NBA

Sun, Feb 24, 2013 - 9:00 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Celtics-Trail Blazers Preview

Share This Story

   
 

After what Doc Rivers deemed an uplifting victory, the Boston Celtics will try to deliver a strong finish to their western road trip. A matchup with the slumping Portland Trail Blazers would appear to help their cause.

While seeking to even their record on their five-game trek, the Celtics will try to send the Blazers to their longest losing streak in seven seasons Sunday night.

Despite playing in its third city in four nights, Boston gave a refreshing performance Friday in a 113-88 victory over Phoenix. The Celtics scored the first 13 points, and Jeff Green led five players in double figures with a season-high 31 while starting in place of veteran Kevin Garnett, who was given the night off.

"I just tried to make a statement early and that's what I did by attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line," said Green, who sat out last season after undergoing surgery to fix an aortic aneurysm.

Boston (29-26) also got 10 points off the bench from Jordan Crawford in his first game since being acquired from Washington on Thursday. The Celtics' win was their first in eight road games against Western Conference teams and helped them improve to 9-3 since star point guard Rajon Rondo's season-ending knee injury.

"It's just a feel-good win,'' Rivers said.

Boston will try to earn another such victory while continuing its recent dominance over Portland (25-30). The Celtics have won 13 of 14 matchups and are 5-1 in their last six visits to the Rose Garden.

While Rondo was serving a two-game suspension, Green scored a team-best 19 points off the bench in a 96-78 rout over the visiting Blazers on Nov. 30. Boston is making its first visit to Portland since an 88-78 win on Jan. 27, 2011, and will face a team that's dropped seven in a row.

All but one of those losses, however, came on the road. The Blazers, who are starting a four-game homestand, had a four-game win streak at the Rose Garden snapped with a 102-98 defeat to Phoenix on Tuesday. They fell 111-107 at the Los Angeles Lakers three days later.

Portland held a one-point lead with four minutes to go Friday but made just two of its final seven shots and committed a pair of turnovers. J.J. Hickson and Nicolas Batum each finished with 22 points, but LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 while dealing with foul trouble.

"I was glad the way our team fought. We've had a rough stretch and came out and played aggressively, we pushed the tempo and did a lot of good things out there," coach Terry Stotts said. "I thought we played well enough to win the game but unfortunately we didn't."

The Blazers haven't lost eight in a row since dropping their final eight games in 2005-06.

Hickson will try to help his team snap its skid while extending his team-record streak of shooting performances. The post player has shot at least 50.0 percent in 18 straight games and was 11 of 15 Friday.

He went 3 for 7 (42.9 percent) and scored 11 against Boston in November, and has averaged 11.8 points on 50.0 percent shooting in six career starts against the Celtics.

Tagged: Celtics, Trail Blazers, Jeff Green

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..