Road Takes: Blazers take five in Boston
The Trail Blazers exploded on the offensive end with a big lift from their bench to their fifth straight win and their first victory in Boston since 2004 by a 109-94 score.
Although the Blazers came in with the league’s third-most efficient offense, they struggled to get going from the field for the second straight night as they started out slow. Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard especially couldn’t find the basket in the first quarter but started finding their rhythms from the field later on in the game.
While the attention after Wednesday’s big win went to Thomas Robinson’s great bench contribution, one contribution that went under-the-radar was that of Mo Williams, scoring 12 points, and he continued to give the Blazers a spark off the bench tonight.
Williams had his shot going from the midrange and went 5-for-8 in the first half to help keep the Blazers in the game when the Celtics were able to wrestle the lead away. Matthews only took three shots the previous night and has continued his hot shooting, hitting two threes and taking five foul shots to lead the Blazers with 13 points at halftime.
In the third quarter, the three players representing Portland on the NBA All-Star ballot asserted themselves and helped the Blazers expand their lead. Batum (11), Aldridge (10) and Lillard (8) combined for 29 of Portland’s 33 points as they extended their lead to 90-78.
The other four points came from Williams who continued to push the pace and provide a spark off the bench in his best game so far as a Blazer as he finished with 18 points and eight assists. If you ask who deserves the game-ball tonight, the front runner would have to be Williams.
At the beginning of the final period, it was a bench-heavy unit that helped the Blazer continue to keep the Celtics at bay. Williams continued his hot shooting from the midrange and Aldridge, as he has done many time already this year, put the game away down the stretch.
Unlike the previous game where they had a big lead against Detroit, the Blazers kept the foot on gas pedal to put the Celtics away. Aldridge finished with his fourth-straight double-double with 27 points and 12 rebounds.
The Blazers didn’t have a great game by any means on the defensive end but tonight used their currently elite offense to dismantle a defense that ranked in the NBA’s top-10 in the defensive efficiency.
- Robin Lopez had yet another double-digit rebound game with 10 to go along with three points.
- Thomas Robinson followed up his 15 point, eight rebound performance with eight points and four rebounds.
- Damian Lillard now has 212 three-pointers made which is the most by any player in NBA history in his first 100 games. Lillard played in his 91st game tonight.
- Mo Williams’ 18 points, eight assist performance off the bench was apparently the first time a Blazers bench player had such a stat line since 2007.