houston Rockets,
101-89 on Friday night.
The Rockets won the final quarter by seven points and pulled away a bit for
the easy win.
Paul Pierce paced the Celtics with 18 points, while Kevin Garnett (14), Jason
Terry (12) and Rajon Rondo (15) contributed. Rondo also dished out 13 assists
on Friday night.
It was a rough Friday for the Celtics. Boston was close geographically to
Connecticut, where the horrifying school tragedy took place on Friday.
"I just want to say my condolences go out to all the families in Connecticut.
Anybody that has kids, a niece, any kind of siblings, someone that they love,
it's just been a tough day," Garnett said postgame. "I just wanted to get it
off my chest and say my condolences go out to all the parents out there."
And there was also the Kevin McHale factor.
McHale is a Celtics legend and Hall of Famer. He drafted Garnett with the
fifth pick in the 1995 NBA Draft, when McHale was general manager of the
This was the first time the Celtics saw McHale since he endured the heartbreak
of his own when his 23-year-old daughter Alexandre "Sasha" McHale died of
complications of lupus on Nov. 24.
After the game, Celtics coach Doc Rivers walked up and gave McHale a hug.
Garnett followed and the two shared a long embrace and when it was over,
McHale was teary-eyed.
"I seen Kevin and kind of had an emotional moment with him, so it's been an
emotional roller coaster today," admitted Garnett.
Boston dropped a 112-100 home decision to the Spurs on Nov. 21 as Duncan led
the way with 20 points and 15 rebounds. Rondo totaled 22 points and 15 assists
in that one for the Celtics, who have lost 22 of the last 29 in this series.
The Celtics, though, have won five straight in San Antonio after losing their
last 15 trips to the Alamo City.
12/15 10:47:45 ET