Sunday, March 28, 2010
10 Celtics-Spurs nuggets
By Chris Forsberg
Here are 10 facts and figures to keep in mind for Sunday's Celtics-Spurs clash (ESPN, 8 p.m) at the TD Garden (information researched for ESPN by Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.):
1. The Spurs enter Sunday's game with 43 wins this season, assuring themselves of a winning record for the 13th consecutive season. That is the longest current streak for any team in the league. The Spurs have now registered a winning record in 26 of their 34 seasons since joining the NBA in 1976-77. Only one franchised has had more winning seasons than the Spurs over that span: the Lakers (31). Portland also has recorded 26 winning seasons since 1976-77.
2. Gregg Popovich boasts a 10-2 (.833) career record on the road against the Celtics. That is the highest career road winning percentage (minimum 10 games) against Boston for any head coach in NBA history, followed by Phil Jackson (19-8, .704) and Flip Saunders (10-5, .667).
3. Manu Ginobili is averaging 22 points per game in March. That is on pace to become the second highest scoring average Ginobili has ever posted in a single calendar month in which he played at least five games. In February 2008, Ginobili averaged 24.3 points per game in 11 games.
4. Tim Duncan has scored 20 or more points in each of his last five games played at the TD Garden. That is tied with Dwyane Wade for the second-longest current streak in this arena behind LeBron James (seven).
5. Michael Finley has appeared in 11 games for the Celtics this season after playing in 25 games for the Spurs at the start of the season. Only two other players have appeared in a game for theses two franchises in the same season: Frankie Sanders (1978-79) and Tony Massenburg (1991-92).
6. Rajon Rondo has registered at least 15 assists in each of his last two games. Rondo is only the second player in Celtics’ franchise history to record 15-or-more assists in consecutive games. The only other player to do that in a Boston uniform is Nate Archibald (March, 1980). Rondo has led or tied for the team lead in assists in each of the last 63 regular-season games he has appeared in. Not only is that the longest current streak of its kind in the league, it is more than double the next highest total (Utah's Deron Williams, 32 straight games).
7. Kevin Garnett has recorded 1,508 steals and 1,785 blocked shots in his career. Since the NBA began tracking steals and blocked shots in 1973-74, only one other player has recorded 1,500 in each category during the regular season: Hakeem Olajuwon (2,162 steals; 3,830 blocks).
8. Rasheed Wallace is shooting only 39.2 percent from the field in home games this season. Only three players have a lower field-goal percentage (minimum 250 field-goal attempts) at home than Wallace: Ronald Murray (.364), Richard Hamilton (.373) and Carlos Delfino (.390).
9. The Celtics have scored fewer than 100 points in each of their last 15 games played against the Spurs. That is the longest stretch of games the Celtics have gone without scoring 100 or more points against a particular opponent in the shot clock era. Boston’s previous long in that category was 14 straight games against the Heat from January 2001 to January 2004.
10. Doc Rivers finished his playing career with a 138-game stint with the Spurs during the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons. Four other players who appeared in over 100 games with the Spurs in the NBA have gone on to become a head coach in the league: Vinny Del Negro (433 games), Avery Johnson (644), Allan Bristow (238) and Terry Porter (220).