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Celtics close out road trip with a stop in Portland

The Celtics close out their road trip with their second and final meeting with the Trailblazers this season.

Jared Wickerham

Boston Celtics (13-23) at Portland Trailblazers (27-9)
Saturday, January 11, 2014
9:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #38, Road Game #20
TV: CSNNE, KGW, NBA-LP 766(DTV), 751(Xfinity)
Radio: WBZ, Fox Sports Radio
Moda Center
Referees: Ron Garretson, Mark Ayotte, Sean Wright

Game Thread l Chat

The Celtics visit the Trailblazers for their second and final meeting this season. The Blazers won their first matchup 109-96 in Boston. The Celtics had a 9 game win streak vs the Blazers prior to that loss.

The Celtics are playing in the second of back to back games and in the final game of their 5 game western road trip. It has been a rough trip and doesn't get any easier with this game as the Blazers are very tough at home, losing only 4 games there this season.

The Celtics put up a fight vs the Warriors and took them right down to the wire last night and they will need that same kind of effort for 48 minutes in this game to give themselves to close out the trip with a win.

Probable Starting Matchups
Point Guard

Jordan Crawford vs Damian Lillard

Shooting Guard

Avery Bradley vs Wesley Matthews

Small Forward

Jeff Green vs Nicolas Batum

Power Forward
Brandon Bass vs LaMarcus Aldridge

Kris Humphries vs Robin Lopez

Celtics Reserves
MarShon Brooks
Vitor Faverani
Phil Pressey
Jerryd Bayless
Keith Bogans
Gerald Wallace
Jared Sullinger
Kelly Olynyk

Rajon Rondo (ACL)out

Blazers Reserves
Thomas Robinson
Mo Williams
Joel Freeland
Dorell Wright
Will Barton
Victor Claver
Allen Crabbe
Earl Watson
Meyers Leonard
CJ McCollum


Key Matchups

Jordan Crawford vs Damian Lillard
Lillard, last year's Rookie of the Year, is averaging 21.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 5.7 assists. He is athletic and is tough to defend. Expect Avery Bradley to guard Lillard on defense.

Brandon Bass vs LaMarcus Aldridge
Aldridge is averaging 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. He scored 36 points in his last game. The Celtics will need to try to keep him out of the paint and off the boards.
Keys to the Game
Be Aggressive - The Celtics need to be the more aggressive team. They need to be aggressive in going for loose balls, rebounds, steals, in going to the basket, and on defense.

Run!- The Celtics need to run from start to finish. They can get easier shots by getting up the court before the defenses set up. They can't lapse into walking the ball up the court. They have to run, run, and run some more. This is easier said than done when it's the last game of a grueling 5 game trip.

Get into the Paint- Good things happen when the Celtics get into the paint and go to the basket. They must take the ball to the hoop and not settle for jumpers, especially if they aren't falling.

Rebound- The Celtics must crash the boards to give themselves a chance to win. Rebounding takes effort and when the Celtics put forth effort on the boards it tends to spread to the other areas of their game.


Fatigue and Focus
The Celtics are playing in the second of back to back games and on the final game of a very tough road trip. They will be tired more than ready to be home again and it will take extra focus to give their best effort in this game.

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