|5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET1:30 GMT9:30 6:30 PM MST8:30 PM EST5:30 UAE (+1)02:3020:30 ET7:30 PM CT23:30 , January 27, 2021
AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
COVID concerns hover over Celtics-Spurs game
Boston Celtics at San Antonio Spurs
- Since 2011-12, San Antonio has gone 15-2 against Boston, tied for the second-best record by any team against any opponent in that span. Houston (16-2 vs. Charlotte) is the only team with a better mark.
- The Celtics have shot at least 50.0 percent on threes in back-to-back games, the second NBA team to do so this season (Knicks, December 27-29). No team has done so in more than two straight since Utah in January-February 2018 (four straight).
- Patty Mills led the Spurs with 21 points off the bench on Sunday. His five 20-point games off the bench this season tie him with Orlando's Terrence Ross for second most in the NBA -- only Toronto's Chris Boucher (seven) has more.
- Jayson Tatum had 24 points in his return to the court Monday. Tatum has a +65 rating in road games this season, the best mark by any Eastern Conference player. However, he has a -4 plus/minus at home, which ranks 11th on his team alone -- and the Celtics have gone 5-2 on their home court this season.
- Dejounte Murray had his second triple-double of the season on Sunday, making him one of seven NBA players to have multiple triple-doubles. However, he's averaged 11.9 points on 39.8 percent shooting at home this season, compared to 17.0 PPG on 48.8 percent shooting in road games.
- Marcus Smart has averaged 17.5 points and 7.8 assists on 52.0 percent shooting over his last four games, after averaging 12.2 points and 5.6 assists on 34.5 percent shooting in his first 11 games this season.
The specter of COVID-19 cancellation will hang over the AT&T Center on Wednesday night when the Boston Celtics make their only trip of the season to San Antonio to face the Spurs.
The Spurs head home after having their game in New Orleans on Monday postponed because of coronavirus issues on both teams. The NBA released a statement less than an hour before tipoff that the game would be postponed due to the league's health and safety protocols.
"Because of ongoing contact tracing within both the Spurs and Pelicans, neither team has the league-required eight available players to proceed with the scheduled game," the statement read.
There was no indication of a problem with positive tests for San Antonio, which marked only Derrick White (toe) on the injury report on Monday morning. It was the first postponement for the Spurs this season and the 22nd in the league this season.
The Spurs already were in the arena in New Orleans when news of the postponement came down. They boarded a plane and headed back to San Antonio, where they had swamped the short-handed Washington Wizards 121-101 on Sunday night.
Patty Mills led the Spurs with 21 points against Washington, with Dejounte Murray recording his second career triple-double (11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists). Seven players scored in double figures for the Spurs, who snapped a two-game losing streak.
San Antonio had 27 assists and forged a 20-3 edge in fast-break points against the Wizards. The difference was a 15-1 fourth-quarter Spurs run that put away the game.
"We just tried to string a full 48 minutes together which, you know, we haven't actually gotten done just yet," Mills said. "Successful teams are always solid defensively and true to their offense, and we had glimpses of that (against Washington) for sure.
"We're able to get some momentum in terms of how we were moving the ball, especially in the second half, and we were able to hit some wide open shots because of it."
The Celtics travel to San Antonio after a 119-103 win in Chicago on Monday behind 26 points from Jaylen Brown and 24 from Jayson Tatum, who returned to the court after missing five games because of COVID-19 protocols.
"I was very pleased at how Jayson came out and played," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "That's not easy to do, to be out five games, to be out 20 days or whatever it was. ... I don't worry one bit about him finding the basket -- that's what he does."
Boston's Daniel Theis added 19 points while Marcus Smart had 13 points and 11 assists. Tristan Thompson grabbed 10 rebounds as Boston won its second straight game.
"Different guys stepped up with different groups at different times," Stevens said about his team's overall play against Chicago. "It was just kind of rotating guys in until we found a group that would really defend and really hold down the fort. It was a good team win -- a lot of guys did a lot of things."
Kemba Walker was held out on Monday for the second game of a back-to-back because of a left-knee injury. He played the previous four games after missing the first 11 because of the injury.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 26, 2021