Ray Allen scored 20 in Boston’s win on Monday over the Timberwolves.
The Boston Celtics have won two straight to start 2011, with the ‘under’ going 2-0. Doc Rivers’ club plays its third game in four days when hosting Wednesday’s matchup against the San Antonio Spurs, who visit TD Garden in the second night of a back-to-back spot.
Boston’s latest victory came in Monday’s 96-93 win as an eight-point home favorite against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Celtics trailed by as many as 10 points, rallying from behind to outscore Minnesota in the fourth quarter, 26-20.
Celtics forward Paul Pierce notched team-highs of 23 points and six boards. “The Truth” hit 8-of-16 from the field, while sinking 6-of-8 at the foul line.
Boston’s backcourt duo of Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo united for 26 points. Allen drained 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, while Rondo added a team-high 16 assists.
The tight battle’s combined 189 points plunged below the NBA odds number of of 204, bringing the ‘under’ to 7-1 in the Celtics’ last eight games. Boston outscored Minnesota in the paint, 38-26, while being outrebounded, 45-30.
Celtics forward Kevin Garnett (9.5 RPG) missed his third straight game with a calf injury. “The Big Ticket” is expected to be unavailable for up to two weeks, according to ESPN.com.
Boston dropped to 6-9-1 ATS in their first 16 home dates, with the ‘total’ moving to an even 8-8. Rondo and Co. have allowed a stingy 90.9 PPG in that span.
San Antonio began its new year off with Saturday’s 101-74 win as a 6 ½-point home favorite against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Spurs held Oklahoma City to 32.9 percent field shooting, while outscoring their opposition in the paint, 60-26.
Spurs forward Tim Duncan piled in a team-high 21 points, while adding nine rebounds. The 12-time All-Star went 10-for-15 from the field, while adding one of his squad’s five blocks.
Duncan’s mate Tony Parker finished with 14 points and 10 assists, logging his second double-double in four games. The 28-year-old notched two steals, while hitting 7-of-10 field buckets.
The lopsided affair’s combined 175 points dipped well below the ‘total’ of 204 ½. San Antonio edged out the Thunder in rebounds, 52-50, while both squads united for 33 turnovers.
The Spurs are 8-3-1 ATS in their first 12 road games, with the ‘under’ cashing at 8-4. Gregg Popovich’s crew has put up 104.4 PPG in that stretch.
San Antonio begins its road trip with Tuesday's game against the New York Knicks. The Spurs are 3-2 ATS in their five games played on no rest, with the ‘over’ collecting at 4-1.
Boston is 6-2 ATS in its last eight meetings against the Spurs, with the ‘under’ going 5-3.
San Antonio won last March’s battle between the foes, 94-73, as a three-point road dog. Spurs guard Manu Ginobili sank 8-of-8 at the foul line, finishing with a team-high 28 points. Boston went a lowly 1-for-14 from three-point land, while being held to 37 percent field shooting.
Wednesday’s tip is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. (PT).
Both clubs will have one day off before resuming action as part of Friday’s league slate. The Spurs will complete their three-game road journey against the Indiana Pacers, while Boston remains home to face the Toronto Raptors.