With the return of Jae Crowder, the Celtics were hoping to go into Portland tonight and get an important road win but they came out on the losing end in a valiant effort, 116-109.
The Celts controlled the game for most of the first half as they went into halftime with a 58-54 lead. However, the second half was a different story. After another back and forth third quarter, the Blazers led going into the last period, 84-83. From that point, Portland went on an impressive run led by Al-Farouq Aminu and Gerald Henderson that saw the Blazers extend their lead by 13, 102-89.
However, the Cs didn't go down quietly as they fought back late in the fourth. Led by Marcus Smart, Amir Johnson and Evan Turner on defense, the green forced some turnovers and got some buckets in transition and as a result of second chance possessions. Some big three pointers and free throws from Isaiah Thomas helped Boston to fight back to make it a two point game with just over a minute left. Jae Crowder then hit a big three point shot in the corner to give the Celts a lead for the first time in the quarter, 109-108 with one minute remaining. However, the Blazers would force some turnovers and regained the lead and never gave it back. On a night when Portland's two best players Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, combined to go 11-37, you'd think the Cs would win big. Unfortunately, Gerald Henderson, Al-Farouq Aminu and Allen Crabbe had different plans.
For the Green team, Isaiah Thomas once again led the team with 22 points. Avery Bradley chipped in 20 points of his own, while Jae Crowder had a double-double in his return with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Evan Turner also had a good game coming off the bench with 14 points, 4 steals and 2 blocks. For Portland, Al-Farouq Aminu led all scorers with a career high 28 points. Gerald Henderson added in 15 points coming off the bench while Allen Crabbe contributed 11 of his own.
With the loss tonight, the Celts fall to 6th in the Eastern Conference with their record now at 43-32. Next matchup is against the juggernaut of the NBA in the Golden State Warriors, tomorrow night in Oakland. Tip-off is set for 10:30 P.M. on ESPN. We'll see if our beloved men in green can bounce back and shock the world tomorrow night against the Warriors.
Image Credit: NBAE via Getty Images/NBA Twitter
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