Wednesday, March 22, 2023
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NBA Preview: Portland Trail Blazers (31-34) at Boston Celtics (45-21)

In their first meeting this season, the struggling Boston Celtics will face the visiting Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night and will attempt to end a three-game losing streak.

In the 118-114 overtime loss to Cleveland on Monday, Boston was without its leading scorer Jayson Tatum (knee), Al Horford (back), and Robert Williams III (hamstring). At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Celtics held a 14-point lead.

Although he did not provide any specifics regarding Tatum’s injury, Boston coach Joe Mazzulla stated that he did not anticipate Tatum to be out for a significant amount of time. Williams is unlikely to return until next week. New York defeated Boston 131-129 in double overtime on Sunday.

After defeating Detroit 110-104 on Monday, the Trail Blazers have won back-to-back games for the first time since Feb. 3.

Damian Lillard recorded his third career triple-double with 31 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists, making it his second triple-double of the season.

The most that Lillard has ever pulled down in a game this season is 13 rebounds. His prior record was 10.

Despite having a 25-9 home record, the Celtics have lost their last two Boston games. On the road, the Trail Blazers are 14-19.

Boston will play six games on the road after Wednesday’s game, stopping in Atlanta, Houston, Minnesota, Portland, Utah, and Sacramento.

The last time Portland defeated a team with a winning record was on February 8 when it outscored Golden State 125-122. Twelve of Portland’s remaining 17 games are against teams that are above.500.

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