It was a game of hits and misses, turnovers and highlight plays, fouls and rebounding...but then again, it was just your average Boston Celtics game.
The Portland Trail Blazers took down the Celtics in a nail-biting match, winning 94-88.
The first quarter went relatively smooth, with Rajon Rondo setting the court ablaze. He gave Damian Lillard more than he could handle with crisp passes and dazzling plays like this one.
Rondo was truly giving the Celtics that extra push that they needed. So once Brad Stevens took him out, the game fell flat. Just like Avery Bradley's jump shot. Bradley shot 7 three pointers entering the final stretch of the game, and didn't hit his one and only 3 until the Celtics really needed it.
Bradley was not the only one struggling from the field, though.
Kelly Olynyk finished the night with 0 points off of three shots, and Brandon Bass' corner mid-range shot, that he is so highly praised for, didn't seem to fall. Evan Turner had a nice night, and found his shot every so often, hitting a jumper here and there. But overall, a team can't win a game shooting 38% from the field against a league leading offense like Portland.
Defensively, there were a few bright spots. The C's allowed 38 points in the paint, compared to their league leading 50+ paint points allowed per game. It is even more encouraging that it was against LaMarcus Aldridge, one of the league's most refined inside talents. Aldridge was held to 30% from the field, yet was a fiend on the boards (grabbing 14).
Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley did a nice job holding down Damian Lillard, who struggled finding his groove throughout the game.
In the first few minutes of the 4th, Boston missed 12 of their first 14 shots, which lead to late run by Portland...headed by Chris Kaman and Aldridge.
Towards the end of the 4th quarter, just as Portland extended the lead to 12 points after a 10-0 run, the Celtics bounced back with a Jeff Green miraculous hook-floater (I didn't even know that was a thing), a Avery Bradley three, and a Jared Sullinger three, closing the gap to 4 points. But despite the effort, they were unable to completely seal the gap.
In all, it was a lousy night of basketball in Boston. The Celtics have lost 5 of their last 6 games (the one win was against the 76ers so it shouldn't even count), and it is time to start panicking, especially since they've got the Bulls and Spurs coming to town. Fortunately, they get a 5 day rest and will be playing Friday, November 28th at 1:00 PM in the Garden.