for this game

Celtics fend off furious Blazers rally

Dec 2, 2010 - 7:12 AM Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Ray Allen helped fend off a furious Portland rally in the final minutes, and Paul Pierce recorded one of the best shooting nights of his career in a 99-95 Boston victory over the struggling Blazers.

Allen's three-pointer with 10.7 seconds left stopped a 15-0 Portland run in the final five minutes that brought the Trail Blazers back from a 16-point deficit. The shot put the Celtics back up by four, which provided enough of a margin for the home team to hang on.

Pierce shot 9-of-11 from the field for 28 points to help the Celtics grab their fifth straight win. He shot 81.8 percent from the field, his fourth- highest total for a single game with a minimum of 10 field goals attempted.

"I thought I did a good job of mixing it up, going inside and getting a rhythm. Going outside, taking the shots that were there," Pierce said. "I felt like I had fresh legs since I was in foul trouble last night. I just played within the flow."

Kevin Garnett added 17 points, while Glen Davis and Shaquille O'Neal provided 16 and 14 points, respectively, in Boston's seventh consecutive home win over Portland.

Wesley Matthews scored 23 for the Blazers, losers of five in a row. Andre Miller contributed 20 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy both had 18 in defeat.

"What is this, five in a row? This game, too? I'm mad," Matthews said. "I was happy to see everybody's mad. Everybody's (upset). Hopefully, we can bring the tenacity on Friday."

The Celtics had a seemingly safe lead, 96-80, with 5:09 to go, but the Blazers came out of nowhere to nearly pull off a stunner.

Miller started the rally with an eight-foot jumper, as Boston began a stretch of six straight missed shots and a pair of turnovers. Miller added two more baskets sandwiched around a Roy layup for a 96-88 contest with 2:19 left.

Rudy Fernandez drilled a three, and Matthews converted a turnover into a layup for a three-point game. Roy's short fadeaway jumper with 41.2 seconds left trimmed the gap to 96-95.

The Celtics drew up a play for Allen, who promptly missed a three-point attempt from the top of the key. Matthews committed a loose-ball foul, however, as Garnett went to grab it, giving Boston another possession.

Another play went to Allen, who made the most of his second-chance with a three-pointer from the left wing for a 99-95 difference with 10.7 ticks left.

Portland missed a pair of three-point attempts in the final seconds.

The Blazers grabbed a 26-20 lead after the first quarter, though Boston came back to trim its deficit to 49-48 at halftime.

The Celtics closed the third quarter on a 10-2 run to grab a 79-72 edge heading into the fourth, and an 11-2 run midway through the final stanza put Boston ahead by 16 with just over five minutes to play.

Game Notes

Boston has won 12 of the last 16 meetings between the teams...The Celtics, who owned a 60-26 points advantage in the paint at Cleveland on Tuesday, were outscored by Portland, 42-38, in the paint on Wednesday...The Blazers' last win in Boston came on March 31, 2004...Boston shot 57.1 percent, while Portland shot just 45.9 percent.