With the Blazers playing their 4th game in 5 nights, the Celtics took advantage and cruised to a 116-93 victory. The Celts got an outstanding effort from their starting backcourt, with Isaiah Thomas (30 points) and Avery Bradley (17 points) outplaying Portland's star backcourt of CJ McCollum (17 points) and Damion Lillard (20 points). Jared Sullinger notched a double double for the Celtics with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Without a Blazer shot blocker in the middle, the Celtics had a huge edge in points in the paint (60-34). That and a massive differential in fast break points (30-11) were two keys in this one.
The Celtics actually trailed 28-16 with 3:33 left in the first quarter, but closed the half on a 45-27 run to take a 61-55 lead into the half. Isaiah Thomas had 19 points before the break, but it was Marcus Smart who did a little bit of everything (11 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals at the half) and helped turn around the Celtics effort on the defensive end. Smart was a team-best +9 in his 17 first half minutes.
At the start of the second half it was Jared Sullinger and Amir Johnson leading the way. Sullinger had 9 points and 3 rebounds in the first 5 minutes of the 3rd quarter to set the pace, while Johnson had a key tip-in and kept multiple possessions alive. The Celtics outscored the Blazers 30-12 in the third, ending the quarter with a 91-67 lead.
The Blazers got off to a blazing hot start (see what happened there) shooting 55% from the field in the first quarter. CJ McCollum had 17 first half points and Damion Lillard added 12, but the second half was all C's. McCollum didn't score a point in the second half.
Arlington and St. John's Prep grad Pat Connaughton got some playing time in the fourth quarter and put up 7 points and 2 rebounds for the Blazers. Paul Colahan 3/02/2016 09:51:00 PM Tweet Edit