BOSTON -- NBA teams love to be streaking this time of year, but this isn’t quite what the Boston Celtics had in mind.
Boston fell 97-92 to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, extending the Celtics’ losing skid to what is now a season-high four in a row.
Portland (38-23) came in with the best record (17-4) against Eastern Conference teams this season, and seemed well on its way to extending that dominance on Wednesday.
But Boston didn’t go down without a fight, something that we haven’t seen as much of in recent defeats.
Trailing 91-81 with 3:08 to play, Boston went on a 7-2 run capped off by an Al Horford hook shot that cut the Blazers’ lead to 93-88.
Boston continued to try and fight its way back into the game, and had a chance to make it a one-possession game but a Marcus Smart shot was off the mark and the Blazers quickly capitalized on the miss with a lay-up by Damian Lillard that made it a 95-88 game with 36.6 seconds to play.
A 3-pointer by Kyrie Irving made it a 95-92 game.
Forced to foul, Lillard sank a pair of free throws with 11.8 seconds to play, which led to another Boston time-out.
At that point, it was too little too late for the Celtics (37-25).
☘️BLAZERS 97, CELTICS 92
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s five-point loss to the Blazers.
Damian Lillard: The Blazers’ All-Star guard had a strong game as he finished with 33 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Kyrie Irving: It was another strong night scoring the ball for Irving, who led the Celtics with 31 points on 14-for-24 shooting.
Jaylen Brown: He was the one of the few sparks off the bench for Boston, finishing with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Maurice Harkless: He has had his ups and downs this season, but he was a major factor in Portland getting the win as he finished with a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Rebounding: The Celtics were in an uphill battle most of the game against a Blazers team that has been among the NBA’s leaders in rebounding percentage this season. For the night, Portland wound up winning the battle of the boards by a decisive 48-41 margin.
Marcus Morris: It was another rough night shooting the ball for Marcus Morris, who had eight points but did so on 3-for-10 shooting from the field.
Celtics’ 3-point shooting: It was a brutal night from beyond the 3-point line for the Celtics, shooting just 17.8 percent (5-for-28) from behind the 3-point arc.
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