for this game

Spurs cruise past Celtics

Mar 21, 2015 - 4:50 AM San Antonio, TX ( - Kawhi Leonard scored 22 points and the San Antonio Spurs went wire-to-wire in a 101-89 win over the Boston Celtics at AT&T Center.

Tiago Splitter added 18 points in a game the Spurs never trailed en route to a ninth win in 11 outings. Tony Parker contributed 15 points and seven assists for the reigning NBA champs.

"I feel like we're getting our rhythm back," Spurs forward Tim Duncan said.

The Celtics, who dropped both tests of a two-game trip they entered off a season-best five straight wins, were paced by Evan Turner's 17 points. Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder finished with 16 and 14, respectively, in defeat.

San Antonio was in control all throughout this one, racing out to a 19-4 lead and maintaining a double-digit advantage for virtually the entire rest of the way.

The Spurs shot 60 percent in the first quarter to own a 32-19 advantage at the period's end, and were up by 19 when Patty Mills buried a 3-pointer, then came up with a steal shortly afterward and fed Boris Diaw for a run-out layup that made the score 42-23 with 8:21 to go in the second.

Marcus Smart helped get Boston within 56-42 at halftime by netting eight second-quarter points, the last two on a driving basket with 15.2 seconds remaining. However, the Celtics lost further ground in the third quarter as San Antonio turned the game into a rout.

A 13-2 sequence, during which Leonard recorded the first 11 points, extended the Spurs' lead to 82-58 with two minutes remaining in the third, and San Antonio was ahead by as many as 25 early in the fourth.

The Celtics' frustration showed in the final frame, which was marred by Smart's ejection with 8:56 left after the rookie struck Spurs forward Matt Bonner in the groin with a punch.

"It's an unacceptable play," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of Smart's punch. "You can't do that. Simple as that."

Game Notes

The Spurs registered 31 assists on their 38 made baskets ... The win was San Antonio's seventh straight over Boston, which hasn't bested the Spurs since Mar. 31, 2011 ... The Spurs finished 20-of-23 from the foul line ... The Celtics fell to 12-17 against Western Conference teams for the season.