Apr 4, 2012; Boston, MA USA; Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) reacts after his basket against the San Antonio Spurs in the first quarter at the TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE
They had a shot to win it, but sometimes the ball just doesn't go down.
Daniel Green paced five Spurs in double figures with 14 points, but it might have been the bench efforts of Gary Neal (13 points) and Matt Bonner (10 points), who each hit key late-game buckets, that helped San Antonio escape with the win despite mustering just 28 second-half points. Avery Bradley scored a team-high 19 points off the bench for Boston, while Paul Pierce -- fresh off his Player of the Month award -- added 15 points and 10 rebounds, but missed a chance to win it at the buzzer. Rajon Rondo added 17 points and pushed his double-digit assist streak to 14 games with 11 assists over 44 minutes.
Maybe they won’t meet in the finals — although with the way this season has gone, who can tell for sure — but the Celtics and Spurs put on an exciting show at the Garden on Wednesday. They played the first half at a breakneck pace, but settled in for an old fashioned defensive slugfest in the second. The Celtics lost, 87-86, which snapped their five-game winning streak, but they remained one game ahead of Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division after the Sixers lost by 21 points at home against the Raptors.