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Celtics beat Blazers 97-96 on Al Horford’s jumper at the buzzer

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Boston improves to 6-1 on Super Bowl Sundays when the Patriots play

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Boston Celtics Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics have played a lot on Super Bowl Sunday, including a remarkable seven times when the New England Patriots have played in the NFL’s title game. The Celtics were 5-1 on such days entering today’s game. In what has become a tradition around these parts, a Boston team came up with a major comeback to win a close game on Super Bowl Sunday.

The Celtics trailed Portland by 16 heading into halftime. But Boston rallied to outscore the Trail Blazers by 17 in the second half to come away with the one-point victory. With the game tied at 93, Terry Rozier made a step-back jumper to put the Celtics up 95-93. Damian Lillard made a three-point play to put Portland up 96-95. Then Al Horford saved the day for the Celtics by hitting a fall-away jumper at the buzzer to win the game for Boston 97-96.

Horford led the way with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. He was often asked to play point guard when Terry Rozier rested, as has been the case recently with both Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart out of the lineup.

Youngsters Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum had big afternoons for Boston. Brown scored 16 points, and Tatum added 17. Rozier finished with 11 points (including his big jumper late in the game), 6 rebounds and 5 assists.

Lillard scored 21 points, including that three-point play to put the Blazers ahead 96-95 with 7.2 seconds to play. C.J. McCollum led the way for Portland with 22 points, while Mo Harkless added 19 off the bench, including 5 of 5 on three-pointers.

Boston is back in action on Tuesday night at divisional rival Toronto Raptors, who trail the Celtics by two games for the Eastern Conference lead.

Hopefully the Patriots can clinch a back-to-back championship win later in the day to make it truly a super Sunday in New England.


Al Horford on game-winner: