Left Menu
Development News Edition

Blazers aim to ride positive momentum vs. Celtics

Ninth-place Portland (30-37) resides 2.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies (32-34) in the battle for the last available playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Reuters | Updated: 02-08-2020 01:55 IST | Created: 02-08-2020 01:51 IST
Blazers aim to ride positive momentum vs. Celtics
The Trail Blazers look to ride the momentum of Friday's 140-135 overtime victory against Memphis into their encounter with Boston (43-22). Image Credit: Wikimedia

The Portland Trail Blazers look to take another step toward chasing down a playoff spot when they face the Boston Celtics on Sunday near Orlando. Ninth-place Portland (30-37) resides 2.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies (32-34) in the battle for the last available playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Trail Blazers look to ride the momentum of Friday's 140-135 overtime victory against Memphis into their encounter with Boston (43-22). The Blazers are thrilled with the comeback of 7-foot centre Jusuf Nurkic, who played his first official game since March 25, 2019. He recorded 18 points, nine rebounds, a career-high-tying six blocks and five assists in 33 minutes as a starter.

Starting power forward Zach Collins returned after being out since late October due to an injured left shoulder. He contributed nine rebounds, seven points and three assists in 37 minutes. Portland received dominant games from its star guards. Damian Lillard had 29 points, nine assists and five rebounds in 45 minutes and C.J. McCollum had 33 points, six assists and three rebounds in 46 minutes. Combined, they shot 24-for-43 from the floor in a must-win game, and their skill could be trouble for the Celtics.

"This is playoff basketball from us," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said of this push for the postseason. "We have that pressure on us. You can't shy away from it when you are in our position." Meanwhile, the Celtics are looking to slowly get guard Kemba Walker back into the flow. Walker, who had been out due to an injury to his left knee, played nine minutes in an exhibition scrimmage last week and 19 on Friday in a 119-112 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Walker scored 16 points against Milwaukee. However, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Walker will still be on a minutes restriction against Portland. "I would love to be like, 'I don't care about (a) minutes restriction.' But I can't," Walker said. "I want to take steps forward, but I have to be smart about things. I want to be there for my teammates when we get to the playoffs.

"Hopefully, by then, the restrictions will be completely off." Said Stevens: "This is all about strengthening his knee for the playoffs."

Another issue for Boston is the play of standout forward Jayson Tatum, who was named a 2020 All-Star and the Eastern Conference's Player of the Month in February. On Friday, however, Tatum shot just 2-of-18 from the floor, including 0-for-4 on 3-pointers.

The good news for the Celtics -- who fell behind 17-2 to the Bucks on Friday -- is that guard Marcus Smart continues to provide energy off the bench. He had 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting versus Milwaukee. --Field Level Media


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Canada’s COVID-19 pitfalls highlight need for integrated health information system

In the globalized world of today where outbreaks can spread far and wide within a matter of days, a global-level integrated health information system is ideal but Canadas provincial barriers show that the country lags much behind in deployi...

Pandemic must be impetus, not obstacle, for clean water access

To make matters worse, there are suspicions that the inadequacy of wastewater treatment methods in California, the rest of the USA, and indeed around the world may help to propagate the disease even more widely. ...

3D printing and the future of manufacturing post COVID-19

The on-demand, customizable, and localized manufacturing of product components facilitated by 3D printing has the potential to redefine manufacturing but there are certain technical, mechanical, and legal limitations that, unless ...

How UK’s 'best prepared' healthcare system failed to gauge COVID-19

The UK is proud of their public health system and its unlike any other country as around 90 percent of British public supports the founding principles of National Health Service. But without accurate data being available to stakeholders in ...

Videos

Latest News

Army to probe JK encounter of 3 'terrorists' after families claim their 3 kin missing from same area

The army has initiated an inquiry into an encounter carried out by its troops in a South Kashmir village, in which three alleged militants were killed, after families in Jammu regions Rajouri lodged written complaints saying as many of thei...

Mumbai's COVID-19 cases rise by 925 to 1,24,322; 46 die

The COVID-19 case count in Mumbai rose to 1,24,322 on Monday with addition of 925 new cases while the death toll went up to 6,842 with 46 more people succumbing to the infection, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation BMC said. A total of 1...

Gunfire erupts inside main prison in Somalia's Mogadishu - inmate

Gunfire erupted inside the main prison in Somalias capital Mogadishu on Monday, an inmate said.I can hear the gunfire from inside the central cell block. I am in a separate room and I do not know what is happening, Mohammed Nur, an inmate a...

Madhuri Dixit treats fans with her reaction video on 'Abodh' as she completes 36 years in Bollywood

As she completed 36 years in Bollywood on Monday, Dhak Dhak girl Madhuri Dixit treated her fans with a video of her reactions on her debut film Abodh. The Devdas actor took to Twitter to share a short teaser of her video reel where she is s...

Give Feedback