Damian Lillard scored 19 points and dished out 12 assists and Al-Farouq Aminu sank a pair of 3-pointers down the stretch as the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Boston Celtics 100-94 Sunday night.
Jusuf Nurkic scored 18 points and grabbed 17 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who have won four in a row and seven of eight. Jayson Tatum scored a season-high 27 points and Kyrie Irving 21 for the Celtics, who have lost four of five.
Boston cut the difference to 58-49 three minutes into the third quarter. Irving bombed in a 3 to cut the Celtics’ deficit to 71-66, but Portland extended the margin to 83-70 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Celtics, using a 13-2 spurt, drew to within 85-83 on a Terry Rozier trey early in the final period. Moments later, Marcus Morris buried a 3 to tie it at 86-86.
Lillard scored on a layup to push Portland ahead at 88-86, and CJ McCollum banked in a short jumper for a 90-86 advantage with 5:02 remaining. Tatum sank a pair of free throws to get Boston within 90-88 with 4:54 left. Nurkic scored off an offensive rebound to build the Blazers’ lead to 92-88, but Irving drained a 3-pointer to cut it to 92-91 with 2:52 to go.
Aminu answered with a 3 to make it 95-91, but Irving scored on a drive to close Boston to within 95-93 with 2:16 remaining. Nurkic scored on a hook to extend the Blazers’ edge to 97-93 with two minutes left.
After an Al Horford free throw got the Celtics to within 97-94, Aminu bombed in one from beyond the arc for a 100-94 Portland lead with one minute to play. Neither team scored the rest of the way.
Nurkic had 14 points and 10 rebounds as Portland carried a 54-37 advantage in halftime. Tatum scored 13 points, which shot .372 from the field, including 2 for 11 from 3-point range, and were outrebounded 31-20.
Portland jumped to a 15-6 lead in the game’s first four minutes. The Blazers increased the difference to 26-14 on a Meyers Leonard 3-pointer. Boston closed out the first quarter on a 7-0 run to go into the second period trailing 26-21.
The Celtics cut the margin to 28-27, but the Blazers responded with a 26-6 run to stretch it to 54-33 late in the quarter. Portland’s edge was 17 points at the half.
—Field Level Media