The Boston Celtics won another close one last night 105-100 over the Western Conference’s Portland Trail Blazers. This is Boston’s second win over Portland this season. Once again the Celtics were without their star point guard, Kyrie Irving and their sophomore small forward, Jaylen Brown.
The Celtics were not supposed to win this game, matter of fact I had it marked down as a lose prior to tip-off. The Trail Blazers were at home where they had won 18 of their last 20 and the Celtics weren’t even close to being full strength. Being out here on the East coast we don’t get a lot of Portland coverage, we just understand they’re one of the top three teams in the far superior Western Conference. I love watching them play though, they play great team ball. Lillard and McColum had that pick and roll working all night and it seemed unstoppable in the third quarter.
Above Portland’s Damian Lillard Drives past Celtics’ Shane Larkin
This was a tight game throughout. The Celtics never led by more than 5 points. I really thought when Portland went up by 12 in the third they were going to start to run away with it, but you can never underestimate thewill and determination of this Celtics team. The Celtics regrouped and rebounded nicely in the 4th wasting no time closing the gap. Marcus Morris led the way with 30 points, continuing his production from last game in which he had 21. It really felt like the offense moved through him tonight, he went 9-13 from the floor and 5-6 from beyond the arch. He made 2 clutch 3’s down the stretch in the 4th, the last one being with just under a minute left to play putting the Celtics up by five, score was 101-96. He also was perfect from the stripe, going 7-7. Jayson Tatum got off to a slow start, not registering a field goal until the fourth quarter. He finished going 4-11 with 13 points. He made an impact in other ways though, registering 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
Above Celtics’ Shane Larkin passing the ball up
The Celtics bench also outplayed Portlands bench. Much of that was due to the stellar play once again by Shane Larkin. The dude is like an energizer bunny coming off the bench. In 34 minutes he registered 4 rebounds 7 assists and 9 points on 3-7 shooting. The offense looked smoother when he was in as opposed to Rossier who took some really questionable shots and if we’re being honest, the ball seemed to stick to his hands a little to much throughout. Larkin moved the ball, and also moved without the ball making cuts setting screens to get other players open. Greg Monroe had a solid night on the glass getting 10 rebounds, 3 being offensive. He also had 10 points on 4-9 shooting and registered 4 assists to boot.
Above Celtics’ Al Horford driving to the paint vs. the Trail Blazers
I need Al Horford to be more aggressive. Once again, Horford’s presence wasn’t really felt throughout the game. He hit a few big shots, got a few big rebounds near the end of the game but he only shot the ball a total of 7 times. He didn’t play bad by any stretch of the imagination, I just need more from him. Here is his line: 11 points on 4-7 shooting 3 rebounds 2 assists and 2 blocks. Since the all-star game I feel like this is what we have been getting from Al. When Horford is aggressive and gets to his spots the Celtics are a much better team.
All in all a great team win. Watching this team play its’ heart out every night is an absolute pleasure. They have 0 quit in them. With the playoffs approaching so fast, it’s hard not to get excited. Celtics 105 Trail Blazers 100.