San Antonio, TX – Tony Parker compiled 22 points and eight assists as the San Antonio Spurs put an end to their first losing streak of the season by coming through with a 103-88 triumph over the Boston Celtics at the AT&T Center.
The Spurs returned home having been handed back-to-back defeats to Utah and Portland on a 4-game road trip, but outscored the Celtics by a 51-39 margin in the second half to pull away and get back on track.
Gary Neal helped San Antonio's cause by dropping in 20 points, with Tiago Splitter adding 16 points to the victory. The Spurs also benefited from a disparity at the charity stripe, with San Antonio converting 15-of-20 foul shots for the night while Boston finished just 6-of-8 from the line.
"It's hard to win games on the road when a team goes to the line like that and we don't go to the line," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers remarked afterward.
The night wasn't all positive for the Spurs, however, as valued guard Manu Ginobili exited the contest in the first quarter with a bruised left quadriceps and did not return.
Paul Pierce and Jason Terry each netted 18 points in the loss, Boston's second in a row following two straight wins.
The teams were deadlocked at 55-55 with 3 1/2 minutes elapsed in the third quarter, but Neal and Danny Green sparked a pivotal 11-0 run that would put San Antonio in front to stay.
The two combined for all 11 of those points and knocked down a trio of jumpers from beyond the arc, with Green's second of the stretch giving the Spurs a 66-55 lead with 6:45 remaining in the period.
Boston responded with an 8-2 spurt over the next two minutes to close the gap, and the differential was five once again after Courtney Lee delivered a 3- point play that brought the Celtics within 79-74 with just over nine minutes left.
San Antonio had an answer, though, with Parker accounting for the final five points of a 10-4 burst that staked the Spurs to an 89-78 advantage nearing the six-minute mark of the fourth quarter.
Boston could only reduce the deficit to eight points down the stretch, and an 8-0 sequence capped by Patty Mills' triple with 1:59 to go made the score 99-82 and the outcome all but decided.
"Obviously Tony was unbelievable down the stretch, but a lot of guys like Gary Danny and Tiago played very solid basketball," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
San Antonio held a 26-21 lead after one quarter, capitalizing on six Boston turnovers that the club turned into nine points, and was up by as many as seven points in the first half before heading into the break with a 52-49 edge.
The Celtics would draw even when Lee followed a Kevin Garnett jumper with a layup off a Rajon Rondo feed to forge a 55-55 tie, before Neal and Green got hot from long range to ignite San Antonio's crucial run.
Boston had prevailed in five consecutive visits to the AT&T Center prior to the loss ... Rondo finished with nine assists and seven turnovers, marking only the second time in his last 44 outings that he's failed to register double digits in helpers ... The Celtics, who were coming off a 101-89 loss at Houston on Friday, allowed over 100 points for the second straight night after holding six consecutive foes under that mark in non-overtime games ... Garnett finished with 13 points in his 1,278th career game, which tied him with A.C. Green for 16th place on the NBA's all-time list.