NBA Betting: Boston Celtics host Spurs

By: Joe Freda | Tuesday, January 4, 2011

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

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.

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