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Final: Trail Blazers 92, Celtics 86

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff  February 24, 2013 09:14 PM

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Final: Trail Blazers 92-86: Portland ends the game on a 6-0 run after Wesley Matthews drains his fifth 3-pointer of the game, handing the Celtics a difficult loss. Matthews led the Blazers with 24 while Nicolas Batum added 18 and LaMarcus Aldridge added 16. The Celtics just couldn't execute offensively tonight. Besides Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, the Celtics were 18-for-50 shooting.

Fourth quarter, 1:32, Trail Blazers 89-86: Damian Lillard may have just made the play of the game with a streaking layup and free throw after Kevin Garnett tied the game with a layup. The Celtics have awoken but it may be too late. They need a basket desperately. Celtics ball.

Fourth quarter, 2:53, Trail Blazers 86-84: The Celtics are on a 10-4 run to make it close after the Blazers extended the lead to 8. Paul Pierce has played a stellar game with 23 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds. The problem is the rest of his teammates are grinding, going 26-for-67 from the field. Doc Rivers called Wesley Matthews a "wild card" before the game and he has played as such, scoring 21 points.

Fourth quarter, 7:30, Trail Blazers 77-73: The Celtics just can't seem to get over the hump. They can't score consecutive baskets when they get stops or they make a turnover to blow a possession. They are in a danger zone right now where a Blazers run could seal the game.

End of third quarter, Trail Blazers 71-67: Blazers end the quarter on a 9-4 run and the Celtics have been totally frustrated tonight offensively, shooting 42 percent and getting a combined 6-for-21 shooting from the bench. Paul Pierce has a team-high 21 points on 8-for-11 shooting but surprisingly Kevin Garnett has struggled from the field despite three days off, going 5-for-12 for 10 points and five rebounds.

Third quarter, 3:04, Trail Blazers 67-63: The Celtics and Blazers were trading baskets but the Blazers have scored the last 5 points and Doc Rivers is angry with the officials yet again. He already has a technical foul and may be asking for another. Paul Pierce has 21 points for the Celtics.

Third quarter, 6:01, Trail Blazers 58-57: Celtics have made a strong push in the second half, led by Paul Pierce, who has 19 points. The Celtics are now shooting 43.6 percent and starting to loosen up offensively after playing tight in the first half.

Halftime, Trail Blazers 49-42: The Trail Blazers seem to get every break in that first half, shooting 51.4 percent and getting every 50-50 ball, including in the final 2.7 seconds when Nicolas Batum scooped up a missed shot and converted a layup to end the half. Wesley Matthews has punished the Celtics with 15 points, including two 3-pointers in the final 58.9 of the half to extend the Portland lead. Paul Pierce has 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting while his teammates are 12-for-39 for 28 points.

Second quarter, 2:35, Trail Blazers 40-32: The Celtics just can't seem to find any cohesion or chemistry offensively and they are shooting below 33 percent because of a series of missed east shots. Jordan Crawford is 0-for-4 shooting and Jeff Green is 2-for-8.

Second quarter, 7:50, Trail Blazers 33-25: It's turning into one of those games for the Celtics after they started off so strongly. They have scored 14 points in the past 12 minutes while Portland has heated up from the field. They are shooting 62 percent from the field and have been to the free throw line nine times. The Celtics are now down to 37 percent shooting.

End of first quarter, Trail Blazers 27-21: The Celtics were actually up 11-4, meaning Portland ended the quarter on a 23-10 run that was more a byproduct of hot shooting and a couple of tough calls that caused Doc Rivers to pick up his fifth technical foul of the season. The Blazers shot 63 percent and reached the free throw line nine times. Rivers was incensed by two separate foul calls on Portland 3-point attempts.

First quarter, 3:16, Trail Blazers 20-19: Portland is now hot from the field, shooting 62 percent as the duo of LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum have combined for 17 points. The Celtics are making mistakes on offense and allowing Aldridge to get settled in the paint on defense.

First quarter, 7:22, Celtics 11-9: Celtics off to another strong start after 5 straight points from Paul Pierce, 4 points from Kevin Garnett and a bucket from Avery Bradley. Pierce just picked up his second foul and has been replaced by Jeff Green. Nicolas Batum has 5 points and JJ Hickson just scored a layup.

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