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Beat down in Beantown

03/09/12
  1. Written by: KevinHudson  / avg. rating: 3.0


    The Portland Trail Blazers dropped the second game of their road trip Friday in Boston, falling 104-86 to the Celtics in front of 18,624 at the TD Garden.

    "We didn’t play with enough effort to give ourselves a chance to win this ball game tonight," said Portland coach Nate McMillan. "We knew that Boston would be very aggressive tonight after their loss and they were. They came out, they jumped on us and we never was into this game."

    Portland (19-21) started sluggishly on both ends of the floor and trailed 27-17 after the first period. Things only got worse in a second quarter, as the Trail Blazers were outscored 38-13 to trail 65-30 at the break.

    The Trail Blazers shot 36.4 percent from the field and turned the ball over 17 times in the first half for 20 Celtics points.

    "We can play harder than that, we can play better than that. We pretty much allowed that team to jump on us and I don’t think we responded," McMillan said. "That’s an unprofessional approach. There was no basketball being played out there tonight."

    Boston (21-18) extended its lead to 43 points in the third before Portland started chipping away for a respectable final margin.

    "(We've) got to stop talking and just act like a man and show some pride because I don’t think I can accept that," said Nicolas Batum of the defeat. "That’s been like two or three times this year that we did (that) so we got to react, show some pride, and win some games."

    LaMarcus Aldridge led the Trail Blazers with 22 points while Marcus Camby grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. Portland's only other double-digit scorers came from the bench, as Wesley Matthews and Luke Babbit each scored 10 points.

    Paul Pierce and Ray Allen led the Celtics with 22 points each and Kevin Garnett chipped in 10 points and eight rebounds.

    The bright spot for Portland in the loss was the play of the youngest Trail Blazers, as Babbit, Chris Johnson and Nolan Smith all saw extended minutes in the final stanza and were central in whittling away the lopsided score to respectability.

    Babbit set career highs in points (10), rebounds (6) and minutes played (12) in the contest, while Nolan Smith and Chris Johnson each contributed four points in 8:36 off the bench.

    Portland completes the road back-to-back Saturday, 4 p.m., at the Washington Wizards. The game can be seen locally on Comcast SportsNet (Comcast channel 37). 750 AM The Game and NBA Audio League Pass will have the play-by-play call.

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