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Rajon Rondo scored 23 points to go with 15 assists, but it wasn’t enough to push a listless Celtics defense past the Spurs, 112-100.
Tim Duncan had 20 points and 15 rebounds, while Tony Parker added 26 points and 6 assists for a Spurs team that shot 58 percent from the field and 50 percent from three.
Not only did the Celtics allow the Spurs to shoot a blazing hot percentage, but they also got dominated on the boards. It’s beginning to sound like a broken record, but the Celtics once again got out rebounded, 41-25.
All the Celtics starters scored in double figures, but they pulled down just 12 rebounds combined. Paul Pierce scored 19, Brandon Bass added 16, and Kevin Garnett poured in 14. Jason Terry scored all of his 12 points in the first half.
The Celtics trailed by 8 points at the half and opened the third quarter on a 14-4 run to take 62-60 lead, midway through the period. The Spurs responded with a 9-0 run of their own to regain momentum, and would not relinquish the lead the rest of the game.
Rondo scored 14 of the Celtics 24 points in the fourth quarter and had the Celtics within 6 points with three minutes to play before Duncan hit one of his signature bank shots to ice the game. Rondo recorded double digit assists for the 35th straight regular season game. He now trails John Stockton by just two games for second all-time.
The Celtics face another tough challenge on Friday when they host Kevin Durant and the Thunder at the TD Banknorth Garden.