Tatum scores 32 and the Celtics edge the Blazers 116-115

Sports

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, drives to the basket on Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Jayson Tatum had 32 points, including a key 3-pointer in the final moments, and the Boston Celtics held off the Portland Trail Blazers 116-115 on Tuesday night to extend their winning streak to four games.

Jaylen Brown added 24 points and Kemba Walker had 21 for Boston, winners of six of their last seven games. Damian Lillard had 28 points and 10 assists, and Carmelo Anthony had 25 points off the bench for Portland.

ANALYSIS

  1. Tough night for Blazers defense 

It’s been in the spotlight all season long, but the Blazers defense continued to struggle. The Celtics found themselves the most success tonight when they were aggressive and didn’t settle for jump shots, but attacked the paint and the Blazers on the interior finishing with 50 points in the paint.

  1. Vintage Melo put on a show tonight 

It’s no question that Carmelo Anthony is going to end his career as a Hall of Famer and tonight he reminded everybody why. Carmelo has a big night scoring 25 points off the bench and giving the Blazers some much needed offense in the second half. This was an encouraging night after Carmelo had a rough outing going scoreless in the Blazers last game against Maimi. 

  1. Blazers couldn’t slow down Tatum

Tatum has solidified himself as one of the most electrifying players in the entire league and against the Blazers he showed off plenty of his talent. Tatum continued to find a way to not only get timely baskets for the Celtics, but hit the dagger with just seconds on the clock to solidify the Celtics win.

  1. Nurkic brought the energy tonight for the Blazers

 The Blazers big man has been struggling with injuries throughout his career and already a handful this season. Tonight, Nurkic looked like a true “x-factor” that he has been in the past. Whether it be hustle plays, big dunks, or even smack talking Nurkic looked locked in against the Celtics. Nukic has been beat up a little bit by lingering injuries, but tonight he showed a spark of what a healthy big man can do.

  1. MIssed calls on Lillard 

As arguably the best Point Guard in the entire NBA, Damien Lillard continues to appear as one of the very few superstars who doesn’t get the calls as most do. Numerous times against the Celtics, the officials missed two blatant calls on Damien Lillard that resulted in him taking a little extra contact to his body. Things like this do happen, but it seems like the officials continue to miss crucial calls on Lillard and could cause injury. 

  1. Blazers played good down the stretch; Celtics played better

This was a game that could have been won by either team and as Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts said “It was a shame only one team could win.” Both the Blazers and the Celtics played very well especially late down the stretch. While CJ McCollum hit a three pointer to put the Blazers up by one late down the stretch, Tatum answered with a fade away three of his own to put the Celtics up by one. The Blazers couldn’t capitalize and the Celtics walked squeaked by with a win. 

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