Blazers win fourth straight with 100-94 victory over Boston
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard had 19 points and 12 assists and the Portland Trail Blazers won their fourth straight game, beating the Boston Celtics 100-94 on Sunday night.
Jusuf Nurkic added 18 points and 17 rebounds for Portland. The Trail Blazers have won seven of their last eight games.
Jayson Tatum matched his regular-season career high with 27 points and Kyrie Irving added 21 for the Celtics. They finished 1-4 on their trip.
The Blazers led by as many as 21 points in the game, but the Celtics went on a 13-2 run to start the fourth quarter and pulled to 85-83. Marcus Morris’ 3-pointer tied it at 86 with 7:27 left, but Lillard answered with a basket to keep Portland out front.
The Blazers held on to the lead but Irving’s 3-pointer with 2:55 left closed the Celtics to 92-91. Al-Farouq Aminu answered with a 3-pointer for the Blazers. Aminu made another key 3 that put Portland up 100-94 with a minute left.
Kyrie Irving returned to the Celtics after missing Friday’s loss at Utah because he was at his grandfather’s funeral.
Celtics forward Daniel Theis, who sustained a plantar fascia tear on Oct. 27, was upgraded to “probable” before the game but coach Brad Stevens said he would only be available on a minute restriction. He played for five minutes and had two rebounds.
Lillard’s layup put the Blazers up 23-12 in the opening quarter and Portland led by as many as 12 points before Boston closed the gap to 28-26 on Terry Rozier’s floater. It didn’t last long and Meyers Leonard’s 3-pointer gave Portland a 40-31 lead midway through the second quarter.
Portland went into the break ahead 54-37, led by Nurkic with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The Celtics got to 61-52 in the third quarter after Tatum’s 3-pointer, but CJ McCollum answered with a 3 for the Blazers. Kyrie Irving’s 3 closed the Celtics to 71-66, one of seven 3-pointers Boston hit in the third.
The Blazers went into the final quarter up 83-70.
The Celtics were coming off a 123-115 loss to the Jazz, which marked Gordon Hayward’s first trip back to Salt Lake City after going to Boston as a free agent in the summer of 2017. Hayward fractured his tibia in the Celtics’ opener and missed all of last season.
Portland was coming off a 116-105 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.
Celtics: Tatum led the Celtics at the break with 13 points. ... The Celtics attempted 18 3-pointers in the third quarter. ... Boston had a three-game winning streak over the Blazers going into the game.
Trail Blazers: Portland wore its new City Edition jerseys that are black and gray with a diagonal red stripe. ... There was a delay to start the second half because something with the south basket was askew. A ladder was brought in to allow arena personnel to adjust it.
The Celtics head home to host the Bulls on Wednesday.
The Trail Blazers visit the Lakers on Wednesday.