Blakely: Lack of free throws hurts Celtics

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Blakely: Lack of free throws hurts Celtics

SAN ANTONIO Throughout most of Saturday's loss, Doc Rivers made a point to the officials about the free throw discrepancy that just continued to grow as the game progressed.

In the end, San Antonio took 20 free throws (with 15 makes) compared to Boston which took eight free throws (with six makes).

"They went into the fourth quarter with (seven) fouls, total," said Rivers whose team had been whistled for 17 personal fouls going into the fourth.

Rivers added, "what can you do? It is what it is. It's hard to win games on the road when a team goes to the line like that."

Boston's Kevin Garnett knew coming in that the C's would likely not get too many favorable whistles blown.

"San Antonio reminds me of the old Utah," said Garnett. "You know what you're getting when you come in here. These guys are a well-oiled machine. This place is one of the hardest places to play in. You're not going to get many calls in here to begin with. It's your team against whoever else is in here. You come here, it's a tough place to play. We didn't expect to get any calls. And then in return, they tend to give calls to the most aggressive team. At times they were driving the ball a little more than we were."

It's no secret that the Celtics are a jump-shooting team with no real inside presence other than Kevin Garnett.

Relying so much on the perimeter to score will at times render results like the ones we saw on Saturday.

And while the C's want to be an inside-out team, their roster is structured in such a way that they really don't have much of a choice but to lean more heavily on their perimeter shots falling than driving lay-ups and dunks.

"We got some open ones, didn't make 'em," said Terry who had 18 points off the bench - 17 coming in the first half. "Those are the kind of looks you want; wide open."

Rivers said the lack of free throws was also a contributing factor in making an already solid San Antonio defense, even better.

"The thing that free throws do," Rivers said. "Is they allow you to set your defense. And it allowed them to do it a lot tonight."

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