BOSTON (AP) – Tim Duncan had 29 points and 12 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs pulled away in the third quarter for their 16th consecutive win over the Boston Celtics, 103-82 Friday night.

The Spurs led 47-44 at halftime then outscored Boston 34-15 for an 81-59 lead entering the fourth quarter. Bruce Bowen hit all three of his 3-point shots in the first seven minutes of the third quarter, leading the defending champions to a 73-51 lead with 4:15 left in the period.

Duncan has never lost to the Celtics since being drafted with the first pick in 1997. The Celtics’ last win over the Spurs was on Jan. 8, 1997, in Boston, 107-83. Since then, 11 of San Antonio’s 16 wins have been by at least 10 points.

It was the first lopsided outcome this season for the Celtics (2-3), who played in two overtime games and two games decided on baskets at the buzzer.

Tony Parker added 23 points and Bowen had 12 for the Spurs (5-1), who have Michael Finley and Brent Barry on their injured list.

The Celtics, who beat Memphis 99-98 on Ricky Davis’ basket at the buzzer Wednesday night, were led by Paul Pierce with 20 points and 10 rebounds and Al Jefferson’s 12 points.

San Antonio led 26-13 after one quarter, but Boston cut that to three points at halftime.

Then the Spurs needed just 41/2 minutes to open a 16-point lead to start the third quarter.

Bowen and Manu Ginobili began it with consecutive 3-pointers. After Mark Blount hit a free throw for Boston, Ginobili sank two free throws and Bowen hit another 3-pointer for a 58-45 lead with 9:14 left in the third.

Pierce followed with two free throws, then San Antonio got the next five points. Delonte West finally made Boston’s first basket of the quarter with 7:19 to go before Pierce’s layup cut the lead to 63-51.

Then the Spurs got the next 10 points for a 73-51 lead and stayed ahead by at least 19 the rest of the way.

Notes: Former Boston Bruins player Cam Neely, seated in the front row beside comedians Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke, received a standing ovation when he was introduced late in the first half. Neely was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last Monday. … Tom Brady and Richard Seymour of the New England Patriots also attended. … The Spurs are 3-1 on a road trip that ends Saturday night at Washington.

AP-ES-11-11-05 2152EST


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