Ford Keys to the Game: Trail Blazers 86, Celtics 104

Ford Keys to the Game

Trail Blazers 86, Celtics 104

Game Highlights

Photo of the Game

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce slams home a fast-break dunk and hangs on the rim long enough to draw a technical foul.
Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty

Key Moment

To quote this morning’s Game Preview, we asked for the “opposite of Wednesday” during tonight's showdown with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Wednesday was, of course, the night in which the Boston Celtics were crushed by the Philadelphia 76ers and trailed by as many as 37 points.

When we made the request for the opposite of Wednesday, we did so with a full-on realistic thought process. We were just looking for the Celtics to come out and reverse their body language and execution from the previous game.

They one-upped us. Or... 43-upped us?

The Celtics literally did reverse that Wednesday performance, and then some. They didn’t just lead the Portland Trail Blazers by 37 points; they actually held a 43-point advantage at one point in the second half.

It all started early on, when Boston came out with hot shooting and strong defense that led to a 27-17 lead after the first quarter. But things got really out of hand in the second period.

The C’s opened up the second quarter on an incredible 16-0 run that included baskets from four different players. Those players were Sasha Pavlovic (eight points), Avery Bradley (four points), Kevin Garnett (two points) and Keyon Dooling (two points). The fifth player who was on the court for Boston at the time was Greg Stiemsma.

You read that correctly: four reserves on the court with Garnett created the fivesome that absolutely blew this game open. And no, it wasn’t against the end of Portland’s bench. In fact, it was the exact opposite.

The Trail Blazers had all five of their starters touch the floor during that stretch and LaMarcus Aldridge, their first-time All-Star, was on the floor for all but one minute and 42 seconds of it.

As you can imagine based on this run, the Celtics turned the page from Wednesday’s loss and played the leading role in a game of role reversal. On this night, they were the team throttling their opponent, and they never looked back en route to a convincing 104-86 victory.

Key Box Score Line

It’s never easy choosing the player who will fill this spot out when three players tie for the game high in scoring. Two of those players, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, were Celtics.

Allen gets the nod for the Box Score Line of the game thanks to his fantastic shooting night, which included an overall 8-of-12 performance from the field. He made four 3-pointers on the night – twice as many as any other player in the game – on just seven attempts. As mentioned above, Allen tied for the game high in scoring with 22 points while shooting a perfect 2-for-2 from the field.

In comparison to Pierce, Allen made one more field goal on one less shot. He also chipped in two boards and two assists. Allen accomplished all of this in just 26 minutes of playing time.

Now that’s what we like to call efficient.

Box Score Nuggets

  • The Celtics led by as many as 43 points in the game.
  • Three players, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and LaMarcus Aldridge, tied for the game high in scoring with 22 points apiece.
  • Two players on each team scored 10 points.
  • Portland committed 28 turnovers that led to 30 of Boston's 104 points.
  • Avery Bradley scored 12 points off the bench for the C's.
  • The Trail Blazers outrebounded Boston 53-32.
  • Luke Babbitt scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds in just 12 minutes of action for Portland.
  • Both teams shot at least 40 percent from 3-point range.
  • Aldridge was the only Portland starter to score in double-figures.
  • Marcus Camby grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
  • Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with eight rebounds.
  • Of Boston's 15 players who appeared in the game, 13 recorded at least one assist, led by Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley's five apiece.
  • Sasha Pavlovic scored 10 points off the bench for Boston.
  • The Celtics grabbed 14 steals, distributed between eight different players.
  • This was Pierce's 1,000th career game.
  • Boston scored 42 points in the paint, compared to 32 for Portland.
  • The Celtics committed just seven turnovers.
  • Greg Stiemsma fouled out of the game, but before he did he recorded one point, seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocked shots.
  • Stiemsma shot 0-for-9 from the field.

Quote of the Night

Rajon Rondo on who would win a game of one-on-one between him and Sasha Pavlovic: "It depends, Sasha has the size, but Rondo has the speed so, you know you take your pick. It depends on how many dribbles you get.."