Portland Trail Blazers 112, Boston Celtics 104
The Boston Celtics headed to Portland to face the Trail Blazers in the last game of Boston's grueling five-game west coast trip. Boston had dropped seven consecutive games, most recently last night against the Golden State Warriors. Portland was rested, coming off a win Wednesday night against the Orlando Magic.
The Celtics did not start tonight's game particularly well, missing three of their first five shots; however, they scored two field goals for every one Portland goal. Though Portland shot well from beyond the arc, making four of their seven attempted three pointers, the Trail Blazers were unable to muster a lead in the first quarter and headed to the second quarter down by five (32-27).Portland picked up where they left off; their first field goal of the second quarter was a three-pointer from Mo Williams. The second quarter was all about Jared Bayless for the Celtics, as he hit five of the Celtics' first eight shots of the quarter and spurred a 6-0 Boston run. With Bayless on the bench, the Trail Blazers answered with a 9-0 run of their own, cutting Boston's lead to one point (51-50). A Damien Lillard layup tied the game a 54 with 1:30 left in the half; however, the Trail Blazers were unable to take the lead as the Celtics hit two quick jumpers, putting Boston up by four (58-54). Lillard hit a layup, which was answered by a Jordan Crawford jumper, but Avery Bradley fouled Lillard, sending him to the free throw line. Lillard hit both free throws, cutting Boston's lead to two (60-58) at the half. The Trail Blazers went on a 13-0 run against the Celtics at the beginning of the third quarter, six of those points resulting from free throws. Unable to score for almost for minutes (8:51-4:57), the Celtics found themselves down for the first time tonight, by nine points (79-70). Two quick Jared Sullinger shots, one three pointer and both assisted by Bayless, cut Portland's lead to four (79-75). LaMarcus Aldridge then hit four consecutive free throws on fouls by Kris Humphries and Bayless, extending Portland's lead back to eight (83-75). The two teams exchanged shots for the remainder of the third quarter, ended by a Jared Sullinger tip-in off a Kelly Olynyk miss with 0:00.1 left on the game clock. Sullinger's tip cut Portland's lead to four (90-86) heading to the final quarter. The Celtics seemed to give up in the fourth quarter, falling behind by as many as 13 points. In what has become a reoccurring incident as of late, the Celtics attempted to make a miraculous comeback spurred by a Jordan Crawford three pointer. Boston cut Portland's lead to as few as six points twice; however, the Celtics once again faltered in their attempt at a come back and recorded their eighth consecutive loss tonight with a final score of 112-104. LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews lead Portland tonight, Aldridge with 21 points and Matthews with 18 while Avery Bradley and Jeff Green lead Boston, Bradley with 25 and Green with 16. The Celtics will head back to Boston for a game tomorrow night against the Houston Rockets.