The Celtics  and the Spurs are alike in so many way and after one half of basketball they were practically mirror images of each other on the stat sheet and on the scoreboard. But in the third quarter, the Spurs completely dominated the action en route to a 94-73 victory Sunday night at the Garden.
It was the Celtics lowest point total of the season and their largest margin of defeat, as well. The Spurs shot 65 percent in the third quarter and outscored the C’s 33-17, turning a one-point halftime lead into a romp. The Celtics scored just 30 points in the second half, or two less than Manu Ginobli who finished with 28 points.
The Celtics had won six out of seven games before this loss. The Hawks also won Sunday and moved back into a tie with the Celtics for third place in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics own the tiebreaker by virtue of winning the Atlantic Division.
Player of the Game: Manu Ginobli controlled every aspect of this game and wound up with 28 points and seven assists.
Turning Point: A close game at halftime turned into a rout as the Spurs outscored the Celtics 33-17 in the third quarter. The forgettable 12 minutes was capped off by an off-the-glass Ginobli 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
* Garnett hit the deck hard after he was fouled by Ginobli in the second quarter, but he bounced up after a minute and appeared to be fine.
* Tony Allen  got rotation minutes again in place of Marquis Daniels , but Daniels did check in midway through the third quarter after Paul Pierce  hurt his left shoulder. Neither player distinguished themselves.
* Garnett’s old nemesis, Tim Duncan , missed his first four shots and finished with eight points and nine rebounds.
* A 3-pointer by Rajon Rondo  was later ruled to be after the shot clock had expired.
* One game after being held to just one rebound, Rasheed Wallace  grabbed six in the first eight minutes. Wallace started in place of Kendrick Perkins  who missed his second game with tendinitis in his knee. Doc Rivers  said before the game that he anticipates Perkins being ready to play Wednesday against the Thunder.
* Michael Finley  played 14 minutes against his former team and was held scoreless. He attempted just two shots.
* Nate Robinson  did play after spraining his ankle Friday against the Kings.
* DeJuan Blair  was a monster with 11 rebounds in 21 minutes.