The Celtics nearly threw away another game in the last few minutes. However, Ray Allen picked a good time to knock down his only three-pointer of the night with 10.7 seconds left to put the game out of reach and propel the Celtics over the Trail Blazers 99-95. Boston recorded their fifth straight win and gave the Portland their fifth straight loss.
Boston built a 96-80 lead midway throught the forth quarter only to see the Blazers come back and score 15 points in a row and make it a one-point game with 42 seconds seconds left. Ray Allen hit a clutch three-pointer off a pass from Paul Pierce to add to his 9 point performance to give the Celtics the 99-95 lead. Allen was only 3 for 12 and that three-pointer was the only one of the night for him.
Pierce put on a great performance as he led all scorers with 28 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. Pierce put up his highest scoring performance in the last month as he went 9 for 11 from the field including being 4 of 5 from three point land.
Kevin Garnett also had a strong performance as he turned in 17 points and eight rebounds. Garnett left the game midway as he hurt his elbow going up for a tough rebound. Garnett returned strong as he knocked down a clutch long two pointer with under a second on the clock leading into the forth quarter.
Even with a bad hamstring, point guard Rajon Rondo managed to barely record another double-double as he scored 10 points and added 10 assists and played 45 minutes. Celtics coach Doc Rivers has said he would like to limit the minutes of Rondo earlier this week, as Rondo ranks near the top of the league in minutes played.
Boston's big men failed to out-rebound Portland, however they were able to dominate the post with scoring as Shaquille O'Neal added 14 points in 26 minutes of play and Glen Davis added 17 points off the bench. Davis was the lone bright spot of the Celtics bench as the rest of the bench only combined to score 5 points.
The Celtics face a tough task on Friday as the battle the 9-7 Chicago Bulls. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 P.M. EST.