Boston Celtics blow out Trail Blazers on a big Portland homecoming
Suddenly, the Trail Blazers are playing poorly at home, just as they have done on the road.
Boston, which brought some Portland-area sports legends with them, dominated the first quarter and then blew out the Trail Blazers 145-117 Saturday at Moda Center.
The 145 points was the most ever scored by a visiting team in regulation against Portland.
"We all got to be better," coach Chauncey Billups said. "I got to be better, (players) got to be better, and we need to do it together."
The Blazers (11-13) played again without Damian Lillard (abdomen) and Anfernee Simons (ankle) and Nassir Little (ankle) also missed the game.
Boston is coached by Ime Udoka, a former Jefferson High and Portland State player, and two assistants are former Portland prep standouts: Damon Stoudamire (the former Blazer) and Aaron Miles (who starred at Kansas). Also, Payton Pritchard, the former West Linn High and Oregon star, is in his second season as a reserve guard.
''This one obviously means more coming home,'' Udoka said. ''It's great to come back and see family and friends briefly, but it's also time to handle business.''
Playing the second game of a back-to-back, the Celtics (13-11) were hardly challenged. They hit 14 of their first 15 shots, including 6 of 7 3-pointers, to start the game and led 38-17.
The Blazers cut the deficit to one point in the second quarter, but Boston distanced itself from the home team in the third quarter and then continued to rack up the points in the fourth quarter. The Celtics scored 39 points in the third quarter and 42 in the fourth.
Boston finished shooting .563 and hit 21 of 37 3-pointers and 26 of 29 free throws. Dennis Schroder and Jayson Tatum had 31 points each, and Pritchard had a big second half and finished with 19 points and five 3-pointers — going for 16 points in a three-minute fourth-quarter stretch, drawing zealous celebration from the Boston bench.
The scoring spree was a bit of bad form, Udoka admitted.
Said Udoka: ''The crowd was very supportive of a hometown hero but it got a little out of hand with our guys getting overzealous and getting a technical. I did apologize to Chauncey at the end for that. I didn't mean for it to get out of hand like that. You're happy for him, but there's a line not to cross there.''
Former Blazer Enes Kanter Freedom had 15 rebounds.
CJ McCollum had 24 points and Dennis Smith Jr. 21 for the Blazers, who went 8 of 29 on 3-pointers (.276). The Blazers said McCollum had X-rays on bruised ribs, and they were negative; he'll be re-evaluated on Sunday.
Billups had an interesting quote after the game about his starters. "I've never seen a team that needs its bench to inspire its starters," he said. "It should be the other way around."
The Blazers, who are 1-10 on the road, have lost consecutive games at home, and face the Los Angeles Clippers (for the fourth time already) at 7 p.m. Monday at Moda Center.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.