Celtics Vs. Blazers: Boston Defeats Portland, 88-78, Despite Sloppy Play

Ray Allen scored 18 points and Paul Pierce added 17 points as the Boston Celtics topped the Portland Trail Blazers, 88-78, on Thursday night. Kevin Garnett had a near triple-double, totaling 10 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Read more at our team blogs  CelticsBlog and Blazersedge.

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Celtics Vs. Blazers: Paul Pierce Injures Thigh In Celtics' Win

Celtics forward Paul Pierce suffered a bruised right thigh in Boston’s 88-78 win over Portland on Thursday night, according to Comcast SportsNet New England.

Pierce left the game with less than two minutes remaining and headed straight to the locker room. He finished the night with 17 points and four assists.


Boston 88, Portland 78: Celtics Top Blazers Despite Sloppy Play

A win is a win, as the old saying goes, but some wins are uglier than others. Boston's game against Portland certainly falls under the ugly win category. In fact, the game tape should probably be tossed off the Zakim bridge.

Despite shooting 46.9% from the field, turning the ball over 21 times and racking up 18 fouls, the Boston Celtics found a way to win, 88-78, due in part to the fact that Portland's performance was equally atrocious. The Trail Blazers made 33-of-90 shots (36.7%) and 4-of-16 threes (25%) while amassing 15 turnovers and 23 fouls.

Boston's final numbers don't look terrible (aside from the turnovers), but it took a strong fourth quarter in which the Celtics outscored the Blazers 24-20 to bring their numbers to respectably. But believe me, there were points in the game when it looked like a bunch of middle schoolers chucking the ball around the court aimlessly.

Paul Pierce was one of the few bright spots for the Celtics (35-10), scoring a game-high 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting while dishing out four assists. Ray Allen added 18 points and Rajon Rondo chipped in with 11 points and five assists. Kevin Garnett finished with a near triple-double (10 points, nine rebounds, nine assists) and Kendrick Perkins had 10 points and nine rebounds in his second game back.

Pierce left the game suddenly with just under two minutes remaining in the game. He went straight to the locker room. Celtics play-by-play broadcaster Mike Gorman pointed out that Pierce twisted his ankle a few days ago, but it wasn't apparent whether or not Pierce injured his ankle.

LaMarcus Aldridge led the Trail Blazers (25-22) with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Andre Miller had 14 points and seven assists, Wesley Matthews scored 12 points and Rudy Fernandez added 11 points off the bench for Portland.

Boston faces the Phoenix Suns in game two of a quick four-game road trip on Friday night at 10:30 p.m. EST. Portland does not play again until Tuesday when it hosts the NBA-leading San Antonio Spurs.


Celtics Vs. Blazers: Boston Opens West Coast Swing In Portland

For the first time in the 2010-11 season, the Boston Celtics head to the West Coast. 

The Eastern Conference-leading Celtics (34-10) open their four-game trip Thursday night at the Portland Trail Blazers (25-21), with Boston aiming for its fourth straight win over over Portland, and the seventh win in their last eight games overall (10:30 p.m. CSN, TNT). 

Traveling with Boston is a recently welcomed-back face, Kendrick Perkins, who made his season debut Tuesday night, his first game since tearing his ACL and PCL in the 2010 NBA Finals.

"It felt good to be on the floor," Perkins said. "I know I can do better. I can do more. ... I was a little winded and a little off-key. I can get better."

It's particularly great timing for the Celtics, because center Shaquille O'Neal has missed the past two games and although he made the trip to Portland, he is not expected to play against the Blazers

Shaquille O'Neal will not play tonight, according to A. Sherrod Blakely. Shaq flew to Portland with the team, but will likely make his return tomorrow in Phoenix. That means Shaq should be ready for Sunday's game in LA, where he will hopefully be asking a certain Laker how his posterior tastes.

Marquis Daniels, who missed the previous game due to family issues, rejoined the team and will play tonight. The unofficial over/under on the

Boston will see another familiar face Thursday night, however: Bill Walton is taking over color commentary duties for Tommy Heinsohn on Comcast SportsNet for the games at Porland and Phoenix (Mike Gorman is still handling the play-by-play).

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