BOSTON (AP) – CJ McCollum scored 10 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, and Portland held on for a 129-119 win over the Boston Celtics on Sunday night, extending the Trail Blazers‘ winning streak to four. Damian Lillard had 26 points and 13 assists for Portland. Carmelo Anthony finished with 13 points – including a 3-pointer with 1:08 remaining to help seal it after Boston pulled within two points. The Trail Blazers improved to 4-0 on their six-game road trip. They entered the game in seventh in the Western Conference playoff standings
and are trying to get out of the play-in round. “I think we’re playing better basketball at the right time,” McCollum said. “Understanding the severity of each game – what we need to accomplish heading into the playoffs and what we need to complete to get into the playoffs is very important. Jayson Tatum scored 33 to lead Boston, trying to avoid falling into the play-in round in the final weeks of the season.
We need to just take the mindset of whether we won or lost; you can’t change that,” Tatum said.
After rallying from 32 points behind to beat San Antonio in overtime Friday night, the Celtics couldn’t produce another comeback against the Blazers, who shot 52% (44 for 85). The Blazers also helped themselves by forcing 18 turnovers and committing only nine. I think the biggest thing is I thought we were very aggressive on the ball,” coach Terry Stotts said. “We created turnovers in a variety of ways. But I think the pressure on the ball, our hands, and our alertness on the weak side all played a part in it.” Norman Powell scored 23 points, Robert Covington had 10, and Jusuf Nurkic pulled down 11 rebounds for Portland, which will have six games remaining – including four at home – once the road trip ends after stops in Atlanta and Cleveland.