Celtics Back On Track, Bash Blazers 104-86

After being beaten up and having their lunch money stolen at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers in a 103-71 loss on Wednesday night, the Boston Celtics would take out their frustrations on the Portland Trail Blazers Friday night as they won 104-86, in a game that was not nearly as close as the final score indicates. Boston would hold a 43 point lead at one point over their visitors in the third and ended the quarter on top with an 88-54 advantage, before they allowed their opponents to make the final box somewhat more respectable in the final 12 minutes of play.

 Ray Allen and Paul Pierce led the Celtics attack as each knocked down 22 points in the victory. Portland All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge would also tally 22 points for the game, but he would get far too little support from the rest of the roster for his team to have any hope at a victory in Boston.

The game would start and remain close for much of the opening period, however during the last five minutes of action the Celtics accelerated their offense, while the Blazers offense got stuck in neutral. Rajon Rondo drove the lane with 38 seconds to play putting the ball up and in and at the conclusion of the quarter Boston was on top 27-17.

Portland could not find a solution for their offensive woes during the second period, while the home team went on a scoring rampage during the quarter. Pierce hit two shots at the line with 52 seconds remaining and as the two teams went to their locker rooms at the half, the Celtics would have the game well in hand holding a 65-30 lead.

Portland bench boss Nate McMillan, apparently thought his team was not sufficiently punished during the first two periods; so he brought them back out on the floor for the third. He most likely regretted that decision as Ray Allen made a layup with 5:56 on the clock putting his team behind by 43 points as Boston led 81-38. The Celtics would settle for a 34 point advantage at the end of the quarter with the score 88-54. The last 12 minutes of play was extended garbage time, as the Celtics were back in the win column.

Allen scored 22 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds while Pierce also knocked down 22 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Avery Bradley came off the bench with 12 points, 5 assists and 1 steal while Kevin Garnett and Sasha Pavlovic each chipped in 10 points for the night.

Aldridge had 22 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block for the night. Wesley Matthews came off the bench with 10 points, 3 rebounds and an assist while Luke Babbitt added 10 points and 6 rebounds. Boston now stands at 21-18 and will welcome the Lakers to town on Sunday while Portland has a 19-21 record and they travel to Washington to take on the Wizards on Saturday.

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