|Date of game: 11/23/2014
Recap: Boston vs. Portland
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 points and pulled down 14 rebounds as Portland edged the Celtics 94-88 on Sunday.
The Trail Blazers were behind at the half but got hot from the field later in the game and finally erased a Boston lead that persisted through the entire first half.
Portland got great contributions from its bench, led by veterans Chris Kaman and Steve Blake. Kaman scored 16 points and grabbed eight boards in 17 minutes, and Blake chipped in 11 on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor.
"They both have had some very good games for us," said Portland head coach Terry Stotts. "I think it's typical of what they've given us. Steve is very consistent defensively ... Chris is very consistent, he's been consistent all season as far as scoring and rebounding off the bench."
Jared Sullinger and Jeff Green tied for the Celtics lead with 19 points apiece.
Rajon Rondo ran the Boston offensive effectively with 13 points on nine shots and a game-high eight assists. Avery Bradley also scored 13 despite shooting just 1-of-8 from beyond the arc.
Damian Lillard scored 12 points and finished with a career-high nine rebounds.
The Celtics got off to an early lead thanks to great work on the offensive glass. They led 7-0 just a minute and a half into the game thanks to two offensive rebounds and five points from Sullinger.
Portland was unable to hit a shot from the field until the 7:16 mark of the quarter when Robin Lopez tipped in a missed layup to cut Boston's lead to 9-4. Portland's 6-0 run in the final two minutes of the quarter left them with a 23-21 deficit after one.
Boston led by as much as 10 points in the first half.
Commenting on his team's defense, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, "As we enter a five-day stretch before we play two more contenders, we have something to build off of."
Despite six third quarter turnovers, Portland was able to erase Boston's 49-44 halftime lead four and a half minutes into a third period that saw both teams shoot a high percentage. The Trail Blazers grabbed their first lead on an Aldridge layup at 7:35. Aldridge scored Portland's first four points of the quarter and capped off the 15-8 run that gave them that lead.
On his star forward, Portland coach Terry Stotts said, "He fought through some adversity offensively because he had shots at the rim that weren't falling, and I thought tonight was as much of a mental toughness game for him as a physical toughness game."
The two teams traded the lead throughout the rest of the period with neither leading by more than three. Blake's jumper with 34 seconds left tied the game at 72 heading into the fourth.
It looked like Portland was poised to take over the game in the fourth with a 10-0 run to start, highlighted by 3s from Wesley Matthews and Lillard. The Celtics fought and stayed in the game though.
With less than five minutes to go, Aldridge scored his 20th point by sinking a pair of free throws to extend Portland's lead to 12, but Boston went on an 11-3 run to make it a 92-88 game with 1:30 to play. Bradley and Sullinger hit back-to-back 3s to cap that run.
That would be the last shot the Celtics would make though, as they missed their last three shots from the field. Matthews' dunk with 11 seconds left sealed the game.Game Notes
Portland has won four straight games against Boston ... Boston is now riding a
four-game home losing streak ... Jeff Green's 19 points put him over the 7,000
mark for his career ... Boston has not beaten a Western Conference team this
season in six attempts.