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San Antonio at Boston, Final Score: Spurs lose to red-hot Celtics 117-98

The Boston Celtics didn’t miss very many shots against the San Antonio Spurs, whether it was open or contested.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Boston Celtics Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs fell to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday as their defense couldn’t figure out a solution to the Celtics’ red-hot shooting. The Spurs started the game hot, as did their opponent, but ultimately couldn’t keep up. By the time halftime hit, the Spurs looked like they would be in the same position as last game against the Hawks. The third quarter started the same way, too. They got hot, but ultimately, their only offense that was worth mentioning came in transition.

Victor Wembanyama made the crazy, alien plays he usually makes, and Devin Vassell led the charge in terms of being aggressive and getting to the free-throw line. The Celtics showed why they are still one of the best teams in the league despite missing some key players, such as former Spurs guard Derrick White. The Spurs, on the other hand, showed why they still have a way to go. The Celtics finished the game shooting 47% from deep, led by Jrue Holiday with six threes. Wembanyama finished the game with 27 points and five rebounds.

Observations

  • The game started as a shootout, with both teams going back and forth with no scoreless possessions until the Celtics did three minutes into the game. Jeremy Sochan started the game with a three and an assist on the next offensive possession.
  • Wembanyama started the game with 10 of the Spurs’ 15 points, with an alley-oop finish and a step-back three added to the mix.
  • By the time the first timeout came by way of the Spurs, the Celtics were making open three after open three. Their three-point defense struggled, allowing Jaylen Brown, Holiday, and Al Horford to start the game 5/6 from deep.
  • Somehow, even with the lackluster defense, the Spurs were able to keep the game within three points as the first quarter dwindled down.
  • Blake Wesley, the defensive star of the last game vs. the Atlanta Hawks, saw his first minutes of the game late in the first.
  • At the end of the first, Celtics’ Horford found himself in full trouble with two fouls.
  • At the end of the first, Brown (8) and Wembanyama (10) were their team’s respected points leaders.
  • After two threes by Celtics guard Peyton Pritchard, the Spurs were forced to take a timeout as they trailed 40-29 With nine minutes left in the second quarter.
  • Like a few games have gone this season, the Spurs started to turn the ball over midway through the second quarter, which resulted in the Celtics starting to pull away after two turnovers on back-to-back offensive possessions. The Celtics were able to extend their lead to 50-33.
  • After the second quarter, the Celtics were 13/19 from the three-point line as the Spurs struggled to guard the deep ball.
  • Spurs go into the halftime break trailing 70-45, while Boston closed out the half with some impressive shot-making by Jayson Tatum. Tatum (17) and Wembanyama (14) led their teams in scoring at the half.
  • Tre Jones had several plays in transition where he showcased his passing ability. One was a great lob to Vassell, and another was a nice bounce pass to Champagnie, which led to a dunk.
  • Quickly into the third quarter, the Spurs started on a 9-0 run led by Vassell.
  • The Spurs were quickly able to cut the Celtic’s lead nearly in half from nearly 30 to 15 as the third quarter dwindled down near the four-minute mark.
  • Late in the third quarter, Vassell was the only Spurs player to attempt a free throw at 6/6 on the night, showing that the Spurs are not being aggressive enough going to the rim as a team.
  • Wembanyama finished the third with six quick points - two free throws, a euro-step he finished with his left hand, and another play where he put his head down and finished strong.
  • The Spurs struggled to get anything going in their half-court sets in the fourth quarter. The lead then started to grow even more for the Celtics.
  • Wembanyama was credited with his first block of the night Midway through the fourth quarter; however, his presence was felt as the Celtics did not challenge him very many times at all. The block came on a fast break chase-down attempt.
  • Outside of Wembanyama and Vassell, the Spurs only offense really came in transition.
  • The Spurs pulled their starters with four minutes left in the 4th quarter.

The Spurs are still on their long road trip, where they will now look to face the Charlotte Hornets, whom they blew out just a few days ago, at 6:00 PM CT. The Spurs are now 7-33 on the year, while the Hornets are 8-29.