Monday, July 13, 2015

Recap: Celtics 85, Trail Blazers 76

The Boston Celtics (1-0) opened up their 2015 NBA Summer League schedule with an impressive 85-76 triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers (0-1) Saturday at UNLV's Cox Pavilion. The Celtics, who trailed by six points early in the first quarter, took control of the contest behind a 39-13 outburst that covered the middle portion of the first half.
Marcus Smart, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, was the primary catalyst for Boston's offensive explosion with three consecutive 3-pointers. Smart contributed another trey later on to close out the first quarter with 12 points. For the game, the Oklahoma State alum had a team-best 19 points off of 5-for-17 shooting from the field.
Boston's Royce O'Neale had the go-ahead layup with less than three minutes remaining in the opening stanza. O'Neale's only basket of the affair began an 11-0 run that turned a one-point deficit into a nine-point lead.
The Celtics closed the first quarter with a 10-point lead and outscored the Trail Blazers by eight more in the second to own an 18-point cushion (51-33) after two stanzas of action. The lead grew to 20 moments into the third off a jumper from Jonathan Holmes.
Portland's offense awoke after that Holmes' basket. The Trail Blazers rattled off 24 of the next 33 points to pull within five with a minute left in the frame. They got as close as four with 7:29 remaining in regulation, but Boston quickly pushed the edge back to double digits less than two minutes later.
The Trail Blazers held advantages in field goal shooting (41.3 percent to 35.3 percent) and 3-point shooting (42.9 percent to 25.9 percent) as well as points in the paint (30-22), second-chance points (16-12) and fastbreak points (16-5).
The affair featured a pair of players with double-doubles as Boston's Jordan Mickey combined 15 points with 10 rebounds to Portland's Malcolm Thomas' pairing of 13 points and 10 boards.
Besides Smart's and Mickey's outputs, Holmes pitched in 15 points to 13 and 12 from Ralph Sampson III and R.J. Hunter, respectively.
Allen Crabbe (15 points) and Tim Frazier (11) joined Thomas in double figures for Portland.
Both squads return to action Sunday with the Trail Blazers facing Dallas Mavericks at 7:00 pm PT in the Cox Pavilion, while the Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers square off at 7:30 pm PT in the Thomas & Mack Center.

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