If the Spurs were hoping to end their four-game road trip with a win, the odds were never in their favor to do it against the Boston Celtics. Even with Boston missing Jayson Tatum, the Spurs were down Keldon Johnson and Jeremy Sochan, and they had no answer for Jaylen Brown, who had 40 points on the night. The Spurs were able to stick around in the first half thanks to some hot shooting, but once the shots stopped falling for them and the flood gates opened for the rest of the Celtics in the second, what was a competitive game turned into a blowout loss, 93-137.
Zach Collins led four Spurs in double-figures with 21 points, while, along with Brown’s 40, Malcom Brogdon had 20 off the bench for Boston, and former Spur Derrick White had 19.
- The Spurs hit seven of their first ten shots, and the first quarter was an offensive clinic as both teams shot 52%. For the Spurs, it was more of a team effort, with eight players scoring led by 9 from Collins, and on the Celtics side it was all Brown, as he had half of their 30 points. Gregg Popovich even had to call timeout to remind his team not to leave him to double-team. Hopefully little things like that is something his young squad will learn with time.
- I remain surprised that Sandro Mamukelashvili was only ever a two-way player before signing with the Spurs. He looks like a legit NBA forward out there. I get that he wouldn’t have gotten much playing time on the championship-contending Bucks, but it’s probably safe to say his G-League days are over.
- The Spurs had their shooting to credit with staying in this game as long as they did. The Celtics were already in the bonus less than five minutes into the second quarter with zero fouls called the other way, and during that time they went on a 13-2 run to retake the lead after the Spurs had gotten up 38-30. In fact, they didn’t get called for a single foul until midway through the second quarter and shot 9 free throws before the Spurs ever got their first, but then things got weird. Tre Jones got two (but missed one) on a flagrant foul on Brown, and then on the inbound play after that, he got another technical free throw after a foul from Grant Williams before the ball was in play. Collins then got a three out of it, so it was a five-point possession and the Spurs briefly regained the lead for the last time, 45-43.
- The other second quarter problem for the Spurs was after having zero turnovers in the first quarter, they had six in the second, giving up 8 extra points to the Celtics. Brown remained on fire with 26 points in the half and spotted Boston a 68-58 lead.
- Marcus Smart must have been running his mouth, because he got two technicals from the same ref in the third quarter and was tossed for reasons not seen on camera. Assuming it was for complaining, it’s hard to know about what. The Celtics had the refs’ favor for the majority of the game, and it was well on its way to being a blowout at that point. For the most part, Smart doesn’t seem to make the headlines as much as he used to for his antics, but it would seem he still has some work to do to avoid unnecessary ejections.
- Derrick White hit three threes to open the fourth quarter (did he ever do that for the Spurs?), pushing the lead out to 30, and the blowout was in full force. That being said, despite the final score, this didn’t feel like one of those “stinker” games the Spurs tend to lay every now and then. They were on fire for most of the first half while Celtics seemed to be asleep at wheel on defense — both factors that seemed unsustainable. Sure enough, shots stopped falling for the Spurs, Boston woke up, and it looked more like a championship contender beating up on a cellar dweller.
- Another telling stat on the night: 11 Celtics blocks vs. 0 for the Spurs. It was just that kind of night.
For the Celtics fans’ perspective, visit Celtics Blog.
The Spurs get two days off before returning home to take on the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. Tip-off will be at 7:00 PM CT on Bally Sports SW-SA.