Celtics unable to overcome slow offensive start, lose to Spurs 95-87

The Boston Celtics were never able to overcome their slow offensive start and early deficit, as they lost a hard fought game against the San Antonio Spurs 105-97.

As was the case against the 76ers and Raptors, the starting five of Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, David Lee, and Tyler Zeller struggled to find offense. The unit played the first 6:29 of the game, during which they managed only four points. At the end of the quarter, the Celtics found themselves down 23-13, which in the end was the difference in the game.

Although the Celtics offense was much more impressive in the second half, they were never able to cut the Spurs lead below four. Much of that was due to Boston's inability to get a defensive stop when they needed it most.

The Spurs were simply more efficient on the offensive end of the floor. Despite taking 15 less shots than the Celtics, they finished the game with one more made field goal. San Antonio was led Lamarcus Aldridge, who scored a game high 24 points. He also chipped in 14 rebounds and 5 assists.

On a night when Isaiah Thomas (4-18 FG) was not his best, it was Smart and Bradley leading the way. Marcus played a team high 39 minutes, which included a couple impressive hustle plays that led to easy baskets on the other end. He finished with 17 points (7-12 FG), 3 assists and 2 rebounds. Avery led all Celtic scorers with 18 points.

In addition to the struggles of the starting lineup, the questions coming out of today's game will again involve the inefficient play of the front court. Other than Amir Johnson, who finished with 10 points (5-10 FG) and 4 rebounds, no one else played particularly well. Although Jonas Jerebko ended the first half with 6 points on 3-3 shooting, he only played 5 minutes after halftime.

The Celtics may have suffered their first injury of the season, as Avery Bradley was seen heading back to the locker room with a minute left in the game.

The Celtics are now 1-2 on the season.

Follow Max Sandgrund on Twitter @SotoSpeakz

Photo Credit: Steven Senne/AP Photo