Aldridge, Spurs hold off Celtics 95-87
BOSTON (AP) LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and 14 rebounds, Kawhi Leonard added 19 points and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Boston Celtics 95-87 on Sunday.
Manu Ginobili scored 13 points and Boris Diaw had 10 for the Spurs
Avery Bradley led Boston with 18 points and Marcus Smart had 17. Isaiah Thomas scored 15, but shot only 4 of 18 from the floor. Jared Sullinger had 10 points and eight rebounds.
San Antonio opened a double-digit lead early in the game and held off Boston’s charges the rest of the way.
The Celtics closed a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit to four points three times in the final 4 minutes, the last on Smart’s 3-pointer from the right corner that made it 86-82 with 2:45 to play. But then Leonard nailed a jumper and Tony Parker had a fast-break layup with 2:02 to go.
The Spurs had a 13-point halftime lead sliced to seven after Boston’s 8-0 run early in the third, but San Antonio pushed it back to double digits 2 1/2 minutes later.
The Spurs led 64-54 after three quarters.
In the first half, San Antonio shot 37 percent, but held a 44-31 edge at intermission because the Celtics hit only 29 percent (14 of 48), missing 11 of 12 on 3-point attempts.
Boston missed 17 of 23 shots in a slow first quarter. The Spurs held a 3-2 lead over 5 minutes into the game before pushing it to 23-13 at the break.
Spurs: It was their first of three road games in four days. They are opening the season with six of their initial eight away from home.
Celtics: F Kelly Olynyk was the 11th player to see action for Boston. On Friday, he was one of the first two subs. . Thomas, who averaged 26 points in Boston’s first two games, was just 1 for 9 from the floor in the first half.
THE BEST TRIO
San Antonio’s Tim Duncan, Parker and Ginobili posted their 541st victory together, surpassing Boston’s Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish (540) for the most by a threesome in NBA history.
Spurs: At the New York Knicks on Monday.
Celtics: At Indiana on Wednesday.