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Celtics vs Blazers - 87-89: Another Tough Loss, this time at the Buzzer

NOTE: I was exhausted from volleyball playoffs and fell asleep sometime after the 6:17 mark in the 4th (my last note). I apologize for the incomplete recap, but something's better than nothing.

Let's start with Paul Pierce having the flu and didn't score until well into the second quarter. Both he and GP sat at fair amount of the first half.

There were no big leads in the first half. Neither team led by more than 5 points. Then again, neither team shot better than 40% either.

Decent up and down the floor action but the paint was where most of the action was. Offensive boards were being had like Christmas wishes from Santa. Portland had 18 Offensive rebounds in the first half, that coincided with 30+ points in the paint. The half time score was Boston 52 Portland 50, which for those counting means more than half of Portland's points in the half came in the paint.

LaFrentz and Blount blocked a few, altered a few, but the ball was being tipped around and collected for missed bunny shots that just kept escalating at a ridiculous frequency.

We saw flashes of the Seattle GP, who had several very nice slash and scores. Al Jefferson had a nice first half, although he needs to learn to box out (along with most of the rest of the team).

This one's not going to be a pretty win for anyone, unless there are major adjustments made at the half and someone can find the inside of the rim. Right now, it's looking like whoever wins this one is going to be the one who simply scraps, hustles and works the hardest.

Second half:

At the end of 3, the score was 66-65 Blazers. That's right folks, in the 3rd quarter, a grand total of 29 points were scored by the teams combined. I've seen high school girls basketball games with better offensive production. Portland continued to dominate the boards, although somehow the C's had more second chance points.

The beginning of the 4th quarter belonged to the rookies, Tony Allen and Al Jefferson. Jefferson had a couple nice plays in the paint, which accounted for 4 points but Allen gave us flashes of the future possible:

He got a pass to the baseline at the 10:45 mark, which he drove into the middle for an authoritative dunk. At the 9:50 mark, He then stole a ball at mid court, used a behind the back dribble to get around a defender at the top of the key and ended up double clutching the shot to beat another defender trying to block the shot, which he made. At 9:10 had a nasty follow up dunk catching a rebound with an outstretched right arm and flushing it home. Shortly after that, he stole another ball for a layup score which accounted for 8 straight Celtic points.

He then promptly turned the ball over several times, which sent Doc into his bench to revive Paul Pierce and Gary Payton to take the helm for the stretch drive.

At the 6:17 mark, Portland was outrebounding Boston 55-35.

Sorry folks, that's all I've got. I've got a chest cold and playing 2 games last night didn't help my stamina to stay up all game. My apologies to everyone, didn't mean to let the Celtic Nation down.

Jeff's Update:

That's ok hag, great effort anyway (which is more than we can say for our rebounders). Here's what you missed.

Down the stretch we needed a couple of big plays and we got one out of two. The one that worked was a 4 or 5 pass play that eventually freed up Ricky Davis for a jumper that put us up by 3. I don't recall Pierce holding the ball for more than a second (if he touched it at all). They scored and we had another shot at keeping the lead at three but somehow the same passing that worked just a play earlier didn't work at all this time, resulting in an ugly shot clock violation. Then they came down the court and SAR hit a lightly contested 3 that beat us. Give em credit, they nailed that one.

Given what we did on the boards, we really didn't deserve to win this game. But it would have been nice to steal one when we were playing that badly.

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