NBA Game Summary - San Antonio at Boston
(Friday, November 19th)
Final Score: San Antonio 92, Boston 84
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Tim Duncan scored a game-high 26 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 92-84 come-from-behind win over the Boston Celtics at the FleetCenter.
Duncan made 8-of-13 field goals and shot 10-for-13 at the line to help San Antonio to its sixth consecutive victory and an 8-1 record to begin the season.
Manu Ginobili recorded 21 points while Tony Parker added 16 for the Spurs, who are unbeaten in 14 straight against Boston dating back to January 8, 1997.
The Celtics looked well on their way toward ending the string, leading by as much as 13 in the third quarter before becoming undone in the final 14 1/2 minutes.
Paul Pierce netted 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting for the Celtics, who have followed up a three-game win streak with back-to-back losses. Gary Payton posted 16 points and dished out eight assists in a losing cause.
"That's been the story of this year so far," Pierce said. "For some reason, we just melt down in the fourth quarter." A three by Pierce early in the third quarter kicked off an 18-7 burst that handed Boston its biggest lead of the night at 66-53.
San Antonio netted the next six points to pull within seven heading into the final period, and then added eight more in a row over the next two minutes to grab a 67-66 edge. Robert Horry and Parker connected on back-to-back threes to fuel the offense.
Ginobili hit from long range with 6:27 remaining to extend the lead to 76-72 and Duncan was left wide open for a backdoor dunk on the next possession to make it a six-point margin.
Parker's lay-in with just under four minutes to go pushed the advantage to 84-72 as Boston's woes continued. The Celtics turned the ball over on four straight possessions and were scoreless for over four minutes until Raef LaFrentz's trey with 3 1/2 minutes to play.
Overall it was a 31-6 surge that victimized the Celtics.
"I though we did a really good job hanging when we got down 13," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, "realizing there is a lot of game left and not panicking."
Pierce scored 13 of Boston's 21 points in the opening quarter, but the Spurs were still within four heading into the second.
The Celtics then gave up the lead a few times before closing out the half with six of the final eight points to take a 43-37 edge at the break. Pierce led all scorers despite coming up empty in the frame.
San Antonio has won 20 of the last 21 meetings with Boston...Besides Duncan, the rest of the team was just 6-of-14 from the line...The Spurs outscored the Celtics in the paint by a 40-24 margin despite being outrebounded 44-29.
11/20 01:01:34 ET