The Boston Celtics overcome a rough start and knock off the Portland Trail Blazers 120-111

After a rough start the Boston Celtics were able to bounce back and knock off the Trail Blazers in Portland 120-111. Isaiah Thomas scored 34 points to lead the Celtics but had a rough shooting night from the outside (2-11). Marcus Smart came up huge late with the game on the line and finished with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and a handful of game-winning plays.

Damian Liilard led the Blazers with 28 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds. Al-Faroiq Aminu had a career night scoring 26 points and 5 boards off the bench for Portland but it wasn't enough.

The Blazers jumped ahead early behind a combination of good ball movement and solid shooting. Also the Celtics were looking to still shake of some of that sloppy play from last night, missing some easy buckets in the 1st quarter. Brad Stevens looked to mix things up and give us a rare James Young appearance - he managed to foul Al-Farouq Aminu falling out of bounds on a three-pointer not 30 seconds later. The Celtics shot measly 36% compared to the 57.9% for the Blazers, and finished the quarter trailing by 10 (32-22).

The 2nd quarter started with more of the same play from both teams as the Blazers offense continued to roll and the Celtics continued to look abysmal in every way. Halfway through the frame and a wide-open three by Aminu put Portland up 13. That lead would stretch to 17 before a 13-2 Celtics run sparked by Isaiah would cut the Blazers lead to 6 to close out the half (55-49).

Thomas led the Celtics with 16 points and Terry Rozier had 6 points, 4 rebounds, and two assists in the first half. Lillard and CJ McCollum had 15 and 11 points respectively, and Aminu chipped in 13 points and 3 rebounds off the bench for Portland heading into the break.

The C's continued to roll into the 3rd quarter, and took their first lead since the opening basket on an Al Horford post-up fadeaway with 8:32 to go in the quarter, prompting a Blazers timeout (59-57 Celtics).

The two teams spent the rest of the quarter trading baskets, including this monster effort from Aminu:

McCollum hit jumper with 16.2 remaining in the 3rd, but Jaylen Brown answered with a big three on the other end to put the Celtics up 77-76 heading into the 4th.

The 4th started with the two teams trading threes followed by Isaiah getting to the line to get his 37th straight game with 20+ points. Thomas started hot scoring 7 points in the first 5 minutes, but the Blazers kept paced and trailed 92-91 with just over 7 minutes to go. Then Gerald Green slammed home this Rozier miss:

Marcus Smart was a menace down the stretch, doing his usual game-winning plays type stuff. One particular sequence he stole a ball, had a offensive board and put back on the opposite end, and followed that up by drawing a charge on defense.

Smart's play late was enough to put away the Trail Blazers and grind out a big win on the second night of a Celtics back-to-back out West. The C's continue their road trip Saturday night in Utah against the Jazz.

Photo Credit - Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

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