);
Portland Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard scores 33 points as Blazers hand Celtics their fourth-straight loss

#Lillard
(NBA Getty Images)

The Portland Trail Blazers made it five wins in a row, beating the Boston Celtics 97-92 at the TD Garden, improving to 4-0 on their current seven-game road trip.

Damian Lillard got the better of Kyrie Irving in a matchup between two All-Star point guards, as he poured in 33 points on 13-for-27 shooting, to go along with seven rebounds, four assists and two steals in 37 minutes of action.

Jusuf Nurkic added 16 points and six rebounds, while CJ McCollum added 14 points and Moe Harkless finished with a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double.

Irving led the Celtics with 31 points on 14-of-24 shooting.

The two point guards started the game on fire, with Lillard scoring 11 points and Irving 10 in the opening 12 minutes as Portland took a 25-24 lead after the first quarter. Both teams struggled to take control of the game, with the second quarter finishing at 18-18 and Portland holding a 43-42 lead at the half.

Lillard scored 21 of his 33 points in the second half, as the Blazers came out out of halftime on a 12-4 run. He scored 15 points in the third quarter to give Portland a comfortable 74-64 lead heading into the fourth, capping off the period with this coast-to-coast effort to beat the buzzer.

A Lillard layup and two free throws from Nurkic gave the Blazers a 93-81 lead with 2:46 remaining, before Boston launched a late comeback.

The Celtics went on a 7-0 run, thanks to buckets from Marcus Smart, Irving and Al Horford to cut the deficit to 93-88 with 1:26 on the clock, but again Lillard answered the call with a late bucket to give the Blazers a seven-point lead, before Irving's three-pointer cut the lead to just three.

Boston was forced to foul and Lillard buried two free throws to put the result beyond doubt, icing the game with 11.8 seconds left.

It was a rough shooting night for both teams, as the Blazers connecting on just 6-of-33 attempts from the three-point line; the Celtics weren't much better, hitting just five threes on 28 attempts.

For the Celtics, Jayson Tatum added 14 points, Al Horford 13 and Marcus Smart 12, while Jaylen Brown recorded a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.

With the win, the Blazers remain in fourth place in the Western Conference, while the Celtics remain fifth in the East after losing six of their last eight games.

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