NBA Basketball

94
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
San Antonio 26 23 18 27 94
Boston 30 24 26 28 108
108
4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 PM MST6:30 PM EST3:30 UAE (+1)00:3019:30 ET5:30 PM CTNaN:� , October 30, 2017
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts  Attendance: 18,624

Celtics aim for first home win over Spurs since 2011

According to STATS
According to STATS

San Antonio Spurs at Boston Celtics

  1. The Spurs own an active 11-game winning streak against the Celtics dating back to the 2011-12 season. It is San Antonio's third-longest active winning streak against a single opponent (12 straight vs. the 76ers and Timberwolves).
  2. This is the finale of a four-game road trip for San Antonio, who lost at Indiana Sunday, 97-94. It was the second road loss of the season for the Spurs, whose second road loss in 2016-17 did not occur until December 22.
  3. Pau Gasol tallied five assists and five blocks in the loss at Indiana. He has 13 career games with at least five assists and five blocks, second most among active players behind Josh Smith (20), who recently signed with the Pelicans.
  4. Boston owns a four-game winning streak after a 96-90 win at Miami Saturday. The winning streak is tied for the longest in the NBA this season (the Spurs and Clippers also had four-game streak earlier this month).
  5. The Celtics have allowed 92 or fewer points in each game of their four-game winning streak, which is their longest such streak since March of 2015 (five straight).
  6. Jayson Tatum scored 20 points in the Celtics' win at Miami, his second game with at least 20 points this season. Tatum and the Sixers' Ben Simmons are the only rookies with multiple 20-point games this year.

BOSTON -- On Jan. 5, 2011, Rajon Rondo had a triple-double of 23 assists, 12 points and 10 rebounds, and the Boston Celtics defeated the San Antonio Spurs 105-103 in a matchup of teams with the NBA's two top records.

That was the last time the Spurs lost in Boston.

In fact, San Antonio comes into TD Garden on Monday night with 11 straight wins over the Celtics. But this visit comes with San Antonio's roster still short-handed.

In addition, the Spurs took their second consecutive loss Sunday at Indiana after opening the season with four straight wins.

It's not as if the Celtics are fully healthy, having lost new signee Gordon Hayward for the season in the first quarter of the first game. Marcus Morris has been targeting this game as a return from knee injury, but he isn't likely to play.

For San Antonio, mainstays Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker have yet to play this season because of quad problems.

Parker is eyeing late November to come back from a quad tendon tear sustained in last year's playoffs, but Leonard is closer to day-to-day, getting scratched as each game approaches.

As of Sunday night, following San Antonio's 97-94 loss in Indiana, there was still no plan of action -- or return to action -- regarding Leonard, who figures to be an MVP candidate but has to play to do that. Last week, coach Gregg Popovich was asked about Leonard possibly returning in early November, a month that starts Wednesday.

"Sure, anything is possible," Popovich said. "But I don't spend a lot of time thinking about when somebody is going to come back. Because they are going to come back when they are ready, when the docs say they are ready. So when that happens, that happens."

Popovich needs one win to tie Phil Jackson for sixth place on the career NBA coaching victory list, but the Spurs lost their past two games at Orlando and at Indiana. Getting that win Monday night figures to be tough as the Celtics have bounced back from the two-game trauma of losing Hayward to post four consecutive wins.

Boston is coming off sweeping a two-game trip to Milwaukee and Miami.

Right in the middle of everything has been rookie Jayson Tatum.

Back on Sept. 18, Celtics president Danny Ainge said he didn't expect the third pick in the draft to play enough to be a legitimate candidate for the Rookie of the Year award.

Ainge traded down two spots and raised a few eyebrows doing it so he could get Tatum out of Duke, but the team's depth pointed to a reserve role for the 19-year-old.

Then, Morris couldn't open the season because of a knee injury. Hayward was lost, probably for the year, with a gruesome ankle/leg injury, and Marcus Smart missed a couple of games with injuries to both ankles.

Enter Tatum, is more than holding his own.

He scored 20 points and grabbed five rebounds Saturday in Boston's 96-90 win at Miami.

"It will be unlikely that Jayson is Rookie of the Year because it will probably come from a team that starts their rookies and plays them 35 minutes per night," Ainge said in September.

But here they are, six games into the season, and Tatum is averaging 32.7 minutes per game. In the first two games, he played more minutes than any Celtics rookie since Dave Cowens in 1970.

Tatum is averaging 15.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He is shooting 50.9 percent from the floor and 50 percent from 3-point range. He is making 86.2 percent of his free throws and leads the team in free-throw attempts.

Morris said last week that he wanted to return to play against the Spurs, but coach Brad Stevens said Saturday, "I don't know that he will play Monday, but he's getting a lot closer. That's good."

The Celtics remain home to face the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday. Following the game in Boston, the Spurs head home to play the Golden State Warriors on Thursday.

Updated October 29, 2017

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