Derrick White drives to the basket against Portland

Keys to the Game: Celtics 115, Trail Blazers 93

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

Key Moment

One thing was for sure Wednesday night: the Boston Celtics weren’t gonna give away another big lead.

The Celtics played host to Portland and took it to the Blazers from the opening tip. They led by as many as nine points during the opening frame and by as many as 18 before halftime. Once the lead reached 11 points at the 10:01 mark of the second period, it never dropped below that number the rest of the night while swelling to as many as 27.

One might think that the building of the lead was the most important stretch of the game. Instead, given what had occurred over Boston’s last trio of games, it was the third quarter, during which the C’s not only maintaining their lead but building upon it, that was critical to the victory.

Boston opened up the third period on a 7-2 run to bump its lead up to 20 points at the 9:19 mark of the quarter. Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum and Derrick White combined to score those seven points.

The C’s kept their collective foot on the gas the rest of the way as they maintained a comfortable lead for the remainder of the contest. The reserves allowed three of the five starters to play 25 or fewer minutes, which is a valuable scenario given that the team is preparing to head out for a lengthy six-game road trip.

Key Player

Derrick White was exceptional at scoring inside the arc Wednesday night. Perfect, in fact.

The do-it-all guard notched his 55th start of the season and did so while making all seven of his 2-point attempts. He also made all four of his free throws en route to his 21 points.

Per usual, the contributions didn’t stop there. White also led the team in assists with seven while committing only two turnovers during his game-high 36 minutes of action. He rounded out his box score with five rebounds.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Four of Boston's five starters shot at least 63 percent from the field.
  • Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 30 points on only 17 shot attempts.
  • Boston led by as many as 27, while Portland's largest lead was just three points.
  • Sam Hauser led Celtics reserves with 11 points.
  • Damian Lillard scored 27 points and dished out a game-high eight assists.
  • Derrick White contributed 21 points and a team-best seven assists.
  • Both teams scored seven second-chance points.
  • Boston limited Portland to just 36.6 percent shooting from the field and 28.2 percent shooting from long distance.
  • Al Horford contributed 17 points, six rebounds and five assists in only 24 minutes of action
  • All five of Boston's starters scored in double-figures.
  • Five Celtics finished with plus/minus ratings of at least plus-11, led by Tatum's plus-21.

Quote of the Night

"I think we were just playing more free and together and trusting one another more, and really locked in at the defensive end. And all of that put together led us to a win."

- Sam Hauser on what allowed the Celtics to maintain their lead