Right play. Right spot on the floor. The right shooter. Wrong result; that is, if you're the Boston Celtics.
Kyrie Irving’s potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer did everything but go through the net, as it took a quick trip around the inside of the rim before deciding to roll out.
And in doing so, Boston suffered a 105-102 loss to San Antonio – their first loss to a Western Conference team this season.
San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili who had 11 points off the bench, drained the game-winning shot, a 3-pointer with five seconds to play.
Following a Celtics’ time-out, they were unable to in-bound the ball so Brad Stevens called another time-out.
Coming out of the second time-out, he set up a play that resulted in Irving getting a lightly contested 3-ponter in the corner that rimmed in and out.
Disappointed with the end result, Irving and the Celtics could not have asked for a better shot at extending the game than the one they got against one of the better teams out West.
As expected, this game wasn’t decided until the final minutes of play despite both teams having shown moments of control.
But when San Antonio reached the 100-point plateau, a victory for the Celtics at that point seemed unlikely considering the Spurs have not lost a game this season when they scored 100 or more points.
Boston spent a good chunk of the third quarter playing from behind, but closed it out with a 15-4 spurt to lead 82-77 going into the fourth.
Finishing the third quarter strong was similar to how the game began for Boston.
The Celtics put the Spurs in a hole early with an 11-0 run to start the game. San Antonio gradually got back into the game, with much of what they did offensively going through Aldridge who had 12 points in the first quarter. He would finish with a double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds.
That was pretty good.
Irving in the first quarter?
Irving was as dominant as we’ve seen him to start the game, tallying 17 first-quarter points which helped propel Boston to a 31-26 lead.
Boston would pull ahead by double digits in the second quarter, only for the Spurs to once again rally.
But where Irving left off for Boston, Terry Rozier picked up the scoring load and finished with 11 first-half points. He would finish with 13 points.
However, the game’s momentum had clearly swung in favor of the Spurs who had a chance to take the lead when Davis Bertans’ 3-ponter was off the mark.
Boston’s Jayson Tatum was fouled on the ensuing possession, going to the line with 13.6 seconds to play.
Tatum, who had 11 points in the first half, made both free throws.
But Ginobili drained a 3-pointer on the final play of the half for their first lead, 56-55.