SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- The Boston Celtics' first visit to the SBC Center did not change their luck in San Antonio.
Stephen Jackson scored 18 points and buried a clutch 3-pointer with 9.6 seconds left as the San Antonio Spurs extended their home winning streak over the Celtics to 12 games with an 81-80 victory.
Boston lost its final 11 visits to the Alamodome and suffered a late collapse in its first game at San Antonio's new arena. The Celtics have not defeated the Spurs at home since February 14, 1990 and have lost 16 of the last 17 overall meetings.
"I'm not going to say you have to be lucky to win that many straight against the same team," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "We've been fortunate to have streaks like this against a few teams. You definitely need to have a break come your way to win that many consecutively."
San Antonio continued its recent dominance in the series despite squandering a 17-point lead with a terrible second half. The Spurs scored just 34 points after halftime and made just one basket during a 12-minute span that ended late in the fourth quarter.
San Antonio used a 10-4 run to pull within 80-78 on David Robinson's 3-point play with 1:51 remaining. The teams traded fruitless possessions before Jackson buried a 3-pointer over Boston's Kedrick Brown from the left wing with just under 10 seconds to play.
"They tried to clog the lane up so Tim and David couldn't get another shot and the ball came to me," Jackson said. "I was focused, took the shot and it went down."
"It was a tough shot to hit," Celtics star Paul Pierce said. "You have to give him credit for knocking that down, especially with how little time was left and how he had to get such a quick shot off."
Jackson made 6-of-15 shots, including 3-of-9 from the arc. He had missed six straight 3-pointers before making the decisive bucket.
"A lot of them didn't fall tonight, but I try to shoot all of them with confidence," he said. "And the last one, which counted, went in."
Pierce missed a tough fadeaway jumper as time expired, and the Spurs saw their home winning streak reach six games.
Tim Duncan had 21 points and nine rebounds and Tony Parker scored 12 points for San Antonio, which shot just 39 percent (28-of-71) from the floor, including 5-of-20 3-pointers, and missed 12 free throws.
"Our defense won this game for us. It certainly wasn't our free throws," Popovich said. "The team defense was absolutely great, especially in the fourth quarter."
Pierce scored 25 points despite 9-of-24 shooting and Antoine Walker added 15 and 10 rebounds as Boston lost for the seventh time in nine games.
The Celtics also struggled offensively, shooting just 42 percent (31-of-74) overall and 6-of-23 from 3-point range.
"This was one of the hardest losses for us," Pierce said. "We played really hard and gave such a great effort on the defensive end."
"We played very hard, especially in the second half," Boston coach Jim O'Brien said. "Out guys gave a great effort and rose to the challenge in what was a very intense game. We defended well, but we just couldn't get over the hump."
Boston closed the third quarter with a 12-4 run and - after San Antonio opened the fourth quarter with three straight points - scored six in a row. Pierce had a slam dunk and layup to give the Celtics a 76-68 lead with 6:28 to go.
San Antonio's Bruce Bowen made 1-of-2 free throws with 4:52 remaining to spark a 13-4 game-ending surge. Duncan added two free throws and Bowen made a runner with 3:58 remaining - the Spurs' first basket since the 3:07 mark in the third quarter.
Duncan buried a jumper with 3:05 remaining to bring San Antonio within 80-75 and made an alley-oop pass to Robinson 74 seconds later to start a three-point play.
Boston missed three 3-pointers on one possession before Jackson was called for an offensive foul with 43 seconds to go. Duncan blocked Walker's layup with 15 seconds remaining to set up Jackson's clutch basket.