Parker, Duncan carry Spurs past Celtics, 112-100


Parker, Duncan carry Spurs past Celtics, 112-100

BOSTON (AP) Tony Parker scored a season-high 26 points, Tim Duncan had 20 points and 15 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Boston Celtics 112-100 on Wednesday night.

Reserve Tiago Splitter added a season-high 23 points, many coming when the Spurs took charge late in the third and early in the fourth.

Rajon Rondo had 22 points and extended his consecutive streak of double-digit assist games to 35 with 15. Paul Pierce, who sprained his ankle in a 20-point loss at Detroit on Sunday, had 19 points.

DeJuan Blair chipped in with 12 points for the Spurs (9-3), but it was Parker winning the battle of elite point guards against Rondo that carried San Antonio.

Brandon Bass scored 16 and Kevin Garnett 14 for Boston (6-6), which managed just one offensive rebound and lost for the third time in four games.

The Spurs closed the third quarter with a 6-0 run, with Splitter getting a pair of baskets, to take an 82-74 lead.

They opened the fourth by scoring eight of the initial 10 points to open their biggest lead at that point, 90-76 on Splitter's three-point play with just under 10 minutes to play.

Splitter's two free throws increased it to 94-78 with 8:41 to go.

Boston closed the gap to nine, but the Spurs had a pair of easy driving baskets by Parker to maintain a comfortable margin.

That was until Rondo answered with a long jumper from the right corner off his own steal and a spinning bank shot, closing it to 104-98 with 3:17 left.

But that was as close as Boston would get.

Duncan had five points during a 9-0 spree that gave the Spurs a 69-60 edge midway into the third quarter. Boston then scored seven of the next nine, closing it to two on Pierce's 3 from the right wing.

Rondo was responsible either with an assist, basket or pass for all the Celtics' 23 points in the opening 8 1/2 minutes of the third quarter. He had eight assists, two baskets and fed Pierce, who got fouled in the lane before hitting two free throws.

In the quarter, the Celtics' playmaker had eight assists and two baskets - accounting for all but one of Boston's buckets - Jeff Green's drive.

Neither team held more than a four-point lead until the Spurs scored 14 of the final 20 points in the first half to take a 56-48 edge into the break. Danny Green nailed a 3-pointer in the middle of the streak, giving him 30 straight games with at least one 3, the league's longest current streak.

NOTES: Boston coach Doc Rivers was asked before the game to compare the play of longtime stars Garnett, known for showing emotion, and the usually fairly stoic Duncan. ``They're both extremely tough and extremely motivated. It's amazing how similar they are and how different they act.'' ... The contest also featured two of the league's top passing point guards in Parker and Rondo. ``They're both terrific,'' Rivers said. ``It's amazing how many good point guards there are in the league right now and you have to prepare for every one differently. It's a good time in the league now for that position.'' ... The Spurs won the only meeting last season - 87-86 when Pierce missed a shot at the buzzer on an isolation over Duncan. ... San Antonio played the first of a six-game road trip, which closes next Thursday in Miami.

Quick Links

Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

Washington Wizards

Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

This weekend was already going to be special for Washington Wizards fans. Now they will get souvenirs to remember it.

As part of their celebration of Phil Chenier's legendary career and the 40th anniversary of their 1978 NBA championship, the Wizards are handing out emoji signs on Friday night and commemorative t-shirts on Sunday. All fans in attendance will receive a giveaway.


The emoji sign has Chenier's face on it and will be handed out for the March 23 game against the Nuggets. Chenier will have his jersey retired at halftime during the game. 

The emoji sign is presented by NBC Sports Washington. You're welcome, Authentic Fans.


The shirts will be given out on Sunday when the Wizards host the New York Knicks. 

Here's the front...

And the back...

Let's take a closer look at that back...

As a reporter who has received many giveaways over the years at pro sports stadiums, these are uniquely awesome. Should be a great weekend for Wizards fans. See you at the arena.


NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!


Quick Links

Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

USA Today Sports

Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Alex Cobb's comfort and familiarity with the AL East was the deciding factor in his decision to sign with the Baltimore Orioles.

"They used the AL East and the success I've had in it to their advantage," the 30-year-old right-hander said Wednesday after finalizing a $57 million, four-year contract. "They kept challenging me with it and I love the challenge of pitching in this division and they know that over the times we talked. They did a really good job of making me feel like this is where I need to be."

Cobb gets $14 million in each of the first three seasons and $15 million in 2021, and he would earn a $500,000 bonus in each year he pitches 180 innings. Baltimore will defer $6.5 million from this year's salary and $4.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He gets $2 million of the deferred money on Nov. 30, 2022, and $1.8 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2023-32. If he doesn't pitch at least 130 innings in 2020, an additional $5.25 million of the final's year salary would get deferred, payable $1.75 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2033-35.


Cobb has a full no-trade this year, then can list 10 teams from 2019-21 that he cannot be dealt to without his consent.

He had spent his entire six-season big league career with Tampa Bay and was the last big-name starting pitcher available in a slow-moving free agent market. He joined Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman, who were signed last month, in a revamped rotation that includes holdovers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.

Cobb was 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts last season. He pitched 179 1/3 innings in his first full year back after missing nearly two seasons because of Tommy John surgery.

He had turned down the Rays' $17.4 million qualifying offer in November, and Baltimore pursued him from the start of free agency.

"They didn't stop bothering me the whole offseason," Cobb said. "They were very persistent, and I think that you notice that confidence they have in you just by the way they speak to you and the questions you ask and not questioning anything that's gone on. Everyone's got flaws that they come with and potential things you could really harp on that might not be your strong suit, but they never went down that avenue. They always told me how much they like certain aspects of what I do on and off the field, and just kept repeating how well I fit in here."


Cobb is 48-35 with a 3.50 in six big league seasons. Baltimore will lose its third-highest draft pick, currently No. 51, and the Rays get an extra selection after the first round as compensation.

Jose Mesa Jr. was designated for assignment Wednesday to clear a roster spot.

Baltimore opens on March 29 at home against Minnesota, but Cobb won't be ready to pitch then. He has agreed to be optioned to a minor league affiliate to help build up innings.

"I'm going to be pushing it as quick as I can," Cobb said. "That's going to be up to them. They've invested in me for a four-year period and as much as we know how much every game matters even early in April, we're going to have to look out for the overall future of this whole thing and whole contract and whatever they determine to be the way to protect me and my feedback from the bullpens I'm going to be throwing here in the next few days will probably determine the timeline."