The Celtics snapped a six year long losing streak tonight, defeating the Spurs by a score of 108-94. The victory was Boston’s first over San Antonio since March 31, 2011. Defense won the day again, as the Celtics limited the Spurs to just 40.7 percent shooting.
Kyrie Irving led the way on the offensive end of the court, putting up 24 points and 6 assists. Brandon Paul paced the San Antonio with 18 points off the bench.
Boston led for the entirety of the second half. The Spurs closed the gap in the third quarter, but the Celtics fought back to finish the period ahead by 13 points. Terry Rozier iced things with a flurry of made jump shots early in the fourth quarter, recovering from what had been a poor shooting night.
The win was Boston’s fifth in a row, and eliminated San Antonio as the only team in the league that head coach Brad Stevens had not beaten at any point in his career. His counterpoint, Greg Poppovich, praised Stevens prior to the game. His comments seem particularly prescient in light of the outcome of their matchup.
Gregg Popovich: Brad Stevens "a special person -- and that's on and off the court" https://t.co/gOgeT4v0mX— Jay King (@ByJayKing) October 30, 2017
Stevens has a long way to go before he earns the kind of respect and reverence that Poppovich has generated with the Spurs, but he’s certainly begun to make his mark, and he has an undermanned Celtics team operating at a very high level.
Their next test comes Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings, when Boston will attempt to extend its current winning streak to six.