THE NITTY GRITTY
Tim Duncan scored 23 of his game-high 25 points after the intermission, adding nine rebounds and two assists as the Spurs blew the game open late. Marco Belinelli added a double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds), while Boris Diaw (18 points) and Patty Mills (16 points) aided the Spurs' scoring output. Rajon Rondo finished with a team-high 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting while setting a career-high with four 3-pointers. He now has 11 triples in 11 games and is well on his way to eclipsing his season high of 17 3-pointers during the 2009-10 season. Kris Humphries (15 points) and Kelly Olynyk (15 points, 10 rebounds) provided a bench boost for Boston.
The Celtics were within a possession a minute into the fourth quarter, but Diaw converted a putback before Patty Mills generated an and-one layup off a steal to quickly push San Antonio's lead to eight (76-68). A couple of Duncan buckets and the lead was up into double digits a couple of minutes later. Boston never got closer than six the rest of the way (with Duncan and the Spurs quick to answer when they did) and San Antonio pushed its lead as high as 18 in the final minutes.
The Spurs shot 50 percent from the floor, including 47.4 percent from beyond the arc. ... All 11 players who dressed for Boston played, including a fourth-quarter cameo from Joel Anthony. ... The Spurs were without Tony Parker (rest), Tiago Splitter (calf), Manu Ginobili (hamstring) and Kawhi Leonard (finger).
WHAT IT MEANS
Despite winning four of their first five games to open February, the Celtics (19-35) enter the All-Star break on a losing note and are virtually tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the fifth-worst record in basketball. Boston will get a week off from game action and will take the next four days off from basketball activities before reconvening in Phoenix on Monday. The Celtics visit the Suns in their last game before the trade deadline next Wednesday.