Jayson Tatum vs. Dejounte Murray show in the first period
San Antonio was firing on all cylinders offensively to begin this game. Floor general Dejounte Murray ignited a 26-12 start for the Spurs with 12 points on perfect 5-for-5 shooting from the field. Conversely, Tatum replicated Murray’s production with 12 early but didn’t receive much help from his teammates. No other Celtic put points on the board until Tristan Thompson scored on a second-chance putback with 44 seconds remaining. But by then, the team was staring at a huge deficit, 37-16. Tatum’s 14 points in the opening frame marked the lone first-quarter bright spot for the C’s.
Evan Fournier’s shooting woes continue
The Frenchman’s confidence appears to be lacking at this juncture. Fournier followed up his lowly two-point performance against the Hornets on Wednesday with another stinker of a first half. He couldn’t find the range on any of his three shot attempts and, as a result, went scoreless across the first 24 minutes. The Celtics should emphasize running more pin down actions for Fournier to help him find his rhythm from the perimeter. Fournier killed opponents coming off pin downs during his days with the Orlando Magic.
The Spurs didn’t miss
The Celtics competed with a lack of energy and zeal on the defensive end to begin this game. They picked up their intensity a tad by the latter portion of the half but to no avail — San Antonio already found their groove and couldn’t be contained. True to the Spurs’ identity, they lit Boston up on the scoreboard collectively, as five members of the silver and black tallied at least eight in the first half compared to just two for the green. San Antonio converted an otherworldy 71.4% of their field goals — Poppovich’s club didn’t fare much worse from beyond the arc, shooting 5-for-11 on triples, which equates to a 45% clip. Here’s to hoping Boston can string together some successful defensive sequences over the final two frames.