Boston Celtics at Portland Trail Blazers
When: 10:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
Preview for Digital Sports desk by Gracenote
PORTLAND – CJ McCollum is doing a pretty solid Damian Lillard impression while his injured teammate is out of the lineup. McCollum aims for his third straight strong performance while Lillard (groin) sits when the Trail Blazers host the Boston Celtics tonight.
McCollum scored a season-high 41 points and had a career-best 12 assists in Sunday’s 107-104 home win over the Detroit Pistons, one game after posting 27 points and tying a then-career best of 10 assists as Portland attempts to chase down the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference race. “We understood the importance of this win with our hopes of making the playoffs,” McCollum told reporters. “We need every game, especially at home and this team is under .500 so we just dug deep.”
Boston had won 12 of 14 games before losing 114-112 to the host Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday as All-Star power forward Jayson Tatum matched his career high of 41 points in a tense battle in the opener of a four-game road trip despite the team missing All-Star point guard Kemba Walker (knee) for the second straight game.
“We still should’ve won,” Tatum told reporters. “We know that. We can’t make excuses when guys are out. That was definitely a game we should’ve won. … That’s all that really matters. I know what I’m capable of. My teammates know that. We know what each and every guy can do in here.”
TIME: 10 p.m. ET. TV: NBCS Boston, NBCS Northwest, NBA TV Canada
ABOUT THE CELTICS (39-17): The 21-year-old Tatum scored 20 or more points in 14 of the past 16 games and is averaging 22.9 points and seven rebounds on the season, and shooting guard Jaylen Brown says his teammate’s status needs to be upgraded. “Tatum has reached a new height – superstar level,” Brown said. “We’ve all got to continue to improve and go with him. The way he’s playing is unreal. We’ve got to continue to find ways to allow him to reach his potential.” Boston hopes to have Walker back but might not know until close to game time whether his surgically repaired knee will allow it.
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (26-32): Veteran power forward Carmelo Anthony enjoyed his best game with Portland as he scored a season-best 32 points and matched his season best of five 3-pointers against Detroit. “He’s really good at pick-and-rolls, he sets great screens and he has that offensive repertoire where he shoots the mid-range and gets to isolation so I was glad to see him wide open, especially down the stretch,” McCollum said of Anthony in a postgame television interview. “That’s what he’s done for 16 years — he hits big shots.” Anthony is averaging 26 points in the two games Lillard has missed.
- The Trail Blazers allowed an average of 93 points while winning both of last season’s meetings against the Celtics.
- Boston SF Gordon Hayward was 5-of-15 shooting while scoring 10 points versus the Lakers one game after tallying 29 points on 12-of-17 shooting against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
- Lillard will miss third straight game – he initially estimated he would sit out three or four games.