Isaiah Thomas scored 34 points, inlcuding 15 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Boston Celtics over the Portland Trailblazers 120-111 Thursday night at the Moda Center.
The Blazers picked up right where they left off in Dallas on Tuesday with hot shooting. Portland raced to a 17-8 lead early in the first quarter, and by the end of the period they pushed the lead to 10 points at 32-22. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 16 points in the quarter and the team shot 57.9%. The Blazers opened the second quarter on a 21-14 run to push their lead to 53-46 after an Al-Farouq Aminu bucket with 2:43 to play in the half, but the Celtics closed the half on a 13-2 run led by Isaiah Thomas, who scored 14 points in the period to pull the Celtics within six-points at 55-49.
The Celtics would continue to take control of the game in the third quarter outscoring the Blazers 28-21, Al Horford scored eight of his twelve points in the quarter as Boston took a 77-76 lead entering the final period. Boston would control the game in the fourth scoring 43 points in the period. The key moment came with just over two-minutes remaining in the game and the Celtics clinging to a 106-104 lead. Al-Farouq Aminu grabbed a defensive rebound off a Jaylen Brown miss and brought the ball up the court, but Marcus Smart poked the ball out from behind and the Celtics were able to turn the opportunity into points pushing the lead to 108-104. Aminu would miss an open three pointer from the corner on the Blazers next possession and Portland never recovered. The Celtics scored 71 points in the second half, including 43 points in the fourth quarter.
Portland (23-31) was lead by Lillard, who scored a team-high 28 points and Aminu, who scored a season-high 26 points. The big edge for Boston came in the turnover department. The Blazers turned the ball over 16 times on the night leading to 22 points for the Celtics.
Boston (34-19) had seven players in double-figures. Marcus Smart scored 18 points and Kelly Olynyk added 13 points off the bench. With the win, the Celtics trail the Cleveland Cavaliers by only 2.5 games who lead the Eastern Conference playoff standings.
Portland will now hope to regroup as they meet the Atlanta Hawks at the Moda Center on Monday night. The Blazers will play their last game before the All Star break Wednesday at Utah against the Jazz.
Celtics at Blazers Highlights: