The Portland Trail Blazers entered Wednesday’s game looking to improve its 13-15 road record and continue its winning ways on this current seven-game road trip.
It was a defensive battle and low scoring affair in Boston on Wednesday. The Blazers were able to pull away down the stretch and take the 97-92 win over the Celtics as Portland now snagged its fourth straight road victory. It's the Blazers longest road winning streak of the season.
Portland now improves to 18-4 against the Eastern Conference this season.
Here's Dwight Jaynes' reaction from Boston:
Here are some quick thoughts from the Blazers second straight road win:
1. Blazers impressive team defense led by Harkless
From the tip, the Blazers were very active on the defensive end. Besides Kyrie Irving in the first quarter Portland contained Boston early.
Maurice Harkless had two quick steals in his first eight minutes of work. As a team Portland held Boston to just 14 points in the first 10 minutes of play.
The defensive energy from Harkless seemed to be contagious. The question mark with the Trail Blazers has been the team’s defense. Seeing this type of consistent effort on that side of the ball bodes well for Portland during final stretch of the season.
Portland scored 24 points off 17 Boston turnovers.
The Blazers recent success has been in big thanks to Harkless, especially with his defensive effort and there’s no doubt that he is feeling healthy again and his left knee is not an issue anymore.
The Blazers were also able to play good defensive without fouling. At the break, the Celtics only had three free-throw attempts after the Blazers committed just four total fouls.
With so little fouls that meant the Blazers were able to play even more aggressive and free in the second half.
2. Two elite point guards go at it
It was a battle of two All-Star point guards going at each other and both Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving were aggressive early. Both players led the way for their team in the first half.
Irving drove to the hoop hard early on, while Lillard was going with a variety shots including long-range threes.
Lillard is always up for the challenge of facing off against another top PG in the league and in Boston on Wednesday that was no different. Lillard led the charge down the final stretch with his defensive efforts and his ability to find his teammates. He scored 33 points.
3. Everyday the Blazers are hustling
Whether it was on transition defensive, on the glass, getting on the ground for a loose ball, or something in between the Trial Blazers were hustling on both ends of the court against the Celtics.
Entering the third quarter, the Blazers led in the second chance points category 13-0. The second chance points along with the Blazers forcing 14 turnovers through the first three quarters sums up how active and how energized the Blazers were on Monday night at TD Garden.
It’s day number nine on the road for the Trail Blazers and they’re still able to bring that much hustle and that is impressive and important with three more games remaining on this trip.
NEXT UP: The Trail Blazers visit the Toronto Raptors on Friday night with a 5:00pm PT start time. Our pregame coverage tips off at 4:00pm on NBC Sports Northwest.
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