February 25, 2013

Blazers finish strong against weary Celts

The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. - Wesley Matthews had 24 points, including a clutch 3-pointer with less than a minute to go, and the Portland Trail Blazers snapped their longest losing streak of the season at seven games with a 92-86 win over the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

Kevin Garnett, J.J. Hickson
click image to enlarge

Boston forward Kevin Garnett looks for an opening against Portland center J.J. Hickson during first-quarter action of Sunday’s game, won by the Trail Blazers.

The Associated Press

MONDAY'S GAME

WHO: Celtics at Utah Jazz

WHEN: 9 p.m.

TELEVISION: CSN

J.J. Hickson's hook shot put the Blazers ahead 86-80, but a pair of reverse layups from Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass pulled the Celtics to 86-82 with 2:54 left.

Kevin Garnett's layup with 1:46 to go tied it, but rookie Damian Lillard answered with his own layup and added a free throw to give Portland back the lead. Matthews, hobbled at times during the game with a sore left leg, hit the step-back 3-pointer that gave the Blazers the final margin with 53.9 seconds left.

Pierce had 23 points and eight assists for the Celtics, who were playing their third game in four nights.

The Celtics jumped out first and led by as many as seven points early but Portland pulled in front on Nicolas Batum's 3-pointer, which made it 18-15. Lillard's bank shot and free throw gave the Blazers a 38-27 lead midway through the second quarter.

Courtney Lee hit a 3-pointer and Garnett made a jumper to pull the Celtics to 41-39 with 1:31 left in the first half. Wesley Matthews answered with consecutive 3-pointers and the Blazers led 47-42 at the break.

Avery Bradley's fast-break dunk put the Celtics back in front 55-54 with 8:32 left in the third quarter, but the Blazers regained the lead and were ahead 71-67 going into the final period.

The game stayed close until Matthews made a 3-pointer to put Portland ahead 80-73 with 6:53 to go in the game. LaMarcus Aldridge extended the lead with his own 3 that made it 82-74.

Jordan Crawford played 12 minutes but did not score in his second game for the Celtics.

 

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