This might be one of the closest games the Celtics have played in a while.
And in the end, Boston emerged victorious.
The Celtics stretched their win streak to four games Tuesday night with a 116-115 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. Boston now is 2-0 on its west coast swing.
Jayson Tatum led all scorers with 34 points. He had nine rebounds and five assists as well.
All of Boston’s starters scored double figures once again. Kemba Walker and Tristan Thompson contributed eight rebounds apiece in the effort. Walker and Smart had seven assists each.
The Celtics improved to 29-26 while the Blazers dipped to 31-23.
Here’s how it all went down:
STARTING FIVEPG: Kemba WalkerSG: Marcus SmartSF: Jaylen BrownPF: Jayson TatumC: Robert Williams
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A GAME OF RUNSMomentum swang in both directions early.
Boston took a 14-11 lead less than four minutes into the game, with Williams scoring six of the Celtics’ points. But Portland put on the jets and went on a 12-0 run over the next three minutes.
The Celtics outscored the Blazers 9-2 in the next three minutes, but Portland managed to take back its lead and push it to eight by the end of the quarter.
Walker posted an impressive 12 points in the first 12 minutes on top of five rebounds and two assists. Williams (eight points, two rebounds, one assist) was a big help on offense while Tristan Thompson was a monster at the rim.
Rim protection brought to you by @RealTristan13 🚫 pic.twitter.com/wGlDglGc9u— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 14, 2021
The Celtics had 10 assists on 10 field goals in the first. Boston shot at 43.5%. though Portland was more accurate at 56.5%.
STILL BACK-AND-FORTHNeither team was able to maintain a lead in the second quarter.
The Blazers held a slight advantage over the Celtics until midway through the quarter. The teams traded leads, but Portland ultimately entered halftime up 60-57 thanks to a quick 9-0 run.
The Celtics hit 20 of 49 shots attempted (40.8%) in the first half to the Blazers’ 21-of-43 (48.8%). Boston was much more successful from 3-point range than they were Sunday against the Nuggets, completing 8-of-18 attempts (44.4%).
Carmelo Anthony looked like his younger self in the second, banking 12 points in just eight minutes.
🍷 to 🍷 the 🍷 dome 🍷@carmeloanthony | @GEICO pic.twitter.com/zSe1I501Ww— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) April 14, 2021
Meanwhile, Kanter had four points, six rebounds and an assist in his first minutes against his former team.
TIGHT GAMEThe Blazers had a slight edge for most of the third but wound up trading leads with the Celtics yet again.
Boston’s resilience remained on full display as Portland tried to put things away. Tatum heated up in the final five minutes of the frame and wound up with 17 third-quarter points on 6-of-8 shooting.
JT is heating UP in the 3rd quarter 🔥#Celtics Rewind is presented by @tmobile pic.twitter.com/toYNb3dvsD— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) April 14, 2021
The Celtics entered the fourth up 92-87 courtesy of a 10-2 run led, of course, by Tatum. All of Boston’s starters had scored double figures to this point.
It was not the Blazers’ accuracy that led them to lose their lead. Oddly enough, Boston’s five extra completed free throws pushed them over the pot.
Otherwise, the teams were relatively even shooting-wise through the first three quarters. Both hit 33 shots from the field, 11 of them threes, and missed five free throws.
HOW ABOUT YOUR NAIL-BITTERIt was the Celtics’ game to lose, but luckily, they hung on.
Boston’s lead hovered around eight for much of the quarter, but Portland made it a one-point game with just under three minutes to play.
A big layup by Williams made it a 3-point game, but Damian Lillard hit an even bigger triple to tie it up at 109 with 2:03 left.
Portland went up one at 1:01 on a C.J. McCollum three. But Tatum gave Boston the lead back, and then some with two free throws and a three of his own late to make it a four-point game.
My goodness, JT pic.twitter.com/XWdxAi9PH3— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) April 14, 2021
The parade of threes continued with Norman Powell’s shot with 5.4 second on the clock. This trimmed Boston’s lead to one, and that’s where it would remain.
The Celtics went on to win 116-115.
PLAY OF THE GAMESiri, define “hustle.”
Just absurd hustle by Marcus Smart pic.twitter.com/JnOA1BGsng— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 14, 2021
UP NEXTThe next stop on the Celtics’ road trip is Los Angeles, where they will play the Lakers on Thursday. Tip-off is slated for 10 p.m. ET.
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