2/25 Recap: Team Jay leads the way for the Celtics in 118-106 win over Portland
Jayson Tatum shined once again for the Celtics scoring 36 points in the win over Portland. Photo via the Boston Celtics on Twitter @Celtics.
After a dropping a close game against the Los Angeles Lakers this past Sunday, the Boston Celtics bounced back to beat the Portland Trail Blazers on the third game of this four-game Western Conference road trip with a final score of 118-106. While the C's were once again missing starting point guard Kemba Walker, the Blazers were also missing their own starting point guard in Damian Lillard who has not seen the floor since he suffered a groin strain right before the all-star break. Nonetheless, the two teams still competed in a defensive-minded and three-point shooting matchup that resulted in the Celtics coming out on top for their 40th win this season.
After scorching the Lakers with a career high tying 41 points Sunday afternoon, Jayson Tatum continued his stellar play on both ends of the floor tonight against Portland. He led the team in scoring once again with his 36 points on 63.8% shooting while also totaling 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. He came out in the second half absolutely scorching from three, where he hit a career-best 8 threes (66.7% from three) of the teams total season-high of 19 as a group.
It seemed like a struggle on offense for the Celtics overall in the first half, but it was Jaylen Brown who had probably the most consistent night for Boston from start to finish. He scored 24 points on 19 shots attempts, in which he hit 42.1% of them. In 34 minutes, he also tallied up 7 rebounds and 2 assists in the winning effort.
Once again, Gordon Hayward had an extremely quiet yet well rounded night for Boston. Scoring 12 points. Hayward had the highest shooting percentage on the team hitting 5 of his 7 attempts (71.4%). He also had 5 rebounds and 2 assists in 30 minutes.
Still starting in the absence of Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart continues to do his best a floor general role for Boston when Hayward isn't in charge of the possession. He still had some of his normal trends going such as poor shot selections that resulted in a poor shooting percentage (25%), but he did have 12 points and 3 assists with 6 rebounds. He also had some trouble with the task of guarding C.J. McCollum, but he is the Blazers' current hot hand coming off of a 41 point game of his own, so I'll cut him some slack for that.
Of the bench, Brad Wannamaker had a respectable 13 points with 5 rebounds and 4 assists that helped Boston keep the Trail Blazers out of the game even during their best runs. He shot 66.7% from the field.
In the aforementioned absence of Damian Lillard, it was the other half of his dynamic duo C.J. McCollum that stepped up on the offensive end along with former Heat big man Hassan Whiteside. I have always thought McCollum was one of the most underrated players in the whole league, and while it wasn't the biggest night we have ever seen from him against the Celtics, it was a very solid one. He had a team-high 28 points and another team-high 10 assists. Although his random and corny celebrations despite the fact that they were losing for nearly the whole game were very annoying, Whiteside had a very strong double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 19 rebounds.
The Celtics' next game will be tomorrow night (2/26) at 10:30 p.m. against the Utah Jazz, which will be the second night of a back to back and the fourth and final game of this Western Conference road trip.