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LAS VEGAS – The Summer Celtics’ stay in Las Vegas finally came to an end Sunday night when they fell 95-80 to the Portland Trail Blazers during the quarterfinals of the MGM Resorts Summer League tournament.
Down two starters and their two leading scorers entering the day in Semi Ojeleye and Jabari Bird, who both were both held out of the lineup for rest purposes, the Celtics just didn’t have enough firepower at either end of the court to keep up with Portland, which remained undefeated in Las Vegas.
Boston shot just 39.7 from the field as a team during the loss. Portland, meanwhile, shot 47.4 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from long range. Blazers guard John Jenkins led the game in scoring with 25 points.
Jenkins and the Trail Blazers took early control of the matchup, as they built a double-digit lead during the first quarter and trailed for only 38 total seconds of the game, all of which were played during the first quarter.
Still, Boston’s grit and hustle stood as a challenge to Portland during the second half.
The C’s, who trailed by as many as 14 points during the first quarter and by as many as 12 points during the second quarter, fought their way back into the game during the second half. They slowly whittled away at their deficit during the third period before scoring five straight points to cut Portland’s lead down to one at the 7:21 mark.
That moment marked the first time the game reached one-possession territory since Portland led 11-8 during the opening minutes.
The teams went back and forth for the next four minutes, with neither pulling ahead by more than three points during that span. Boston tied the score up twice, but it was never able to take a lead.
During that stretch, Guerschon Yabusele sandwiched two 3-pointers around one from the Trail Blazers, leaving the game tied up at 59-59. That’s when Portland blazed ahead.
Portland responded to Yabusele’s treys with a 10-0 run that gave it a 69-59 lead with less than a minute to go in the third. The spurt, which featured six points from Jake Layman and four from Archie Goodwin, wiped Boston’s momentum and hope away.
The Trail Blazers would go on to pull ahead by as many as 18 points down the stretch of the fourth quarter before finishing with the 95-80 victory.
The far majority of Boston’s offense on the day arrived via three players. Trey Davis came off of the bench to lead the team with 19 points, while Yabusele and Hassan Martin scored 16 points apiece. No other member of the team scored more than seven points.
Boston finished its stay in Las Vegas with a 4-2 record, which included victories over Philadelphia, Miami, New York and Charlotte. Bird (16.8 points per game), Yabusele (12.8 PPG) and Ojeleye (12.4 PPG) were the team’s leading scorers during the team’s 11-day trip to Vegas.