The Boston Celtics came out and did exactly what they wanted to on offense during the first half of Saturday night’s tilt with the Portland Trail Blazers.
That was all good and fun, but the problem was that they didn’t do what they needed to do at the other end of the court.
Boston was sizzling on offense over the first 24 minutes of this game, and that may be putting it lightly. The Celtics scored 32 points on 70 percent shooting in the first quarter. They scored 28 points on 54.5 percent shooting in the second quarter.
It was a heck of a team performance that led to a whopping 60-point first half for Boston. By halftime, two Celtics had already reached double-figures in scoring and five had already notched at least seven points. The team shot 61.9 percent overall over the first two quarters.
A performance like that should always result in a lead, and it did. Unfortunately, the lead was much smaller than Boston would have anticipated considering its offensive outburst.
The Celtics played very good defense throughout the first half against Portland’s initial shot attempts on each possession. The Trail Blazers shot just 42.5 percent from the field on those attempts. However, they crashed the glass to the tune of 10 offensive rebounds in the first half that led to 17 second-chance points. Portland shot 7-of-10 from the field on second-chance opportunities during the first half.
Those second-chance points prevented Boston from pulling away. The C’s led by just two at the half, at 60-58, despite their incredible offensive performance.
The first half was Boston’s opportunity to build a lead on one of the West’s top teams. Instead, it was a one-possession game at halftime. Portland took advantage of Boston’s missed opportunity by stringing together a 13-0 run early in the third quarter to pull ahead 77-68. The Trail Blazers never trailed from that point on and won 112-104.
Key Box Score Line
Avery Bradley has been relatively cool in the month of January, but he was scorching hot on Saturday.
Bradley was an offensive force throughout Boston’s loss to the Trail Blazers in Portland. He finished the contest with a game-high 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting.
It was a pleasure to watch his performance, as it was an all-around effort on offense. Bradley was fantastic in the midrange, as he shot 5-of-8 from the field in that area. He matched that output in the lower painted area and also shot 1-of-2 from 3-point range.
The scoring column was the only one in which Bradley put up big numbers, but he did contribute across the board. Boston’s starting shooting guard also grabbed five rebounds and dished off three assists during his 34 minutes of action.
Box Score Nuggets
- Portland scored 31 second-chance points on 12-of-22 shooting.
- Both teams grabbed 20 offensive rebounds but the Trail Blazers outscored Boston 31-14 in second-chance points.
- Avery Bradley scored a game-high 25 points.
- Seven Blazers scored in double-figures, led by LaMarcus Aldridge's 21 points.
- Portland shot better from 3-point range (47.6 percent) than Boston did from the field (46.3 percent)
- Each team scored at least 26 points in each of the first three quarters, but neither scored more than 22 in the fourth quarter.
- Jordan Crawford led the Celtics in assists with six helpers.
- Nicolas Batum dished out a game-high seven assists.
- Jared Sullinger notched his second consecutive double-double off of the bench with his 14 points and 10 boards.
- Seven of Sullinger's rebounds came at the offensive end of the court.
- The teams combined to commit just 21 turnovers.
- Both teams led by double-figures, and there was only one lead change.
- Both teams tallied at least 25 assists.
- Kris Humphries blocked three shots for the second consecutive night.
- Crawford finished with as many steals, three, as the entire Portland team.
Quote of the Night
They did what they do. Their offense is just outstanding. Brad Stevens on the Trail BlazersMore quotes >>