Friday night’s game against the Blazers saw another tough fourth quarter for the Boston Celtics. The C’s found themselves on the wrong side of a 20-5 game-ending run in a 109-105 loss to Portland at TD Garden.
A high scoring first quarter had the Blazers get out to a 30-25 start. The difference early on was three pointers – the Celtics were 2-11 from deep through the first 12 minutes while Portland was 6-of-8.
The Celtics dominated most of the second quarter, at one point going on a 22-5 run. That run, plus a buzzer beater three from Jaylen Brown, put the Celtics up 58-54 at the half.
Keeping that momentum going coming out of the break, the Celtics increased their lead to as many as eight points early in the third quarter. However, the Blazers responded with a 13-2 run, tying the game at 70-70 late in the quarter. Heading into the fourth, Portland had taken a slight 83-82 lead.
To open the fourth quarter, the Celtics went on a 23-8 run retaking the lead again. After getting up by as many as 11 points, the Celtics failed to score again for over six minutes. That cold spell allowed Portland to tie the game at 100-100 with just over a minute to go.
With 41 seconds to play, Jaylen Brown was able to get to the free throw line and give the C’s back the lead at 102-100. The Blazers responded with a three from Robert Covington, going back up by a point.
With 26 seconds left, Jayson Tatum drew a foul and hit two more free throws, again giving the Celtics a one point advantage. On the other end, Jusuf Nurkic hit a put-back layup to regain the lead for good, as Tatum would miss a three pointer on the other end to put the game out of reach. That miss was the Celtics’ 11 straight, and the team failed to hit a field goal over the final 7:19 of the game.
Tatum finished with a team-high 27 points and 10 rebounds. He was 8-of-19 from the floor, but 0-of-6 from three. Brown added 22 points, and Romeo Langford was the only other Celtic to reach double-digits with 12.
On the other end, Nurkic proved to be too much for the Celtics posting 29 points and 17 rebounds. CJ McCollum added 24 points.
The loss drops the Celtics to 23-24 on the season. They’re currently the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference.
Next up for the Celtics is a road matchup with the Washington Wizards on Sunday. That game tips off at 3:30 p.m. with coverage beginning at 3 on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.