Rapid Recap is designed for the busiest of Celtics fans. Whether you can’t stay awake to read 10 paragraphs or your hangover is just too much, Rapid Recap tells the timeline of the game in only a minute or two.
The Celtics’ recent first-quarter problems continued tonight as the San Antonio Spurs scored the first 8 points and never looked back, winning easily, 129-114. For the second straight game, Boston spent 48 frustrating minutes without having a lead at any time.
Credit to the Spurs, who shot lights out (55.2%, with 50 points in the paint) and responded to every Celtics comeback attempt. S.A. was led by DeMar DeRozan (30 points, 10-of-17 FGs, 10-of-10 FTs), with four other Spurs in double figures. The Celtics were led by Gordon Hayward’s 18.
However, this game wasn’t that simple.
Kemba Walker, who returned to the starting lineup after missing three games with illness, was ejected by a young referee who, it must be said, overreacted.
This all happened when the Celtics were surging in the third quarter, having cut a large San Antonio lead to 7 points while the Garden crowd was going wild.
But let’s start at the beginning. For the fourth straight game, Boston was horrible in the first quarter.
The Spurs led by as many as 19 before the Celtics recovered slightly.
San Antonio opened the second quarter with a 6-0 run. Desperate times called for desperate measures.
Tacko had a rebound and a steal in his 5 minutes. (He played later as well and finished with 4 points.)
Ultimately, Boston’s deficit reached 22.
Three minutes into the third quarter:
Then, suddenly, the Cs began to play harder, defend with energy and hit some shots.
Tatum followed that with a steal and another hoop to bring Boston within 76-69. Then the refs missed a call and ruined the game.
The result of all this was the Spurs, on the verge of blowing their huge lead, got their momentum back. They went on a 17-3 run to restore their margin to 21 and essentially end the game.