Duncan, Spurs top Celts
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Tim Duncan posted 20 points and 15 rebounds to guide the San Antonio Spurs to a 112-100 win over the Boston Celtics.
Tony Parker totaled 26 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the field, and added six assists. Tiago Splitter was also efficient, going 9-of-11 for 23 points off the bench, as the Spurs ended 58.4 percent from the floor.
"We are a team that shares the ball, and I am feeling good and getting touches," Splitter said.
Rajon Rondo totaled 22 points and 15 assists for the Celtics, who also received 19 points from Paul Pierce and 16 from Brandon Bass.
"We were right there because nobody could stop anybody on either team," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "We shot 53 percent so the reason we were there is because our offense allowed us to stay there. But to me, that was fool's gold, because the way we were playing defense you're not going to get a stop, you're not going to win a game."
Splitter proved to be too much for the Celtics to overcome in the fourth quarter. The third-year pro made all four of his shots from the field and all five from the charity stripe for 13 points.
Rondo's 14 points in the final stanza drew the Celtics close, but the Spurs stemmed the tide thanks to Duncan's clutch bucket. Rondo's driving layup cut what was a 16-point deficit to 104-98 with 3:16 remaining. Duncan followed by draining a short jumper and the Spurs forced three turnovers in the final three minutes.
Rondo has double-digit assists in 35 straight games, the third-longest such streak in NBA history. He's chasing John Stockton (37, Feb. 27, 1989 - Nov. 29, 1989) and Magic Johnson (46, April 13, 1983 - Feb. 28, 1984).
"It's always a good challenge," Parker said of the star point guard matchup. "Rondo is one of the best in the NBA and every time you play one of the best, you want to be aggressive. Rondo had a good game too, so it was a good battle of the point guards."
The Spurs led 30-27 after a tight first quarter, and Parker's 3-pointer in the closing minute of the half moved the margin to 56-48 at the break.
Boston used a 12-4 spurt to take a 62-60 lead with 7:27 left in the third, but San Antonio netted the following nine points, with Duncan capping the flurry with a 3-point play.
Splitter's dunk provided an 82-74 lead going into the final quarter.
The Celtics waived center Darko Milicic Wednesday ... San Antonio has won 22 of the last 29 meetings ... Kevin Garnett scored 14 and Jason Terry poured in 12 in defeat.