PORTLAND, Ore. — The Celtics end this long and laborious road trip tonight against one of the best teams in the Western Conference. Portland has been one of the league’s biggest surprises and it’s because of the All-Star caliber play of LaMarcus Aldridge, who is averaging 23.7 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. Second-year guard Damian Lillard will be a difficult cover for Avery Bradley, who has had his hands full on the road trip.
The Blazers came to TD Garden and raced past the Celtics 109-96 on Nov. 15. Aldridge led the Blazers with 27 points and Mo Williams scored 18 off the bench.
BOSTON CELTICS (13-24)
PG Avery Bradley
SG Jordan Crawford
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Kris Humphries
Inactives: Rajon Rondo
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (27-9)
PG Damian Lillard
SG Wesley Matthews
SF Nicolas Batum
PF LaMarcus Aldridge
C Robin Lopez
Officials: Ron Garretson, Mark Ayotte, Sean Wright
TV, radio: 10 p.m., CSNNE, WBZ-FM (1030 AM)
• Jeff Green posted his second consecutive double-double on Friday (points-rebounds) after going doubleless for the first 35 games. Green is averaging just 4.8 rebounds, his lowest total since his rookie season.
• Rajon Rondo may return to the Celtics lineup on Jan. 17 as previous reported. It would mark nearly a year (Jan. 25, 2013) since Rondo has played in an NBA game. Rondo has traveled with the team for the past few weeks and said Friday he is close to a return but indicated only it would be before the All-Star Break.
• Jared Sullinger snapped out of his slump Friday night with 21 points and 11 rebounds in 32 minutes. Sullinger collected his first game of multiple 3-pointers since Dec. 18 and he also collected his eighth double-double of the season.
• The Celtics return home Sunday morning and begin a three-game homestand with Houston, Toronto and the Los Angeles Lakers next Monday, Wednesday and Friday respectively.