Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen played catch-and-shoot all night, and Allen sparked a game-winning run as the Boston Celtics defeated the visiting San Antonio Spurs, 105-103, on Wednesday night in a battle between the top teams in their respective conferences.
Rondo had 22 assists and Allen shot 13-of-16 from the floor, most coming on curl moves that the Spurs could not defend. And after a last-minute meltdown, captain Paul Pierce stepped up and blocked a 3-pointer by Manu Ginobili, who sparked a fourth-quarter comeback with 20 of his 24 points.
Rondo had 12 points and 10 rebounds for his second triple-double of the season and added six steals. Allen scored 31 points, Glen Davis added 23 and Pierce 18 for the Celtics (27-7), who have won three in a row.
In a closely contested game, Boston used a 10-0 run late in the third quarter sparked by 3-pointers from Pierce and Allen that opened a 77-70 edge. San Antonio chipped away in the fourth quarter and took a 92-90 lead on two free throws by Tim Duncan with 4:54 left.
But Boston put together a 15-4 surge over the next four minutes to pull away. Davis started the spurt with a pair of jumpers, Allen added a pair of free throws and drained a 3-point dagger for a 105-96 lead with 1:37 left. Forty seconds later, he stripped George Hill and converted a fast-break layup to complete the run.
The Spurs looked dead but rallied with a 3-pointer from Ginobili, a steal and layup by Tony Parker and a steal by Ginobili leading to two free throws by Richard Jefferson. When Allen uncharacteristically missed two free throws, San Antonio had a chance to tie or win but Pierce's play saved the win.
Duncan and Parker scored 18 points apiece for San Antonio (29-6), which allowed Boston to shoot 61 percent in dropping consecutive games for the first time this season.