Pierce Helps Celts Snap Six-Game Losing Streak
Boston 115, Portland 83
BOSTON, Feb. 10 (Ticker) -- Paul Pierce celebrated his fifth straight All-Star invitation. The Boston Celtics finally celebrated a win.
Pierce scored 20 of his 35 points in the third quarter as the Celtics snapped a season-high six-game losing streak with their most lopsided win of the season - a 115-83 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Wally Szczerbiak, who was acquired by the Celtics two weeks ago, had 21 points and Raef LaFrentz added 18 for the Celtics.
"We moved the ball to our shooters," said Pierce, who entered with a 25.7 scoring average. "Wally got us going and Raef had it going. That opened it up for me when I was driving."
"I've been able to relax and catch my breath and get to know my teammates a little bit," Szczerbiak said. "I've been able to get to know the offense a little bit and get some rest. This was a good feeling win and hopefully we can build on this."
Pierce scored 15 in the first half, including three 3-pointers, as the Celtics built a 52-42 lead.
Boston then started the second half with a 21-8 run to open a 73-50 lead. Szczerbiak ignited the spurt with a 3-pointer from the top of the key and a free throw, LaFrentz converted three 3-pointers and Pierce capped it with a driving dunk with 5:25 left in the quarter.
"Wally and Paul played so well off each other," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "I just thought the ball moved great and our defense was really good with the rotations."
A layup by Delonte West increased the lead to 80-52 with 3:24 remaining.
Pierce scored nine of Boston's last 11 points in the quarter, giving Boston a 91-61 bulge.
"You can't expect to win games when you're giving up that many points after three quarters," Portland guard Steve Blake said.
The Celtics led by as many as 34 points in the fourth quarter.
It was another pitiful road performance by the Trail Blazers, who set a franchise low with 22 rebounds. Boston had failed to reach 100 points in 11 straight games before shooting 55 percent against the Blazers.
"That's embarrassing," said Blazers guard Juan Dixon, who finished with eight points. "People don't care? I care. I'm sure a lot of other of my teammates care. We're just out there getting our tails whipped and it's really embarrassing."
Zach Randolph led Portland with 14 points.
Just 5-18 on the road, the Blazers are 0-3 thus far on a season high-tying seven-game trek. The previous loss was an embarrassing 101-69 setback at Indiana on Wednesday.
"We don't have fire," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "I don't know where our fire has gone. These last two games were basically like a repeat. This is the time for someone to step up out on the court and try to lead."