It was a track meet at TD Garden Sunday night with the Portland Trail Blazers in town.
The Celtics fell short of the finish line.
Not only did they lose the game, 129-119, but several players weren’t on the floor for the conclusion of the contest.
Marcus Smart was ejected after making contact with Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (who was assessed a foul for a moving screen) in a three-point game. Later, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown collided on an inbounds play. Both limped off the floor and will be evaluated on Monday.
The two teams shot the lights out in the first 24 minutes, leaving for halftime tied at 71. Boston made 12-of-20 three-pointers in the first two periods. Tatum continued his recent inspired play with 24 points (including four threes).
The Blazers kept pace at 10-of-17 from downtown. C.J. McCollum had 18 in the first half, with 16 for Damian Lillard and 15 for Norman Powell.
The Blazers inched ahead in the third, though both teams kept up the pace from behind the arc. At the end of three, the C’s trailed by five.
It was a one-point game when things went south. In the first of two controversial calls, a Tristan Thompson putback dunk was negated by offensive interference. Brad Stevens was denied the opportunity to challenge the referee’s decision.
Later, Nurkic was whistled after colliding with Smart but the exhaustive official review resulted in a technical foul and ejection for the Boston guard.
McCollum paced the Blazers – who won their fourth consecutive road game – with 33 points. Lillard had 26 with 13 assists, and Powell finished with 23. Portland nailed 19-of-38 three-point attempts for the contest.
Tatum finished with 33 points, while Evan Fournier impressed with 21 (5-of-7 from behind the arc). Aaron Nesmith and Oayton pritchard combined for 29 points off the bench.
The win drops Boston into seventh place in the East, a game behind both Miami and Atlanta. The Green finish with a 2-2 record over the past week at TD Garden.
The Green get a couple of nights off before matching up with the Orlando Magic Wednesday night. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Sean Sylver can be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Talk hoops with him on Twitter @TheSylverFox.