Blazers Host Celtics In Last Game Of Early-Season Homestand

by Casey Holdahl
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The Portland Trail Blazers (9-3), winners of six of their last seven, finish up a six-game road trip by hosting the Boston Celtics (7-5) Sunday night in their only visit to the Moda Center this season. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

SERIES NOTES

ALL TIME: Celtics lead, 67-45
IN PORTLAND: Celtics lead, 30-26
AT THE CELTICS: Celtics lead, 37-19
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 127-123 (ot), 1/21/17 (Boston)
LAST CELTICS WIN: 105-100, 3/23/18 (Portland)
CURRENT WIN STREAK: Three (Boston)

GAME NOTES

• Sunday’s game marks the first of two meetings between the Trail Blazers and the Celtics during the 2018-19 season. Boston won the season series in 2017-18, 2-0.

• LAST MEETING: The Celtics outscored Portland by 15 points in the final period to steal a 105-100 victory at Moda Center on March 23. Marcus Morris scored 30 points (9-13 FG, 5-6 3-PT, 7-7 FT) for Boston while Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum scored 26 points each for the Trail Blazers.

• LOCKDOWN DEFENSE: Portland and Boston sport two of the league’s top defenses. The Celtics allow the fourth-fewest points per game (103.8) while the Trail Blazers give up the sixth-fewest points per game (107.2).

• CJ McCollum averaged 24.0 points (47.7% FG, 40.0% 3-PT, 66.7% FT), 5.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.00 steal in two games against Boston last season. McCollum has scored at least 20 points in his last four games against the Celtics, shooting 48.2% from the field in that span.

• Damian Lillard averaged 23.5 points (36.6% FG, 30.0% 3-PT, 91.7% FT), 4.5 rebounds and 8.5 assists in two games against the Celtics in 2017-18. Lillard has recorded at least 20 points and seven assists in his last four games against Boston.

• In two games against the Celtics last season, Al-Farouq Aminu averaged 13.5 points (44.0% FG, 33.3% 3-PT), 9.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 2.50 steals and 1.00 blocks.

• In two games against the Trail Blazers last season, Jayson Tatum averaged 15.0 points (40.0% FG, 60.0% 3-PT, 87.5% FT), 4.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.00 steal.

• Al Horford averaged 16.5 points (63.2% FG, 100% 3-PT, 83.3% FT), 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.00 blocks in two games against the Trail Blazers last season. Horford made a fadeaway jump shot at the buzzer to defeat the Trail Blazers in Boston on Feb. 4 last season.

CONNECTION: Portland forward Evan Turner averaged 10.0 points (44.2% FG), 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 163 games (69 starts) with Boston from 2014-16.

CONNECTION: Celtics President of Basketball Operations and Eugene, Oregon, native Danny Ainge played for the Trail Blazers from 1990- 92, averaging 10.4 points in 161 games.

INJURY NOTES

Portland forward Maurice Harkless (left knee) is out for Sunday's game, which will be the eighth game he's missed due to injury this season.

Jabari Bird (personal) is out and Daniel Theis (right foot) is doubtful for Sunday’s game.

BROADCAST NOTES

Sunday night's game can be seen locally on NBC Sports Northwest with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam. NBC Sports Northwest also streams 76 live games during the 2018-19 Trail Blazers season. NBA League Pass will also carry Sunday's game, though blackouts based on location apply.

Travis Demers, filling in for Brian Wheeler, and Michael Holton will have the call on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the stations of the Trail Blazers Radio Network.