Pierce Burns Blazers, C's Extend Streak to 5

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.