What's haunted the Celtics in their 26 losses has been their shooting percentage in long-2's. In the mid-range, their hitting 45.9% in wins and 38.4% in losses. Everywhere else on the floor, they're practically even. Against Portland, Boston shot 17-36 from outside the paint and inside the three point line for 47.2%.
After spending yesterday's practice with end of game situations, Boston closed the game with two mid-range misses from Bradley and Sullinger, a fumble by Bradley on a fast break, an above-the-break three from Sullinger, and finally, A BROKEN PLAY CORNER THREE BY EVAN TURNER.
Avery Bradley paced the team with 12 points in the second half and finished with a team high 18. Sullinger chipped in 17 & 9 and Brandon Bass finished with a double-double with 13 & 10 after replacing Tyler Zeller in the starting lineup. Turner flirted with a triple-double with 10-6-8.
The Celtics survived 17 turnovers, a free throw margin where they shot 7 FT's to Portland's 19, and a third quarter where the Blazers hit 7 of 8 from 3. Ultimately, they won the game with defense in the fourth quarter. Boston held Portland to 4 of 23 shooting and zero assists in the final frame with Damian Lillard only scoring five points.
On the injury front, it looks like we're going to lose Kelly Olynyk for at least the rest of the road trip and probably a few weeks to what looked like a badly sprained right ankle. The team has a quick turnaround with a back-to-back in Denver tomorrow night. Coupled with Brooklyn's loss in Los Angles, the Celtics are now only three games from the 7th and 8th seed of the playoffs.