In the first quarter, the Boston Celtics had one of those “not again!” moments when Marcus Morris, with a noticeable limp, headed to the Celtics locker room with a member of the training staff.
Even though it didn’t seem like that big a deal, Celtics fans have seen this scene before and more often than not – at least this season – it hasn’t ended well for Boston.
Fortunately for Boston, Morris went back to get his right ankle re-taped, returned to the floor and started to do Marcus Morris-like things like, you know, hit late-game daggers.
Morris, whose 3-pointer lifted Boston to an improbable win earlier this week over Oklahoma City, was once again coming through in the clutch as Boston swept the season series against Portland with a 105-100 win.
“I’m just being aggressive and … shots are going down for me,” Morris told NBC Sports Boston’s Abby Chin after the win.
Boston’s execution in the closing seconds was huge for the Celtics, but it was Morris’ 3-pointer with less than a minute to play that gave the Celtics a 101-96 lead that would later serve as the game-winning shot, his second in as many games.
Morris also led all players with 30 points, with Terry Rozier (16 points) and Jayson Tatum (13 points) also coming up big for Boston.
The Blazers were led by Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum who each had 26 points.
Morris’ big game came hours after the Celtics learned that leading scorer Kyrie Irving was going to have a “minimally invasive” procedure performed on Saturday, which meant the Celtics would have to continue searching for a go-to scorer in Irving’s absence.
That player appears to be Morris who led the Celtics to yet another unlikely win against one of the better teams in the NBA.
Morris’ late-game heroics began earlier in the fourth when he hit a top-of-the-key 3-pointer that put Boston up 85-84 with 6:26 to play.
But the Blazers responded with a 7-2 run with all seven points scored by McCollum to put Portland back on top 91-87.
Boston came back with four straight points to tie the game at 91, with all four points being scored by Al Horford only for Lillard, following an offensive rebound by Al-Farouq Aminu, hit a go-ahead 3-pointer.
But back came Boston, scoring five straight that included a pair of go-ahead free throws by Rozier with 2:07 to play.