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Celtics-Spurs takeaways: C's improve to 20-0 at TD Garden

Celtics-Spurs takeaways: C's improve to 20-0 at TD Garden originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Three Key Storylines

The Boston Celtics stayed unbeaten at TD Garden with a dominant victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night.

San Antonio kept it close to start, but Boston caught fire in the second quarter to take a 25-point lead into the half -- its third-largest halftime lead of the season. After yet another sluggish third quarter (outscored 33-24), the Celtics held it together in the final frame to earn a 117-98 win.

Boston is now 20-0 at home this season with 27 consecutive regular-season wins at TD Garden dating back to last year. That's its longest such streak since it won 33 straight from Dec. 1986 to Nov. 1987.

Without Kristaps Porzingis (right knee inflammation) and Derrick White (left ankle sprain), the Celtics were led by Jayson Tatum (24 points), Jrue Holiday (22 points) and Jaylen Brown (21 points). Payton Pritchard added 12 points off the bench. Rookie Jordan Walsh made his NBA debut late in the fourth quarter and tallied four rebounds in three minutes.

Spurs rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama dropped a game-high 27 points in his TD Garden debut. Devin Vassell chipped in 21 for San Antonio.

The Celtics (32-9) will look to stay unbeaten at home when they welcome the reigning NBA champion Denver Nuggets (28-14) to TD Garden on Friday night. Before we turn the page to that marquee matchup, here are three takeaways from Wednesday's game.

Boston Three Party

When the Celtics are raining 3s, their opponents don't stand much of a chance. That was the case early and often in Wednesday's matchup.

The C's were even better from beyond the arc than Monday's win when they shot 41 percent against Toronto. This time, they made 47.4 percent of their shots (18-for-38) from deep with five players hitting at least two 3-pointers.

Most of the damage was done in the second quarter. They made eight of their nine 3-pointers in the frame to finish the half 13-of-19. Meanwhile, San Antonio just shot 1-for-9 from 3 in the quarter and 7-for-34 (20.6 percent) in the game.

The Celtics' 3-point prowess was the difference-maker, and this guy played a key role...

Jrue Holiday picks up where he left off

After dropping a season-high 22 points in Monday's win over the Toronto Raptors, Holiday gave Celtics fans an encore performance on Wednesday.

The veteran C's guard couldn't miss from beyond the arc for most of the night. He drilled his first five 3-pointers and finished 6-for-7, totaling 22 points (8-14 FG) for the second straight game.

Holiday is now a scorching-hot 10-for-13 from long range and 15-for-28 altogether over his last two games. The five-time All-Defensive selection continues to make a significant impact on both ends of the floor in his first season with Boston. He added four rebounds and four assists to his 22 points against the Spurs.

Neemias Queta flexes his muscles

When two-way big man Neemias Queta has gotten opportunities this season, he has capitalized more often than not. He stepped up again on Wednesday and held his own against the 7-foot-4 Wembanyama.

Early in the game, Queta made his presence felt when he muscled Wemby in the paint and threw down a dunk.

In the third quarter, Queta added another play to the highlight reel. He threw down a thunderous jam after battling for an offensive board.

Queta ended up with six points (2-4 FG), eight rebounds (four offensive), and two blocks in 12 minutes. He was a consistent source of energy for the C's, who needed a boost to their frontcourt with Porzingis sidelined.

"I just like seeing Neemy [Queta] be physical," Mazzulla said after the game. "The presence that he's playing with on the floor -- he's one of those kids, he doesn't understand how good he can be."

Celtics president Brad Stevens will have to decide whether to convert Queta's two-way deal to a standard contract. Two-way players are eligible to be active in a maximum of 50 games with their NBA team, and Queta has played in 15 to date with 41 remaining on the schedule.