Boston Celtics vs. San Antonio Spurs Preview and Predictions 11-09-2019
The Boston Celtics are winners of six in a row since dropping the season opener and will be trying to sweep a three-game road trip when they visit the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday. The Celtics started out with a win in Cleveland and turned up the defense in Kemba Walker's return to Charlotte with a 108-87 triumph on Thursday.
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Walker started 0-of-6 from the floor and finished with 14 points on 4-of-12 shooting in his return to Charlotte, where he spent the first eight seasons of his career, but Boston is developing into a well-rounded team and did not miss a beat with its star struggling. The Celtics held Charlotte to 38.4 percent shooting, including 6-of-31 from 3-point range, in their best defensive performance of the young season and remain the lone one-loss team in the Eastern Conference. The Spurs pulled out of a two-game funk with a 121-112 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday after averaging 98 points in the two previous contests. San Antonio improved to 4-1 at home with the victory and will finish up a three-game homestand against Memphis on Monday before hitting the road for six of seven.
TV: 5 p.m. ET, NBCS Boston, FS Southwest (San Antonio)
ABOUT THE CELTICS (6-1): Walker has been an easy fit within Brad Stevens' offense but the return to form of small forward Gordon Hayward is providing the team's biggest lift of late. The former All-Star battled through an inconsistent 2018-19 season while recovering from a leg injury that robbed him of the previous campaign and has looked more like the star from his Utah years while averaging 20.3 points on 56.4 percent shooting. Hayward went 16-of-16 from inside the arc en route to 39 points in the road trip opener at Cleveland on Tuesday and filled the box score with 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in Thursday's triumph.
ABOUT THE SPURS (5-3): San Antonio was waiting for a breakout game from All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge and finally got one on Thursday, when he went off for a season-high 39 points on 19-of-23 shooting. Aldridge averaged 12.3 points on 39.1 percent shooting in the four previous games, during which the team went 1-3. Point guard Dejounte Murray added 17 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds on Thursday for his first points-assists double-double of the season after scoring a season-low three points on 1-of-7 shooting in Tuesday's 108-100 setback at Atlanta.
1. Celtics C Enes Kanter (knee) missed the last six games and is not expected to play Saturday.
2. Spurs SG Marco Belinelli is 4-of-24 from the floor over the last three games.
3. San Antonio took the last three and 14 of the last 15 in the series.
News Breaking News
Key Players to Watch
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San Antonio Spurs
- ButtocksProb Thurs | probable
White has a right glute contusion, but he is expected to play Thursday against the Thunder.
- ButtocksProb Tues | probable
White is tending to a right glute contusion, but is likely to be available for Tuesday's contest versus the Hawks.
- Restday-to-day | out
MUrray will not play Friday against the Warriors due to a day of rest.
- NeckQues Wed | questionable
Walker left the previous game due to whiplash, and it is unknown if he will suit up against the Wizards on Wednesday.
- HandLate Dec | out
Hayward is likely to miss at least six weeks after having surgery to repair a fourth metacarpal fracture in his left hand.
- IllnessQues Wed | questionable
Langford sat out the last game due to an illness, and it is uncertain if the symptoms will go away in time for Wednesday's matchup against the Wizards.
- KneeProb Mon | probable
Kanter is sidelined due to a left knee contusion, but he is expected to return against the Mavericks on Monday.
- IllnessProb Thurs | probable
Brown has been absent from the lineup during the previous three games with an illness, but the symptoms are likely to subside in time for Thursday's matchup versus the Hornets.
- AnkleProb Thurs | probable
Theis is likely to suit up against the Hornets on Thursday despite a left ankle sprain.
- HipProb Thurs | probable
Williams III is projected to be available against the Hornets on Thursday despite left hip bursitis.
- HipProb Tues | probable
Williams III sat out the last game due to a left hip bursitis, but he is projected to be available for Tuesday's matchup against the Cavaliers.