Keys to the Game: Trail Blazers 109, Celtics 96

Trail Blazers 109, Celtics 96
By Marc D'Amico, November 15, 2013

Key Moment

We all knew coming into Friday night’s game between the Trail Blazers and Celtics that Portland packs quite an offensive punch. Boston proved to be unable to dodge that punch as it fell 109-96.

Portland blazed to consecutive quarters with at least 33 points Friday night. The Blazers dropped in 34 points during the second quarter and followed that up with 33 in the third. The final eight points of that third period helped them put the game away.

Mo Williams and LaMarcus Aldridge combined to score eight points over the final 1:45 of the third. Each player dropped in a field goal and two free throws during that stretch.

As Williams and Aldridge excelled on offense, Boston’s slowed to a halt at the other end. The Celtics shot just 1-of-3 from the field and committed one turnover over the final 1:56 of the third period.

Portland built a comfortable lead as these two teams trended in different directions. It took a 12-point advantage into the fourth quarter and led by double-digits for nearly the remainder of the game.

This loss wasn’t about poor offense by the Celtics, as they scored 96 points on an effective 45.7 percent shooting. Instead, this was a case of Portland’s offense blazing its way to the winner’s circle for the fifth-consecutive game.

Key Box Score Line

In the words of Emily Austen, “Can Jared Sullinger always play with a bone bruise?”

Sullinger returned from a one-game absence due to a right knee bruise and was a dominant force for Boston. He set or tied career or season highs in three major statistical categories.

First of all, he dropped in a season-high 26 points on an impressive 11-of-18 shooting performance from the field. He also hit two of his four 3-pointers and both of his free throw attempts. Additionally, Sullinger used his season-high 35 minutes of action to grab eight boards, which tied his best total of the season.

Sullinger came into this game ranked as the top Celtic in the PER category with a rating of 22.5. That number is sure to rise considerably after Friday’s fantastic performance.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Courtney Lee and Brandon Bass were the only players in the game to block numerous shots. Both finished with two blocks.
  • Jordan Crawford led the Celtics with five assists.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.
  • Boston grabbed just 34 rebounds in the game.
  • Portland scored at least 33 point in both the second and third quarters.
  • The Trail Blazers scored 17 second-chance points to Boston's eight.
  • Jared Sullinger scored a career-high 26 points.
  • Portland shot 20-of-22 (90.9 percent) from the free-throw line.
  • There were four ties and eight lead changes in the game.
  • Sullinger led the Celtics in minutes played with 36.

Quote of the Night

I hate losing. I don’t stomach it well. I don’t deal with it well. But I’ll be back at work tonight.
Brad Stevens on the up-and-down nature of this season


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