Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 2/10

Game 1: Friday, February 10th
Trail Blazers83Final
Game 2: Friday, February 24th
Trail Blazers96

Trail Blazers 83

(17-31, 5-18 away)

Celtics 115

(19-31, 15-11 home)

    7:30 PM ET, February 10, 2006

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    POR 20 22 19 2283
    BOS 30 22 39 24115

    Top Performers

    Por: Z. Randolph 14 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Bos: P. Pierce 35 Pts, 1 Reb, 4 Ast, 6 Stl

    Pierce pours in 35 as Boston pounds Portland to snap skid

    BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Celtics finally played the way they expected to when they acquired Wally Szczerbiak two weeks ago.

    Paul Pierce scored 20 of his 35 points in the third quarter, and the Celtics beat the Portland Trail Blazers 115-83 Friday night to snap their season-high, six-game losing streak.

    Boston won for the second time in eight games since acquiring Szczerbiak from Minnesota in a seven-player trade on Jan. 26. Szczerbiak scored 21 points and Raef LaFrentz had 18 for the Celtics, who had their most lopsided win of the season.

    When the Celtics picked up Szczerbiak in a trade that sent Ricky Davis to the Timberwolves, they figured an additional outside shooter would open up the floor for Pierce. That's what happened against Portland.

    "We moved the ball a lot and got the ball to our shooters," Pierce said. "Wally got us going and Raef had it going. That opened it up for me when I was driving."

    Boston also took advantage of the weak offense of the Trail Blazers, who entered the game averaging an NBA-worst 89 points a game.

    "Wally and Paul played so well off each other," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "Well, everybody did a great job. The defense, at times, was really good with the rotations, and I just thought the ball moved great."

    Szczerbiak said he's finally getting comfortable with his new teammates.

    "The ball was moving all over the place," he said. "We did a good job of playing with each other."

    Zach Randolph led the Trail Blazers with 14 points and Travis Outlaw had 10.

    "We don't have fire," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "I don't know where the fire has gone. These last two games were basically like a repeat."

    The Trail Blazers lost 101-69 at Indiana on Wednesday.

    "It was terrible," Portland's Theo Ratliff said of Friday's loss. "We've got to try to figure it out. Watch film. Try to discuss some things."

    Boston led 52-42 at halftime and got off to a quick start to open the second half when Szczerbiak nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key to trigger a 6-0 run. After a pair of baskets by Portland, LaFrentz hit three 3-pointers in a 2:28 stretch during a 15-4 run as the Celtics pushed their lead to 73-50.

    "We had a lot of open shots and a lot of good looks at the baskets," LaFrentz said. "After the trade, we changed a lot of big pieces."

    Following Juan Dixon's basket for the Trail Blazers, Boston scored the next seven points to break open the game. Pierce highlighted that run with a baseline drive for a dunk.

    After that, Portland, looked like an uninterested team, turning the ball over and giving up a number of easy drives to the basket. The Trail Blazers, who have won a Western Conference-low five road games, had seven turnovers in the quarter.

    Pierce scored nine of Boston's last 11 points in the third, helping the Celtics open a 91-61 lead. He had 35 points at the end of three quarters after shooting 7-for-10 in the period, and he didn't play the fourth.

    The Celtics cleared their bench, with all reserves playing the final 9:48.

    Game notes

    Celtics rookie forward Ryan Gomes made his first start. ... A female fan hit a 3-point shot for $7,777 at the end of the first quarter, using an underhand shot and banking it in. ... Each of the games between the teams last season ended on buzzer-beaters. ... Boston was without frontcourt players Al Jefferson (sprained right ankle) and Kendrick Perkins (dislocated left shoulder). ... Boston rookie Gerald Green scored his first NBA points on a baseline dunk that brought a roar from the sellout crowd.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 83 115
    FGM-FGA 32-70 (.457) 39-71 (.549)
    3PM-3PA 2-13 (.154) 10-21 (.476)
    FTM-FTA 17-20 (.850) 27-37 (.730)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-22 16-38
    Assists 20 22
    Turnovers 20 18
    Steals 7 14
    Blocks 3 4
    Fast Break Points 12 20
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 29 (1/0) 25 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 4 34

    Top Performers

    Zach Randolph Randolph
    Points: 14
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Paul Pierce Pierce
    Points: 35
    Reb: 1
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 6
    Blk: 0