SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Stephen Jackson made five baskets in the
first quarter of Sunday night's game against Boston, but after that
it seemed that his shooting touch had abandoned him.
But, despite having missed seven straight shots, Jackson didn't
hesitate when he found himself with the ball 25 feet from the
basket and the San Antonio Spurs down two with 9.6 seconds left.
Jackson's confidence paid off as he hit the 3-pointer, giving
the Spurs an 81-80 win over the Celtics.
"All my teammates were telling me that I had one more shot,
just take it with confidence,'' Jackson said. "I shot it with
After Jackson's basket, Paul Pierce twice had the ball with
Bruce Bowen guarding him. Bowen, a defensive specialist, fouled
Pierce with five seconds, and clung tightly to him on the next play
when Pierce's 17-foot jumper from the right wing bounced off the
The Celtics scored only 10 points in the fourth quarter on
4-for-20 shooting after scoring 30 in the third.
"We had some great looks in the fourth quarter -- they just
didn't fall,'' Boston's Antoine Walker said.
Pierce led Boston with 25 points, but was only 9-for-24 from the
floor. Walker scored 15 but also shot poorly (7-for-20) while J.R.
Bremer added 10 points. Walker led all rebounders with 10.
"This is one of the hardest battles to lose,'' Pierce said. "I
thought the worst would be we'd go into overtime.''
Trailing by seven at the half, Boston opened the third period
with a 14-7 run that was capped by a layup by Walker which tied the
score at 54 with 6:51 left in the quarter.
San Antonio rebuilt a small lead before the Celtics ended the
period with an 11-2 spurt. Pierce opened the run with a 3-pointer
and Walker followed with an 11-foot jump hook. Bremer put Boston
ahead, 70-65, by driving past Parker for a layup in the final
seconds of the quarter.
San Antonio ran its lead into double-digits late in the first
quarter behind Jackson, who made a pair of 3-pointers early and
finished the period with 12 points.
Boston fell behind by 17 points early in the second quarter, but
a late Celtics' rally cut San Antonio's lead to five in the final
minute of the period.
The Celtics have not won in San Antonio since February
1990. ... The Spurs now have a 10-game winning streak against
Boston. ... Bowen went 2-for-5 on 3-pointers, and has now made 12
of his last 24 attempts for San Antonio. ... The Celtics are 5-5
against Western Conference opponents. They play in Houston on
Monday night. ... Boston's Vin Baker, who posted his first career
DNP while healthy in Friday's loss to Dallas, entered the game
after five minutes when Tony Battie picked up his second foul.
Baker quickly got into foul trouble himself, picking up his sixth
with 4:27 remaining in the game. Battie fouled out a minute later.