The Boston Celtics held off the Portland Trail Blazers down the stretch, pulling out a 116-115 triumph as their journey continues.
Heres what happened.
The big photo
In comparable fashion to their win over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, the Celtics held serve early versus Portlands stars and rallied behind Jayson Tatums big third quarter to take a lead. Tatum continued to shine in the fourth quarter, and the Celtics held back the Blazers in the final minutes. Leading by one, Marcus Smart deliberately missed out on a totally free toss at the end of the video game and the Celtics forced Damian Lillard into a full-court heave at the buzzer to declare their 2nd straight on the road journey.
Star of the game
Jayson Tatum– 32 points, 10-for-17 from the floor, 9 rebounds, 5 helps
Tatum started slow and enabled the game to come to him. When it finally did, he poured in 25 second-half points, including a huge side-step 3-pointer that gave the Celtics a crucial lead late.
Why it matters
These video games all matter, even if it feels early to begin scoreboard viewing. The fight to prevent the play-in tournament continues.
What a turnaround for this group, which looked dead in the water simply a couple of weeks earlier. Tuesdays victory (which bled deep into Wednesday back in Boston) offered the Celtics an essential win that vaulted them into 5th place in the standings after losses by both the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat. They also stay simply a game behind the Atlanta Hawks, who beat the Raptors.
1. Jayson Tatums current stretch feels similar to in 2015s run, when he was possibly the leagues finest player in February. When he is clearly the teams best gamer, and when the ball keeps moving even though he is plainly the teams best gamer, the Celtics offense has a great deal of pop that was missing out on previously this season.
2. The Celtics worked Enes Kanter, who ended up -18 in his 20 minutes. As the Celtics found out last season, Kanter is an abysmal pick-and-roll protector, and when Jusuf Nurkic went to the bench, the Celtics delighted in a diet of open looks and lanes to the basket. Coming out of a timeout in the fourth quarter, the Blazers took Kanter out of the video game and left Nurkic on the bench to buy him another minute of rest– deciding to go without a big guy in hopes of stymying the Celtics offense.
Kemba Walker kept the Celtics alive in the very first half, as Jaylen Brown shot 5-for-14 and Tatum recorded simply 7 points. He scored simply 7 points in the second half and rather passed the baton to Tatum.
The Celtics miss out on Kanter sometimes, especially against the Sixers. They do not miss his pick-and-roll defense, nevertheless.
As the Celtics recent play ticks upwards, possibly the only thing missing is consistent offense from Walker. The Celtics might end up being a team even the top competitors wont look forward to facing if he rounds into shape as the season winds down.
4. Marcus Smart created a remarkable defensive performance, and no play was more remarkable than this one– Smart dove trying to confine a take and appeared to take himself out, then flew back into the frame and took a pass from Enes Kanter. The ensuing Celtics ownership ended with a three from Tatum.
Smart was likewise exceptional versus Damian Lillard– one of the leagues most unsafe scorers. He strolled a tough line of being aggressive enough to make Lillard unpleasant while keeping his restore and preventing fouls– an efficiency Brad Stevens admired after the game as one of the very best he has seen this season versus the Blazers star.
Marcus Smart all hustle and heart pic.twitter.com/mc3foAhosx
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) April 14, 2021
5. The Celtics had a hard time to rebound in the final minutes, and it nearly cost them. On one vital sequence, they had three chances to put an end to Portlands offensive belongings and enabled the Blazers to maintain possession each time. The Blazers ran an inbounds set that released Lillard for an open 3-pointer that tied the game.
The Celtics got away with it on Tuesday, however they need to clean up those minutes going forward.
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In similar style to their win over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, the Celtics held serve early versus Portlands stars and rallied behind Jayson Tatums substantial 3rd quarter to take a lead. Tatum continued to shine in the fourth quarter, and the Celtics held off the Blazers in the last minutes. Leading by one, Marcus Smart purposefully missed a totally free toss at the end of the game and the Celtics forced Damian Lillard into a full-court heave at the buzzer to declare their 2nd straight on the roadway trip.
As the Celtics found out last season, Kanter is an abysmal pick-and-roll protector, and when Jusuf Nurkic went to the bench, the Celtics feasted on a diet plan of open looks and lanes to the basket. Coming out of a timeout in the fourth quarter, the Blazers took Kanter out of the video game and left Nurkic on the bench to purchase him another minute of rest– choosing to go without a huge man in hopes of stymying the Celtics offense.