The San Antonio Spurs look to exact a measure of revenge when they play at the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.
The matchup represents the last of the regular season between the clubs after the Celtics routed the Spurs 135-115 at San Antonio on Nov. 9. That victory was Boston’s first on the road in the series since 2011, and the Celtics had lost 14 of their last 15 to the Spurs entering that game.
Now San Antonio will have the chance to return the favor two nights after handing the NBA-best Milwaukee Bucks a crushing 126-104 defeat.
“It’s big, confidence-building,” Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan told reporters of the victory over the Bucks. “Letting us know we could compete with the best teams in this league.”
The way San Antonio got things done against Milwaukee was far different from usual: from the 3-point line. The Spurs hit 19 of 35 tries from deep, including a franchise-record-tying 12 makes in the first half. Even LaMarcus Aldridge was in on the fun with two 3-pointers as he moved just three away from his career best of 37 3s in a season, set in 2014-15.
“With LaMarcus joining us on the 3-point line and having the ability to knock them down, it does wonders in terms of spacing,” said perennial deep threat Patty Mills, who hit six treys in the game.
While things are looking up for the Spurs coming off a big win, the Celtics enter having fell to the lowly Washington Wizards on the road Monday. In the 99-94 defeat, Boston played its third straight game without leading scorer Kemba Walker, who has been sidelined by the flu. Walker is questionable for Wednesday’s contest.
Without Walker against the Wizards, the Celtics were held to 17 points in the first quarter and 40 overall in the first half, creating for themselves a hole they couldn’t dig out of.
“It’s three tough starts in row for our team,” coach Brad Stevens said. “… We had started better in three weeks prior to that, but for whatever reason haven’t started well on this trip or this set of games.”
Jaylen Brown scored 23 points against Washington, but he hit just 7 of 22 field goal tries as Boston shot 34.7 percent.
“We came out slow today, but it’s a long game,” Brown said after the loss. “We got to be able to pick it up and have each other’s back in certain aspects and find ways to win. Today was a winnable game despite the slow start, and we dropped the ball.”
Despite the setback, the Celtics still have won eight of their last 10 games and are 14-2 at home.
Along with Walker, big man Daniel Theis was a late add to the Celtics injury report Tuesday night with left knee soreness that had him questionable. Theis has started 30 of the team’s 34 games this season.
Rookie Romeo Langford (illness) is out.
–Field Level Media