NBA Game Summary - Boston at San Antonio
(Friday, March 20th)
Final Score: Boston 80, San Antonio 77
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Kevin Garnett returned to the Boston lineup after a month-long absence, and the Celtics took advantage of six missed free throws by the Spurs to earn an 80-77 win.
Garnett, who hadn't played in a game since February 19 due to a posterior muscle strain of his right knee, started and played a little over 14 minutes, finishing with 10 points and four rebounds.
"I felt okay," Garnett said. "Once I pushed on the gas, opened up the engine a little bit, I got it going. I felt really good."
Ray Allen, who was out of Boston's last game due to a hyperextended right elbow, had 19 points. Rajon Rondo chipped in 16 points and 12 assists for the Celtics, who went a mediocre 7-6 in Garnett's absence. Friday marked their second straight victory.
Paul Pierce struggled by going 3-of-16 from the floor for nine points but had 12 rebounds for Boston.
Tony Parker, who came into the game an 80 percent foul shooter, and Michael Finley -- at an 81 percent clip -- combined to miss six from the charity stripe in the final 2:32.
"They played well, but at the same time we could have had a better opportunity if we made free throws," Parker said.
Parker had 25 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, while Tim Duncan returned from a one-game absence (sore knees) to finish with 15 points and nine boards. The loss left the Spurs with just a half-game lead on Houston for first place in the Southwest Division.
Allen's jumper gave Boston a two-point lead with just over four minutes left, but Parker's layup tied the game at 74 before the Spurs faltered.
Finley first missed on a chance to give the Spurs the lead by failing on two foul shots, and Kendrick Perkins hit a short jumper to move Boston ahead.
Parker missed two foul shots with 49.8 seconds left, and after Rondo was off the mark on a jumper, Parker again couldn't convert on two from the charity stripe with 30.3 ticks left.
Glen Davis provided the dagger by hitting a jumper from the left baseline with 5.7 seconds left for a 78-74 difference. Finley made a three-pointer with 1.1 seconds left, but Pierce made two free throws with 0.1 seconds to go.
The Spurs led 22-16 after one quarter and were up 42-37 at the half. Boston used a 13-5 run in the third to grab a 57-52 edge and the Celtics went to the fourth clinging to a 64-63 edge.
The Celtics play at Memphis on Monday, while San Antonio's next game is at home against Houston on Sunday...The teams split the season series as the Spurs earned a 105-99 win on February 8 in Boston...The Celtics have won their last three at San Antonio after losing 15 in a row on the road to the Spurs...Perkins scored 10.
03/21 02:12:42 ET