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.