NBA game of the day: Celtics at Spurs

Boston Celtics at San Antonio Spurs (-9.5, 198)

The Boston Celtics will attempt to win in San Antonio for the sixth consecutive time when they visit the Spurs on Saturday. Boston hasn’t lost at San Antonio in more than seven years with the last defeat occurring early in the 2005-06 campaign. The Celtics lost to the Houston Rockets on Friday. San Antonio has lost back-to-back games to the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers. The Spurs didn’t suffer a single three-game losing streak last season.

San Antonio recorded a 112-100 win over the Celtics in Boston on Nov. 21 behind 26 points from Tony Parker. The Spurs had won 10 of 11 games before a last-second loss to Utah started the two-game slide. San Antonio is 7-2 at home. The Celtics had just one offensive board and were outrebounded 41-25 in the early-season loss to the Spurs. The setback to Houston was Boston’s third straight road loss. The Celtics are 4-6 away from home.

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet New England (Boston), KENS (San Antonio), NBATV

ABOUT THE CELTICS (12-10): Boston has been maddeningly inconsistent and the loss to Houston stunned the club’s veterans, some of whom thought the team was about to build on back-to-back wins and go on a strong run. “We took a step back,” said forward Paul Pierce, who scored a team-best 18 points but was just 5-for-18 shooting from the field. “We were playing every other quarter. We’ve got to come out with the right mindset to be consistent.” Point guard Rajon Rondo had 15 points and 13 assists for his fourth triple-double in five games.

ABOUT THE SPURS (18-6): Parker has topped 20 points in six of the last seven games and is averaging 23 points during the stretch. Parker hit 12 of 17 shots in last month’s victory over Boston and is averaging 19.1 points and 7.5 assists. Both marks are currently the second-highest of his stellar career. Forward Tim Duncan had posted five double-doubles in six games before a 16-point, six-rebound effort in the loss to Portland. Duncan is averaging 20 points and 11.6 rebounds in 28 career outings against Boston.

TRENDS:

* Celtics are 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings in San Antonio.
* Road team is 9-1-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
* Spurs are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 Saturday games.
* Celtics are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a S.U. loss.
                       
BUZZER BEATERS:
 
1. Despite its recent struggles, San Antonio is 21-18 at home against Boston.

2. Spurs F Kawhi Leonard (knee) has missed 15 consecutive games but is nearing a return.

3. Celtics G Jason Terry matched a season-high with four 3-pointers against Houston after going 4-of-18 from 3-point range over the previous three games.

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