Two of the hottest teams in the NBA collide tonight, as the San Antonio Spurs pay a visit to the Boston Celtics.
It's not far-fetched that the Spurs could pass Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City for the top seed and they sit just two games off the mark. San Antonio has won eight in a row and recorded a 125-90 blowout of the Cleveland Cavaliers last night at Quicken Loans Arena.
Danny Green and Tony Parker each scored 19 points, while Patty Mills scored a game-high 20 off the bench for the Southwest Division-leading Spurs, who are 16-10 away from the Alamo City and rested most of their starters towards the end of the game. Tim Duncan had seven points and eight boards.
"It was fortunate we were able to do that," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We rested some guys and hopefully that'll help out tomorrow. We're a pretty deep team and that was nice to see. We can play a lot of guys."
After posting a 2-8 record in the first 10 road games on the season, the Spurs are 14-2 in their last 16 away contests. They improved to 13-3 against teams from the East this season.
Boston has been arguably the hottest team in the East, having won five straight and 15 of 20 games, and will shoot for a ninth consecutive triumph in Beantown this evening.
The Celtics took on the star-studded Miami Heat the last time out and handed them a 91-72 setback on Sunday at TD Garden. Rajon Rondo registered his NBA- leading fifth triple-double of the season with 16 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds, and has handed out 10 or more assists in 13 straight games. Paul Pierce finished with a team-high 23 points, while Brandon Bass added a double- double of 16 points and 10 boards.
"This team continues to find ways to win through adversity. It's a big win for us," Pierce said of his shorthanded Celtics, who were without Ray Allen for a sixth straight game due to a sore right ankle.
Allen is probable for tonight's game and is averaging 14.6 ppg this season.
Boston's last home loss was versus Detroit on Feb. 15. The Celtics are 16-10 as the host and seeded fourth in the East -- 1 1/2 games behind Indiana.
The Celtics and Spurs haven't met this season. Boston swept a home-and-home series a year ago and has won seven of the last nine matchups. San Antonio, however, is 20-7 in the last 27 meetings and 11-2 in 13 visits to TD Garden.