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Celtics cruise to 145-117 win over Blazers

Sportsnaut
Dec 4, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) steals the ball away from Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) during the first half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 4, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) steals the ball away from Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) during the first half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Jayson Tatum had 31 points and 10 rebounds, Dennis Schroder scored 31 and dished out eight assists as the Boston Celtics cruised to a 145-117 win over the host Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

Payton Pritchard scored 19 and Marcus Smart added 17 for the Celtics, who jumped out to a 21-point lead in the first quarter before letting the Trail Blazers trim their deficit to two before halftime. Boston got back in rhythm in the second half and led by as many as 31.

Boston achieved a season-high in points to earn its sixth win in nine games one day after suffering a 137-130 loss at Utah to open its five-game West Coast road trip.

CJ McCollum had 24 points to lead the Trail Blazers, who were without star Damian Lillard for a third straight game due to lower abdominal tendinopathy. Jusuf Nurkic scored 18 points and Dennis Smith Jr. contributed 21 for Portland.

The loss was the Trail Blazers’ second in a row and fifth in six games.

Boston led 38-17 after Josh Richardson’s 3-pointer with 2:13 left in the opening quarter. Portland responded with a furious 36-14 run to pull within 54-53 after Nurkic’s three-point play with 2:32 left before halftime.

The Celtics led 64-58 at halftime and outscored the hosts 81-59 in the closing half.

Boston played without former All-Stars Jaylen Brown and Al Horford as well as reserve guard Romeo Langford.

Brown was held out for a second straight game as the Celtics continue to manage his return from a right hamstring strain. Horford sat out with low back stiffness while Langford was sidelined with a right ankle sprain.

Portland guard Norman Powell was listed as questionable with a nasal fracture but played and finished with eight points on 2-of-8 shooting in nearly 28 minutes.

Guard Anfernee Simmons (right ankle sprain) and forward Nassir Little (left ankle sprain) both missed the game for the Trail Blazers.

–Field Level Media