Spurs top Celtics for milestone win by trio

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LaMarcus Aldridge AFP PHOTO

LaMarcus Aldridge AFP PHOTO

BOSTON: LaMarcus Aldridge tallied 24 points and Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili posted their record 541st win as a threesome as the San Antonio Spurs stopped the Boston Celtics 95-87 on Sunday (Monday in Manila).

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The Spurs star trio had a quiet night on the scoresheet but that didn’t take anything away from the milestone NBA win which fittingly came against the Celtics.

“They’re three wonderful players,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “They just care about winning games.”

The Spurs held off the Boston Celtics to give the players the most victories by a threesome in NBA history, breaking their tie with Boston’s Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish.

Free-agent signee forward Aldridge delivered three straight baskets that helped nullify a late Boston comeback. He also had 14 rebounds and five assists as San Antonio improved to 2-1 on the season.

Centre Duncan scored seven points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out five assists while guards Ginobili and Parker scored 13 and six points, respectively. Ginobili came off the bench to add eight assists.

The win was San Antonio’s eighth straight over the Celtics, who refused to give up after trailing by as many as 15. Boston reduced the deficit to just four on three occasions late but could get no closer.

“I don’t think we were great tonight,” said Popovich. “They did a good job defensively, and we didn’t react real well I don’t think.”

Forward Kawhi Leonard, who scored a career-high 32 points in a season-opening loss at Oklahoma City, drained a key three-pointer from the left corner and, after guard Marcus Smart answered with a three pointer for the Celtics, scored again. Parker then converted on a fast break to make it 90-83 with two minutes remaining.

Leonard iced the game with two free throws with 28 seconds left and finished with 19 points and five rebounds.

In Miami, Hassan Whiteside scored 25 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 109-89 come-from-behind victory over the Houston Rockets.

Guard Dwyane Wade finished with 20 points for the Heat, who trailed by as many as 21 early in the third period and erased a 19-point halftime deficit, outscoring the Rockets 31-12 in the third quarter.

Elsewhere, forward Kevin Durant scored 25 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder moved to 3-0 with a 117-93 victory over the Denver Nuggets at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

AFP

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