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.