Spurs scored 46 in third to race past Celtics, 120-111
By RAUL DOMINGUEZ
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - LaMarcus Aldridge scored 32 points and the San Antonio Spurs rode a 46-point third quarter to a 120-111 victory over the Boston Celtics on Monday night.
Derrick White had a career-high 22 points for San Antonio, which has won 11 of 13 to close within four games of the top spot in the Western Conference.
The Spurs made 19 of 25 shots (76 percent) in the third quarter, their highest-scoring period since 1993 and the 12th-highest in franchise history.
Jaylen Brown had a season-high 30 points, but Boston was unable to maintain its first-half advantage.
San Antonio was without third-leading scorer Rudy Gay because of a sprained left wrist, but had six players reach double figures to offset his absence.
The Spurs opened the game 1 for 6 from the field and shot 22 percent in the opening period while scoring a season-low 17 points in the first quarter. Boston shot better from 3-point (35 percent) than San Antonio did from the field (33) in the first half.
That advantage disappeared quickly as the Spurs went on a 24-4 run to establish an 84-69 edge. White had 11 points and three assists in the third quarter.
Terry Rozier hit three consecutive 3-pointers to cut it to 86-78, but the Celtics were unable to reclaim their lead.
Marcus Morris scored 18 points for Boston, Kyrie Irving had 16 and Rozier had 15.
San Antonio forward Davis Bertans was 5 for 8 on 3-pointers in scoring 17 points. The Spurs finished 14 for 26 on 3-pointers.
Celtics: Irving ran back to the locker room with 7:22 remaining in the game after taking a blow to the eye during a collision with Marco Belinelli. Irvin returned to the bench and to the game a couple minutes later. . After taking New Year's Day off, Boston returns to action Jan. 2 to open a four-game homestand. . Brown's previous season high of 23 points came Dec. 8 at Chicago.
Spurs: Gay missed his fifth game of the season, missing three previously due to a sore right heel and sitting out another for rest. Coach Gregg Popovich is not sure how long the sprained left wrist will sideline Gay. San Antonio is 2-3 without Gay. . Jakob Poeltl made his fourth start of the season and first since Oct. 24. Poeltl started three of the Spurs' first four games before joining the team's bench. . Spurs center Pau Gasol received a big ovation in his first game since Nov. 4. Gasol missed 26 games with a stress fracture in his right foot. He was active for the past two games on the road against the Nuggets and Clippers, but the Spurs chose to keep him out until returning home.
Celtics: Host Dallas on Thursday night.
Spurs: Host Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.
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