Aside from Wednesday night's debacle, the Boston Celtics have been playing solid basketball to start the second half of the season, winning five of six games. Boston looks to capture its sixth win in seven games when the Portland Trail Blazers come to town at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Friday night at TD Garden in Boston, MA (TV/Radio: CSNNE/WEEI).
Friday's game will be the only meeting of the season between Boston and Portland and is the Celtics' last home game until March 25, as they head on the road for an eight-game West coast road trip which starts on Sunday against the Lakers.
Boston (20-18) posted five consecutive wins against the Cavaliers, Bucks, Nets, Knicks and Rockets heading into Wednesday's game against the Atlantic Division-leading Philadelphia 76ers, but the winning would stop there. Evan Turner's career night (26 points, nine rebounds) led the 76ers to a 103-71 blowout win. Paul Pierce, who had scored 30 or more points in back-to-back games before Wednesday, had 16 points to lead the Celtics, who shot 35.0 percent.
Portland is stumbling into TD Garden with a 19-20 record and has lost five of its last seven games. In the Blazers' last game, a 106-94 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team made 47.4 percent of its shots and was led by Raymond Felton, who totaled 23 points and nine assists. LaMarcus Aldridge, the team's leading scorer, had 22 points and seven boards while Gerald Wallace added 13 points, nine assists and nine boards. Portland is fifth in the Northwest division.
The Celtics and Blazers last met on Dec. 1, 2010, with Boston winning 99-95 at home.