After leading 23-17 at the end of 1, Boston went on an 8-0 run to take a 33-22 lead with 9 minutes left in the first half. The Celtics led by as much as a dozen in the first half, large in part to 18 points from Jaylen Brown (6/8 FG; 4/4FT), and 8 points a piece from Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris.
Boston shot 45.5% from the field, holding the Spurs to 33%. Their only bright spot was LaMarcus Aldridge who scored 15 points on as many attempts.
HALFTIME: Celtics 52, Spurs 46
The second half saw an unsung hero for the Spurs coming to the forefront, with second year man Derrick White remaining perfect from the field, adding 7 quick points to his 16 point effort, cutting the Celtics lead to 2 midway through the 3rd.
The Spurs' momentum continued as did Boston's cold shooting, with the Spurs going on a 16-0 run, converting 12 out of 15 field goals in the 3rd, turning a small deficit into a 81-67 lead.
After scoring just 46 points in the first half, San Antonio matched that effort in the 3rd quarter alone, taking a 92-82 lead into the final frame.
The Celtics forgot to play defense in the 3rd, in case you couldn't tell.
Terry Rozier provided a spark off the bench, nailing 12 points on 4/5 shooting (4/4 3PT FG)
Gordon Hayward continues to struggle (0/6 FG)
The Spurs continued their hot shooting in the 4th, mostly because Boston didn't read the scouting report on all their shooters, allowing them to nail three after wide open three. This all while taking horrendous shots on the offensive end.
With 4:37 to go in the game, the Celtics trailed San Antonio 111-99. All as Kyrie Irving was in the locker room after what appeared to be an inadvertent eye poke from Marco Belinelli.
Kyrie returned to action but it was all for naught as the Celtics simply couldn't get a series of stops to even get back into the game.
FINAL SCORE: San Antonio 120, Boston 111 TEAM HIGHS: CELTICS:
Jaylen Brown: 30 points (10/15FG)
Marcus Morris: 18 points
Kyrie Irving: 16 points, 8 assists
The good news is the Celtics up and down play for 2018 is over. Hopefully they'll learn a thing or two about consistency in the New Year. They'll need to as they face off against the Timberwolves on Wednesday.