SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Tim Duncan scored 20 points and remained unbeaten against Boston in his career as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Celtics 101-89 Friday night.

The victory was San Antonio’s 17th straight over Boston dating to January 1997, five months before Duncan was drafted by the Spurs.

San Antonio led by as many as 16 in the third quarter, but the Celtics trimmed that to 75-65 at the end of the period.

Boston’s Orien Greene scored on a fast-break layup to make it 79-71 with about 10 minutes remaining. But Duncan then made a left-handed jumper and Nick Van Exel found Manu Ginobili for an alley-oop layup, and after that the Celtics never got closer than 10.

Tony Parker had 16 points and Ginobili 14 for San Antonio, which has won six straight games. Duncan added 10 rebounds.

Paul Pierce, defended by Bruce Bowen, finished with 24 points for Boston. He was limited to 10 points in the first half on 3-for-9 shooting. Ricky Davis and Mark Blount each contributed 19 points for the Celtics.

Ginobili grabbed the opening tip and drove for a reverse layup, then added two more baskets as the Spurs took a 10-2 lead. He also had three steals in the first period.

Boston battled back but San Antonio used a 9-2 run, capped by a pair of free throws by Ginobili, to go up 19-10 late in the period.

A short jumper by Delonte West trimmed the Spurs’ lead to 39-33 with about five minutes left in the half, but San Antonio went on a 10-2 spurt to build their largest advantage of the first half at 49-35.

The Celtics narrowed the difference to 51-42 at the break on a layup by West that just beat the buzzer.

Notes: The Celtics have lost 16 straight games in San Antonio. The last Boston victory here came in February 1990. … Michael Finley made San Antonio’s 100th 3-pointer of the season midway through the fourth quarter. … San Antonio is 15-0 when leading after three quarters. … Boston is 0-5 in the first game of a back-to-back series and 1-3 in the second game. The Celtics play Saturday night in Dallas. … Boston scored baskets at the buzzer in each of the first three quarters.

AP-ES-12-09-05 2319EST


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