The Boston Celtics didn't lose a game against a Western Conference team for the first three months of the season. Now, the Celtics have lost three in four days.

They hope to end their longest losing streak of the season on Sunday when their five-game western road trip continues against the struggling Portland Trail Blazers.

The Celtics (41-12) started 16-0 this season against West teams, but they have yet to earn a win through three games on their toughest road trip to date. This skid is their longest since a seven-game slide in April 2007.

The first two games of their current losing streak were their two highest-scoring games of the season, totaling 243 points as they were outgunned by Denver and Golden State.

They turned in their worst offensive effort of 2007-08 on Friday, scoring a season-low point total and shooting 38.5 percent from the field in an 85-77 loss at Phoenix, which had been one of the league's worst defensive teams.

"I was happy with our defense, it was just our offense was awful," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "The passing in the transition alone was enough to make you shudder."

The Celtics were outrebounded 50-32 while turning the ball over 21 times, but perhaps of greater concern was the shooting of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, who were a combined 5-of-25 from the field.

"We were still in the game throughout the game, so there are a lot of good things we can take away from it that we haven't been doing so far on this West Coast trip," said Pierce, who was 2-of-13 with just eight points - one above his season low. "I thought we did not defend in the first two games. We defended at a high level. Just the offense wasn't there tonight."

Kevin Garnett had 19 points - his most in three games after he missed the previous nine due to an abdominal strain - but he had only five rebounds, matching his season low.

Things figure to get a bit easier for the Celtics against Portland (29-26), which has lost six of seven, including Friday's 99-87 defeat to the lowly Seattle SuperSonics.

The Blazers had beaten Seattle 92-88 at home on Thursday, but they didn't convert a field goal in the final six minutes of that game and they never led on Friday while shooting just 37.3 percent.

"We came out just thinking they were going to cruise, and they came out and were real upset about the game (Thursday)," Portland guard Brandon Roy said. "We played as if we could turn it on and off. We're not good enough to try to do that yet."

Roy had 19 points, but shot 6-of-19 from the field, dropping his field goal percentage to 37.5 in five games since he missed two due to a death in his family.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Travis Outlaw had a combined 49 points on 17-of-27 shooting, but the rest of the team was 12-of-51 (23.5 percent).

The Blazers fell behind by as many as 19 in the first half en route to their 10th loss in 14 games. Portland hasn't beaten a team with a winning record since Jan. 9, when its 109-91 victory over Golden State capped a 17-1 stretch.

The Celtics beat Portland 100-90 in Boston on Jan. 16, as Allen had 35 points and Garnett added 26. Boston has won five straight against the Blazers, last losing 89-87 at the Rose Garden on Dec. 9, 2004.


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