Keys to the Game: Celtics 145, Trail Blazers 117

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

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Key Moment

Boston gave away a 21-point lead that it built early on Saturday night in Portland. That’s fine, because it built up another big lead during the second half.

The Celtics led by just three after the first 12 seconds of the third quarter before steadily widening that gap the rest of the period. They pulled ahead by as many as 19 points during the third quarter as they connected on 57.1 percent of their shots, and while they added in 12 makes on 13 attempts from the free-throw line.

Boston’s lead bumped up to 10 at the 10:37 mark of the period following a 7-0 run that included four points from Jayson Tatum and three from Marcus Smart. From that point on, the C’s methodically added to their lead and eventually pulled ahead by 19 with 1:36 left in the quarter following an Aaron Nesmith 3-pointer.

Needless to say, there was no comeback in the cards for Portland on this night. The Trail Blazers were without three of their top six scorers, and that’s why Boston was able to coast to a win during the final stanza.

The C’s eventually pulled ahead by as many as 31 points and were able to rest their top players for the final five-plus minutes of the fourth quarter as they breezed their way to a 145-117 win.

Key Player

Dennis Schroder is Boston’s deadliest driver to the rack since Isaiah Thomas. You heard that here first.

Schroder feasted inside the paint again Saturday night while scoring 10 of his 31 points from that area of the floor. He made four buckets inside the restricted area and shot 5-for-8 from inside the paint. He made 10 of his 16 shots overall.

Schroder and Tatum were in a battle all night for the game’s top scoring tally. They finished tied in that category with 31 points apiece.

It was Schroder, however, who also led the game with eight assists. He dished those eight assists out while committing only one turnover, and while adding in four rebounds and one steal.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Jayson Tatum and Dennis Schroder tied for the game's top scoring mark with 31 points apiece.
  • Enes Freedom grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds in only 22 minutes.
  • Schroder led the game with eight assists.
  • Boston shot 56.3 percent from the field, 56.8 percent from 3-point range, and 89.7 percent from the free-throw line.
  • Tatum shot 9-for-10 from the charity stripe and also grabbed 10 rebounds.
  • CJ McCollum led Portland with 24 points.
  • Payton Pritchard scored a season-high 19 points on 6-for-12 shooting.
  • Boston's bench tallied 51 points on the night.
  • Rob Williams blocked three shots - one more than Portland's entire team.
  • Portland's only leads of the night were 4-2 and 5-4.
  • Schroder, Freedom and Aaron Nesmith all finished as a plus-29 in the plus/minus category.
  • Nesmith scored 11 points and canned three of his four 3-pointers.

Quote of the Night

Ime Udoka on Boston's momentum after Friday night