Ageless Duncan leads Spurs past Celtics, 104-92

Ageless Duncan leads Spurs past Celtics, 104-92
February 12, 2014, 10:00 pm
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Tim Duncan, defended here by Jared Sullinger, broke out in the second half with 23 of his 25 points.

(USA Today Sports Images)


BOSTON — Father Time, you forgot one!

Tim Duncan, who will be 38 years old in April, delivered yet another strong performance in the twilight of his career in leading the Spurs to a 104-92 victory over the Celtics on Wednesday night at TD Garden.

Duncan, who came into the game as one of 13 players averaging a double-double in points and rebounds this season, finished with 25 points (23 in the second half) and nine rebounds.

With a relatively tightly contested game in the first half, the injury-riddled Spurs made getting the ball to Mr. Fundamental - better known to many as Duncan - a priority in the second half.

San Antonio led most of the game, but the Celtics did what they tend to do most nights: stay competitive.

Rajon Rondo was doing his part, although he did it by scoring, instead of setting teammates up for scores.

He made his first five shots which included a 3-pointer that cut San Antonio's lead to 85-79 with 6:22 to play.

Rondo finished with 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting, to go with four assists and two rebounds.

But the Spurs responded by doing what they've done countless times through the years - they went to Duncan.

And he didn't let them down, scoring on a tough bank-shot that was followed by a Danny Green dunk that put the Spurs ahead by double digits, 89-79, with 5:26 to play.

From there, the Spurs continued to control the action and cruise towards a much-needed win.

San Antonio's strong finish was similar to how the game began.

The Celtics fell behind by as many as 11 points in the first quarter, but rallied to cut San Antonio's lead to 25-19 as the quarter ended with a Kris Humphries basket.

Boston's second unit opened the second quarter with a 7-0 run to take their first lead of the night.

The lead was being tossed back and fourth by both teams before the Spurs went on a 5-0 burst about midway through the second quarter behind back-to-back baskets (a 3-pointer, then a 2-point jumper) by Patty Mills.

Boston regained the lead briefly, but the Spurs managed to take a 48-44 lead into the half as Jeff Green scored at the buzzer on a driving lay-up.

"We want to finish strong, and then move on," Duncan told reporters prior to the game.

Mission accomplished as the Spurs won for the fifth time in their past seven games.