Nurkic’s rebound, basket late rally Blazers over Celtics

The Celtics couldn't close out Portland in the fourth quarter and lost their second straight.

Portland Trail Blazers' Jusuf Nurkic (27) keeps the ball away from Celtics' Jaylen Brown (7) during the first half. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

BOSTON (AP) — Jusuf Nurkic grabbed an offensive rebound and hit a shot from the lane with 14 seconds left and the Portland Trail Blazers rallied past the Boston Celtics 109-105 Friday night.

Nurkic had 29 points and 17 rebounds, none bigger than his board after Jayson Tatum gave Boston a 104-103 lead with two free throws with 26.8 seconds to go.

Anfernee Simons missed at the other end, and Nurkic grabbed the ball and softly put it in from a few feet out. The Blazers sealed the victory at the foul line.

CJ McCollum scored 24 points and Simons had 21 for Portland, which trailed by 11 midway through the fourth quarter and won for just the fifth time on the road.


Tatum led Boston with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists. Jaylen Brown added 22 points and Robert Williams III pulled down 10 rebounds. The Celtics couldn’t close out Portland in the fourth quarter and lost their second straight.

A 3-pointer by Nurkic with 9:17 remaining cut Boston’s lead to 92-89, but Portland didn’t score again for nearly four minutes as the Celtics scored eight straight points. The Blazers finally scored again when McCollum hit a 3 with 5:32 left, pulling Portland within 100-92.

The Blazers tied it again at 100 with 1:37 left when Nassir Little took a turnover by Williams in for a dunk. Two free throws by Brown put Boston back up by two, but Robert Covington got his first points of the night with a 3-pointer from the corner with 32 seconds left.


Trail Blazers: Nurkic had a double-double for the fourth consecutive game. … Portland led 30-25 at the end of the first quarter after going 10 for 13 from the floor. It was the eighth time in 10 games Portland has outscored its opponent in the opening period, but the shooting cooled off in the second quarter as the Blazers made just 7 of 23.

Celtics: Brown’s 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer put the Celtics up 58-54 after Boston outscored Portland 33-24 in the second quarter. … Williams received a technical with 7:36 left in the third quarter after being called for an offensive foul. … G Marcus Smart remained out for the sixth straight game as he reconditions from his time on the COVID-19 health and safety protocols list. … G Aaron Nesmith (sprained right ankle) missed his second consecutive game.



Trail Blazers: Visit the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.

Celtics: Visit the Washington Wizards on Sunday.


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