(SportsNetwork.com) – The Portland Trail Blazers, armed with a six-game
winning streak, hit the road, starting Sunday evening with a trip to TD Garden
to face the Boston Celtics.
The Blazers haven’t lost since Nov. 8 in Los Angeles to the Clippers. During
their winning streak, the Blazers only won once on the road, a 17-point romp
Last time out, Portland cruised to a 105-87 drubbing of the Chicago Bulls, who
played without former MVP Derrick Rose, perennial All-Star Pau Gasol and Kirk
Hinrich, Rose’s replacement in the starting lineup.
“Obviously Chicago didn’t have three of their main guys, but I liked our
demeanor,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said.
Damian Lillard had 21 points and nine assists in three quarters of work.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points and nine rebounds for the Blazers, while
Robin Lopez and Wesley Matthews both finished with 12. Chris Kaman chipped in
10 off the bench.
Nicolas Batum returned from a two-game absence and scored nine points.
The Blazers led by as many as 17 in the opening frame before the Bulls cut the
gap to 39-35 in the second. Portland later responded with an 18-2 run and were
never threatened again.
The Blazers held a 48-28 points in the paint advantage. Portland shot 49.4
percent (39-of-79) from the field and 9-of-16 from beyond the arc. The Blazers
held the Bulls to 36.1 percent (30-of-83) from the floor.
Portland will visit Philadelphia and Charlotte on the road trip.
The Celtics returned to the loss column on Friday after a win over the 76ers
on Wednesday ended a three-game skid.
Boston fell to the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum, 117-100.
Kelly Olynyk paced Boston with 18 points, while Jared Sullinger and Jeff Green
netted 13 and 12 points, respectively. Avery Bradley and Marcus Thornton
scored 11 each and Evan Turner chipped in 10 points.
The C’s couldn’t handle Marc Gasol on the interior. The Memphis center
finished with 32 points and eight rebounds.
“Gasol was huge,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said. “He was the best
player on the floor. He kept making plays with the pass and the shot.”
The Celtics have lost three straight in Boston and Sunday starts a three-game
homestand. This won’t be an easy residency with the Bulls and defending
champion San Antonio Spurs in town after Portland.
The Blazers have won three straight versus the Celtics. Prior to this winning
streak, Boston was 13-1 versus the Blazers. Portland’s win in Boston on Nov.
15 of last year snapped a nine-game road losing streak in this series.