The Portland Trail Blazers have won the last two games against the Magic and the Pistons. The Portland Trail Blazers are 31-34 in the season, and are 0.5 game behind the Thunder for a spot in the Western Conference play-in tournament.
Horford and Tatum are back in the lineup after being out in the overtime loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Robert Williams is still out, so Horford started at Center, Jayson Tatum started at Power Forward, Jaylen Brown started at Small forward and Derrick White started at shooting guard. Also, Peyton Pritchard was out with pain in his left heel.
Although not listed on the official injury report, Grant Williams has reportedly been dealing with an nagging elbow injury that has limited his minutes and has affected his performance, as he missed both crucial free throws in the loss against the Cavaliers on Monday. Williams only played in the 4th quarter in garbage time and scored 8 points and grabbed 5 rebounds.
Boston and Portland split the season series last season, and this is their first matchup of the season between each other.
Six Boston Celtics players in double-figures
All the Boston Celtics starters tonight were in double-figures. Tatum lead the charge with 30 points, then White scored 21, Horford with 17, Brown with 11 and Smart with 10.
Tatum scored his 30 points on only 17 shot attempts, and White was 7/7 on his two-pointers and 4/4 from the charity stripe. White also lead the Celtics in assists with 7.
Al Horford made 3/5 three-pointers which was enough for him to pass Isiah Thomas for the 9th most-three pointers in a Celtics uniform. Also, Marcus Smart scored his 6,000th point of his career tonight which made him the 25th Celtics player to reach the mark.
The Celtics had Sam Hauser with 11 points off the bench, while he was 3/9 on three-pointers and made both of his free throws on the night.
The Celtics have had all five starters in double-figures in three out of the last five games, which was also the double overtime loss against the Knicks and the March 1 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Boston Celtics didn’t blow a big lead for once
The Boston Celtics never lost their lead since 8:06 in the first quarter when the Celtics took the lead after Al Horford made a three-point jumper to make it 13-11. The Celtics never had the lead from less than 11 since 10:08 in the 2nd quarter and had their biggest lead at 27 points.
The Celtics limited the Trail Blazers to 36.6 percent on field goals and 28.2 percent from beyond the arc.
"“I think we were just playing more free and together and trusting one another more, and really locked in at the defensive end. And all of that put together led us to a win.”– Sam Hauser on the Celtics defense, according to Marc D’Amico, team reporter and analyst"
Damian Lillard made his first two three-pointers but the Celtics didn’t let another one go for Dame Time, as he would go the rest of the night 0/8 from beyond the arc.
Limiting their opponent’s star players is the key to winning the game on defense, in their last four games they allowed one player to score at least 38 points, with Mikal Bridges of the Nets, Immanuel Quickley of the Knicks, and Donovan Mitchell (twice).
The Celtics will be heading out on a six-game road trip starting on Saturday in Atlanta when they face the Hawks at 7:30 tip off.