NBA Game Summary - Portland at Boston
(Wednesday, November 10th)
Final Score: Boston 90, Portland 88
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce nailed a jumper at the buzzer to give the Boston Celtics a 90-88 victory over Portland at the FleetCenter.
Pierce, who scored 20 points, hit the step-back jump shot moments after he was poked in the eye by Portland rookie Sebastian Telfair while fighting for a rebound at the other end.
The All-Star got the shot off over the hand of Ruben Patterson with a half- second left on the clock, and then leaped onto the scorer's table to celebrate.
"If I was new, it would have been great," said Boston teammate Mark Blount, who scored 11. "But I've seen it so many times now...it wasn't a surprise."
Raef LaFrentz added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who won their second straight game despite blowing a 20-point lead. Gary Payton chipped in 15 points in the win, and passed the career 20,000-point mark in the fourth quarter.
Zach Randolph posted a game-high 22 points with eight boards for the Trail Blazers, losers of three straight. Darius Miles scored 20 of his 21 points in the second half and hit his first seven shots of the fourth quarter to help Portland get back into the game.
The Trail Blazers took their first lead of the game inside the 9:00 mark of the fourth quarter when Patterson's bucket made it 74-73. They led until Payton drained a three-pointer with five minutes left to put him over the 20,000-points plateau and give Boston an 80-79 lead.
Later in the quarter, with the score tied at 87, LaFrentz went 1-for-2 at the free throw line to give the Celtics a one-point lead. Payton was rejected moments later by Theo Ratliff, and Randolph made one of his two free throws at the other end to tie the game again with 19.1 seconds left.
Pierce ended it moments later, giving the Celtics their first home victory over Portland since March 1, 1998.
"I guess we better get used to these type of games," said Boston coach Doc Rivers. "I would have rather won by 18, but we need to win a game like this."
Payton and LaFrentz scored 10 points apiece in the first half for Boston, which extended its 27-22 first quarter lead to 15 points by opening the second with a 10-0 run.
Al Jefferson bookended the spurt with a pair of buckets, giving the Celtics a 37-22 lead inside the 10:00 mark. Boston led by as many as 20 points before halftime when Blount's free throws made it 53-33 with two minutes left.
The Celtics carried a 53-39 lead into the break behind 50 percent shooting, but Portland pulled within 71-64 at the end of the third quarter. Randolph had eight points in the third.
Portland was 32-of-73 (44 percent) from the floor, one night after combining with New Jersey for an NBA regular-season record-low 44 field goals made in a 64-60 loss...Patterson scored 10 for the Trail Blazers.
11/10 23:26:06 ET