After picking up a "W" in Cleveland last night, the Celtics returned to Beantown tonight and defeated Portland 99-95. The C's won the rebounding battle 30-28 and shot 57.1% from the field, while holding the Blazers to just 45.9%. The victory extends Boston's win streak to 5 games.
Captain Paul Pierce led the charge for the Celts, scoring 28 points on 9-11 shooting from the field. "The Truth" also connected on 4-5 attempts from deep and pulled down 7 rebounds. Kevin Garnett added 17 points, while Shaquille O'Neal and Glen Davis combined for an additional 30. Rajon Rondo contributed his expected double-double with 10 points and 10 assists.
For the Trail Blazers, Wesley Matthews scored a team-high 23 points, converting on 8-13 shot attempts and 5-7 from beyond the arc. Andre Miller added 20 points and 6 dimes, while Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points apiece.
The whole first half was a back and forth battle. Shaq gave the C's a 44-43 lead towards the end of the 2nd quarter, slamming home a Ray Allen miss. There were a number of lead changes, but Portland ended up taking a 49-48 advantage into the break when Matthews drained a trey with just .3 seconds left. Pierce scored 14 points on 5-5 shooting from the field in the first 2 quarters, but Matthews bettered him with 16.
Boston was able to score 31 points in the 3rd quarter and took a 7-point edge into the final frame. The Boston lead ballooned to 16 when KG hit a turnaround jumper off a Rondo feed with 5:10 left in regulation. Portland then went on a 15-0 run in a span of just over 4 minutes to cut it's deficit to 95-96.
Then Allen, who had missed all 5 of his three-pointers on the night drained one with 10.7 seconds left. Miller and Rudy Fernandez both missed outside shots before time expired and Boston prevailed with a 99-95 victory.
The Celtics improved to 14-4 on the season, while the Blazers fall to 8-10. The C's return to action Friday night, when Chicago comes to the TD Banknorth Garden for an 8 PM showdown.
Stephen Bailey designed Beantown Banter, writes the majority of the pieces for the site, and controls the social networking among other things. Bailey is currently a freshman at Syracuse University majoring in Sport Management. He is a diehard Celtics and Red Sox fan, but also actively follows the Bruins and Patriots. Additionally, he serves as a contributing writer at Celtics Life. Earlier in 2010, Bailey interned in the Sports Department of the New Haven Register, interviewed multiple athletes, including ex-Celtic Ryan Gomes, and worked as part of a team to get the section done every weeknight. He covers both Swimming & Diving and Women's Tennis for The Daily Orange, SU's school paper. In his free time, Bailey enjoys playing pickup basketball, beating his floormates in NBA 2K11, and sporcling for hours on end. Although he is unsure exactly what he wants to do for a career, it has always been his dream to cover the Celts and Sox.